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2011 Winners Spotlight: Five Oaks Vineyard

Five Oaks Vineyards first ever entry in 2011 in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition, a 2006 Yarra Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, was awarded a Gold Medal and the Trophy for "The Best Red Wine In Hong Kong below HK$200". This exciting result from the prestigious HKIWSC had the immediate result of numerous enquiries about the availability of this wine in Hong Kong and China. Within two weeks of the announcement of the awards, two pallets of this wine were shipped to Hong Kong and Shanghai, respectively. The awards also had the spin off effect of drawing attention to and interest in other vintages of Five Oaks Cabernet Sauvignons. Since December 2011 has led directly to another six pallets of wine being shipped to China and an order for a further three pallets to be shipped in September. In short, the result from the HKIWSC has had an amazing effect on exports to Hong Kong and mainland China.
Five Oaks is a small family owned three hectare vineyard and winery located on the cooler southern side of the Yarra Valley in Victoria. The vineyard was planted in 1978 on 25 metre deep rich red volcanic soils. It is the original home block of Oakridge Estate, which established an enviable reputation for producing top quality Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet – Merlot wines. Wally and Judy Zuk bought the vineyard at the beginning of 1995 and took it over the beginning of 1998, renaming it Five Oaks, after the five magnificent oak trees that grace the property. The first vintage under the Five Oaks label was a small quantity of Cabernet-Merlot in 1995.
Since January 1998 some 52 wines have been bottled under the Five Oaks label, not all produced in sufficient quantity to qualify for entry in wine shows. Nevertheless, in all, the wines have won over 95 national and international awards. Of note, the 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2005 Cabernet Sauvignons, respectively, were the top Yarra Valley Cabernet at the prestigious 2002, 2004, 2005, and 2007 International Wine and Spirit Competitions in London.
Typically, total production has been about 2000 cases per year, although from 2005 onward production was deliberately reduced to approximately 1000 cases by vigorous pruning of the vines to reduce the yields from around 3 tonnes/acre to less than 1.5 tonnes/acre.
Because of limited production Five Oaks has focussed it's marketing primarily on direct sales to the public through its Cellar Door and select restaurants in Melbourne and the Yarra Valley. However, some wines have previously been exported to Switzerland, Canada, China (Beijing and Tienjin), and to private clients in Hong Kong. It was these latter destinations that prompted the entry in the HKIWSC.
More information on Five Oaks and its wines can be found by logging onto the Five Oaks website
2011 Winners Spotlight: Five Oaks Vineyard

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