Attica has won the top trophy at the 2020 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
In a year that saw the Australian hospitality industry tested to the limit, the 2020 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards – announced online on Monday, November 30 – have highlighted the depth of talent and dedication of many sommeliers around the country.
Lists for the awards were submitted in March, just prior to COVID-19 lockdowns.
The judges said that no restaurant had done more to maintain the highest standards in wine and wine list creativity than Attica, located in Ripponlea, Victoria.
A regular on the roll call of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants, Attica celebrates boundary-pushing cuisine. Likewise, its wine list is daring and challenging, while keeping the closest eye on quality.
The Wine List of the Year judges said: “An excellent compilation with the focus on paths less trodden. That does not mean that quality producers like Clonakilla, Yalumba, Mt Mary, Henri Bonneau and many others are not littered throughout, but there are many more obscure producers which have also earnt their positions here. Excellent by the glass, aperitifs, digestifs and more. A list which will thrill the adventurous wine explorer – Sparkling Sake, anyone?”
Attica sommeliers Dom Robinson and Jane Lopes were also named joint winners of the Judy Hirst Award, as the sommeliers responsible for the winning List. Lopes returned to the US due to the COVID-19 lockdown, but is recognised for her exceptional work in curating the wine list over the past three years and working with current head sommelier Dom Robinson on the winning list.
Additionally, Attica took out Best City Restaurant Wine List, with its 500 wines in the cellar and 32 wines by the glass.
And it’s not letting lockdowns hold it back – chef Ben Shewry is about to launch a new casual outdoor venue in the Yarra Valley. Attica Summer Camp is due to open before Christmas on the former site of Lillydale Estate winery in Seville. A small retail store will be attached, selling Attica merchandise, takeaway drinks and picnic hampers.
Australia’s Best Wine Bar
Saga Bar, hidden in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Chippendale, has won Australia’s Best Wine Bar Wine List at the 2020 Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards.
The judges said: “New on the Sydney wine scene, and what an entrance! Saga is exciting and different with sommelier, Casey Sullivan-Myers presenting a very personal interpretation and selection of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails that work in sync with modern Asian fusion. His unapologetic promotion of aromatic whites (particularly from Australia, Germany, Austria and France) and light and medium-bodied reds is spot on with food matching. Wine and spirit flights are offered, a must really, and the mix of old school and low intervention/natural wines works. There’s enough here to satisfy the fussiest drinker.”