Umpqua Valley Wines No Longer a Little Player on International Stage

This year, it’s not Shiraz. It’s Syrah!

In a stunning defeat to home-court advantage, Australia, and the five other top New World nations in winemaking today – United States, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, and South Africa – a small family-run winery from what once was a big logging community in Southern Oregon has taken the title of Best Syrah of the New World.

Reustle – Prayer Rock Vineyards, an 8,000 case/year Estate Vineyard and Winery in Roseburg, OR, was awarded the Trophy for its 2012 Syrah Masada Bloc, making it the highest-ranked Syrah in this year’s 6 Nations Wine Challenge.

Facing off against what judges selected as the best wines in the New World, Reustle not only claimed the top award for its 2012 Syrah, but also scored again tying for third place for its 2012 Syrah Reserve.

“This is the only competition in the world where the wines are individually invited by the judges and then all judged together as the best of the best in the New World of wine,” said Judith Kennedy, President of 6 Nations Wine Challenge.

Each of the six international judges could select up to 100 wines across 17 categories, to represent their country in the blind tasting competition. This year 52 wines competed in the Syrah category.

“Because the wines are all selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world,” said New Zealand Master of Wine Bob Campbell.

Even though Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards has amassed over 460 medals, awards, and titles over the past seven years, Reustle says: “This award is by far our highest achievement – SDG.”

US Judge Dan Berger lists Oregon’s Umpqua Valley among other great cool climate regions for Syrah:  New Zealand, Northern Victoria, and Northern Rhone. “Reustle has shown exemplary consistency in a cool climate style, and it has been obvious from the start that Stephen has a very special place for Syrah (and other cool climate varieties).”