Distillers & wineries battle for top tourism award

State finalists in the Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries category at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards are counting down the weeks until the winner is revealed in the national awards.

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards (QATA) celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals and businesses across our tourism community. Following the incredible challenges, the industry has faced over the past two years, the QATA awards will bring the industry together once again to celebrate resilience, strength and inspiration.

In the NSW Tourism Awards, medals in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries category were awarded to:

Gold: Heifer Station Wines, Orange
Silver: Courabyra Wines, Tumbarumba
Bronze: Cape Byron Distillery, McLeods Shoot

The Heifer Station team (above) noted on Facebook: “After a massive two years, this is an awesome achievement for us, our team, the broader Orange region, and of course you guys – our customers, who kept us busy and motivated during the slowest and darkest days of the pandemic. Thank you!”

In the Victorian Tourism Awards, Starward Whisky Distillery took out Gold, with Harman Wines winning Silver.

“Starward Distillery achieved this prestigious industry award for its exceptional offerings, highlighting the tourism opportunities it brings through distillery tours and guided whisky tastings,” the distiller said. “We are incredibly proud of the entire team for achieving this exciting accolade.”

Patty Karakostas, Starward Experience Manager, added: “This win brings a welcomed opportunity to highlight the variety that Melbourne has to offer, and that you only have to be a stone’s throw from the city to get a good whisky at its source.”

Queensland Tourism Awards winners were:

Gold: Bundaberg Rum Distillery Visitor Experience
Silver: O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards
Bronze: Sarina Sugar Shed

Bundaberg Rum won two gold awards in Tourist Attractions and Tourism, Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries, representing the third consecutive win for the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience and earning recognition in the prestigious Hall of Fame. the first time a distillery has been inducted into it.

Bundaberg Rum Distillery marketing and experience manager Duncan Littler told Bundaberg Now: “Bundaberg Rum is all about the simple, good times, so it’s great to see our distillery recognised for providing just that to so many visitors.

“Our consistent award wins year on year highlight the passion our team shares with guests every day, making the Bundaberg Rum Distillery a special place which visitors look forward to visiting and revisiting.

“We are really proud of our achievements, especially in the recent years, and we have exciting plans for the future, which will raise the bar yet again.

“As the world opens up, we look forward to welcoming more guests to experience everything Bundaberg Rum has to offer in our Queensland backyard.”

In Tasmania, Turner Stillhouse won Gold and Bay of Fires Wines won Silver.

“We are indescribably honoured to have won the Best Distillery/Winery/Brewery tourism award in Tasmania, at the Tasmanian Tourism Awards,” the distillery said.

“It was a highly competitive category, filled with many top class breweries, wineries and distilleries. We want to congratulate all the other nominees for doing such a fantastic job in creating an environment where Tasmania is a world-class destination for wine, beer, and spirit connoisseurs.”

In South Australia, Seppeltsfield Winery Barossa took out Gold and a Hall of Fame award, while Kimbolton Wines won Silver and Pindarie Wines scored a Bronze award.

In Western Australia, medals went to:

Gold: Black Brewing Co
Silver: Singlefile Wines
Bronze: Sin Gin Distillery

“It was an honour and fantastic surprise to receive a gold medal at the Perth Airport WA Tourism Awards,” Kristin Kestell, Director of Black Brewing Co said. “The award is due to the efforts of a hard working team who have pulled together to support the business through some very tough times.   We were thrilled to see their results recognised and celebrated.  We are very proud to be part of the South West of this state, where fellow business operators and suppliers have all worked incredibly hard, pulling together to put the region in the best place possible for the future.”

Sadly, Black Brewing will be unable to attend the national awards due to border restrictions.

The Northern Territory’s largest micro-brewery, One Mile Brewery, took out Gold in the NT Tourism Awards.

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards ceremony will be held on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast on March 18, 2022.

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