By Nicki Bourlioufas
The 2020 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), held virtually London in November, named Australia’s Morris of Rutherglen Fortified Wine Producer of the Year and the Outstanding Wine Producer of the Year – a big wine for a well-regarded wine producer.
Established in 1859, Morris was in 1885 the largest wine producer in the Southern Hemisphere, with its plantings then over 200 acres. Over the years, the winery has grown and contracted in size but remained a quality red and fortified producer.
While Morris has come close to winning this prestigious accolade over the last few years, this is its first win at the IWSC. Morris was shortlisted for both top gongs alongside some outstanding global wine producers from countries including Spain, Portugal, England, France and Canada.
Sweeping the board with their world-class wines, Morris of Rutherglen NV Cellar Reserve Grand Tawny and NV Cellar Reserve Grand Muscat were also awarded wine trophies along with five gold medals at this year’s IWSC.
The winery is known for its fortified wines and full-bodied reds. Fifth-generation and current Morris family chief winemaker, David Morris, said the awards showcase the exceptional Rutherglen region in inland Australia and the nation’s winemaking expertise to the world.
“It’s a great privilege to accept these trophies. These are some of the most significant wine awards we have received in our 160-year history and I am proud and delighted to accept them on behalf of five generations of Morris family winemakers,” said Morris.
“We are immensely proud of these accolades and excited to showcase the quality wine that Rutherglen and Australia have to offer. There were some excellent world-renowned wine producers that were shortlisted so it was gratifying to achieve these wins. A massive thank you to the team at Morris of Rutherglen who have helped make this all possible.”
Morris of Rutherglen has won a plethora of wine show awards. This year alone, it has received five trophies, four top/double-gold medals, 26 gold medals, 12 silver medals and 12 bronze medals across wine shows.
In 2016, Casella Family Wines, owner of the famed Yellow Tail brand, bought the Morris winery. David Morris continues as chief winemaker, with Casella keen to maintain the run of awards. In 2003, under Morris’s guidance, the Morris range of table wines, fortified and sparkling wines won a combined 20 trophies and 223 medals, including 80 gold, at various Australian and international wine shows.
Unlike many other Australian wine producers, Morris of Rutherglen ages its wine before release to the public, with its current release Shiraz dating from the 2013 vintage, Cabernet Sauvignion from 2015 and Durif from 2016. This is unusual in Australia where many wineries release red wines the year they are produced, or soon after, well before theyr are ready for drinking or for sale.