La Salut and Rockpool Bar & Grill the big wine list winners in Australia

(Image clockwise from top left: Krister Bengtsson and Liora Levi, Star Wine List; Christian Baeppler, Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill; Michael Zimmerman at Austrian Wine)

On Oct. 24, Star Wine List celebrated the best wine lists of Australia and the teams behind them for the second time, with an online event. Rockpool Bar & Grill in Perth and La Salut in Redfern won Gold Stars in two categories each.

See the stream on our Facebook Live here.

"The scores have been high across the board and to quote jury member Véronique Rivest, there are so many great lists that it has been a difficult job for the jury," says Krister Bengtsson, founder and publisher of Star Wine List.

The Gold Stars were well-spread across the country. Rockpool Bar & Grill in Perth won Gold Stars in the categories Best Sparkling Wine List and Best Austrian Wine List – presented by Austrian Wine. La Salut in Redfern won Best Medium-Sized List and Special Jury Prize.

Star Wine List Awards Australia is part of our international Star Wine List tour – and the winners will qualify for our international final in 2023.

And the winners are…

Best Austrian Wine List

– Recognizes the best wine list with Austrian wines. The category is presented by Austrian Wine

Finalists:
Little Red Robin, Sydney
Lucinda, Hobart
Old Palm Liquor, Melbourne
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth
The Wine Library, Sydney

Winner:
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth

"A well represented diversity between whites, reds and some sweet wines from Austria. Some back vintages as well, which is quite rare to find in other global wine lists," says Paz Levinson, one of the members in Star Wine List's top sommelier jury.

Christian Baeppler, Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill, says:

"Thank you very much, it’s much appreciated. I used to work very close to Salzburg a long time ago, and was exposed to the great wines of Austria, and this is part of why we have this Austrian focus on our list."

Grand Prix

– Recognizes the best wine list with over 600 listings.

Finalists:
Bentley Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sydney
Cirrus, Sydney
Hardy’s Verandah, Adelaide Hills
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Mornington Peninsula

Winner:
Bentley Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sydney

”It is clear this list has taken a lot of time and effort to create, but the outcome is definitely very rewarding to those who are able to enjoy and drink from it. There are a lot of back vintages and verticals available, together with many topical and trending producers, which goes to show those responsible for the selection clearly follow what’s happening in the world of wine. Bravo,” says jury member Heidi Mäkinen MW about the winning wine list.

"Thank you very much, it’s really an honour for us. We’ve invested a lot of time and energy to create this list over the last sixteen years. We’ve never set out to win awards, but it’s really nice to be recognized in this way. I want to thank all the great people in our team, of course," says Nick Hildebrandt, owner and sommelier.

Best Medium-Sized List

– Recognizes the best list with 200-600 references.

Finalists:
Bar Merenda, Daylesford
Bistecca, Sydney
Dear Sainte Éloise, Sydney
La Salut, Redfern
Monopole, Sydney
Ragazzi, Sydney
Where’s Nick, Sydney

Winner:
La Salut, Redfern

"What a great list! The design, idea, concept, the choice of wines, the size – one of the most exciting list I have seen lately! Bravo to the team," says jury member Paz Levinson.

Best Short List

– Recognizes the best list with up to 200 references

Finalists:
Bar Rochford, Canberra
Bar Rogue, Perth
Embla, Melbourne
Le Rebelle, Perth
The Menzies Bar, Sydney

Winner:
Embla, Melbourne

"Bigger isn’t always better and Embla’s list perfectly demonstrates this. Super concise but extremely well thought out, with a clear mission of making wine fun and approachable, without compromising on quality. Very well done!" says jury member Véronique Rivest about Embla's winning list.

”This feels awesome, thank you so much. It’s in many ways harder to create a good short list, but it makes it easier for people to read through it, and it also helps us keeping it fresh and ever-changing," says Christian McCabe, owner and sommelier at Embla.

Best By the Glass List

Finalists:
Bentley Restaurant & Wine Bar, Sydney
Cirrus, Sydney
Laura, Mornington Peninsula
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Mornington Peninsula
The Heritage Wine Bar, Perth

Winner:
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Mornington Peninsula

"I really admire wineries that not only propose their own wines but also a breadth of wines from other producers, which is quite rare to find. A restaurant from a winery with such a well curated list, from the selection of producers to the style, and the introductory texts. For the wines by the glass there is diversity, with classics, new styles and the iconic producers from famous appellations," says the jury's Paz Levinson.

Best Sparkling Wine List

Finalists:
Hardy’s Verandah, Adelaide Hills
Lucinda, Hobart
Old Palm Liquor, Melbourne
Quay, Sydney
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth
Ten Minutes by Tractor, Mornington Peninsula

Winner:
Rockpool Bar & Grill, Perth

"Great width and depth here, with an excellent mix of Champagne négociants and growers, many verticals and an impressive offering of older vintages. All rounded out by a solid sparkling wine selection. Extremely well balanced list, with a wealth of mouthwatering options," says the jury's Véronique Rivest.

”Being German, of course I love Riesling, but I also have a passion for champagne in particular, and we’ve started to develop that selection in the last years to get it up to standard,” says Christian Baeppler, Head Sommelier at Rockpool Bar & Grill.

Sustainable Wine List

– Recognizes a wine list that has put extra emphasis on the wine program’s impact, including wine growing, winemaking, packaging and transport.

Winner:
Settler’s Tavern, Margaret River

"Great to see that this restaurant has paid attention to sustainability since the new ownership almost 20 years ago. In addition to ecological resources being used, they show how important the local community is, and how, at best, restaurants can be both supporting and supported by the people sharing the same habitat," says the jury's Heidi Mäkinen.

Special Jury Prize

– Recognizes a venue that has done something extra with their wine list, such as the direction, the style or the value.

Winner:
La Salut, Redfern

"What a unique and focused approach! Such a brilliant idea to draw parallels between Spanish and international styles, and it all makes more than sense. This list is pure joy and pleasure to read - let alone drink through!" says jury member Heidi Mäkinen MW.

"For us, exploring Spain has been very interesting. Spain was the last piece of the puzzle of the large wine countries in the world, and what is happening in Spain is as exciting as anywhere in the world. Getting back to indigenous varieties and traditional, hands-off, winemaking This is exactly what we want to see," says Matt Swieboda at La Salut.


Star Wine List's top sommelier jury, clockwise from top left: Véronique Rivest, Heidi Mäkinen MW, Jacqueline Turner, Paz Levinson.

The jury comprised three top sommeliers from our international jury panel:
Paz Levinson
Heidi Mäkinen MW
Véronique Rivest
and local sommelier judge:
Jacqueline Turner

The criteria has been for the jury to vote for the most exciting wine list in each category.

Published 24-October-2022
News / Australia

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