AN O'Connell winery has shrugged off the combined challenges of managing three years of drought, combating smoke-tainted grapes following last summer's devastating bushfires across eastern Australia and working through COVID-19 lockdowns to strike gold with one of its top drops.
Renzaglia Wines' 2018 Bella Luna Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend has been awarded a 2020 NSW Wine Industry Association gold medal in Class 27, competing with 54 other entries.
It's a truly local drop, with all the fruit for the award-winning wine coming from the Renzaglia vineyard at O'Connell.
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But that wasn't their only recognition. In Class 23, Renzaglia's 2018 Mount Panorama Estate Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a silver medal and in Class 21, current shiraz, the 2018 Mount Panorama Estate Shiraz was awarded bronze.
Renzaglia Wines vigneron and owner Mark Renzaglia said they had also enjoyed success last year at the NSW Small Winemakers Show held at Forbes, where their 2018 Bella Luna Chardonnay was awarded a gold.
And in the 2019 NSW Wine Awards, Rezaglia Wines' 2018 Mount Panorama Estate Cabernet Sauvignon also won a gold medal.
"Our wines have endured the trials of drought and produced some very high quality vintages, which helps overcome the hours of effort put into keeping the vines alive and also in the harvesting and wine-making," Mr Renzaglia said.
"We are also now having our wines accepted in many top class Sydney restaurants and wine bars.
"Mainly due to the efforts of my son Sam, [Renzaglia Wines] can now be found in establishments such as Quay, Sixpenny and Ester, Bar Vincent and Hartsyard."