Congratulations to Bird in Hand winemakers Dylan Lee and Kym Milne MW, who have won the coveted trophy for the ‘Red Winemaker of the Year’ at what is considered the world’s most influential wine competition, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. This comes just months after Bird in Hand’s 2017 Syrah received four trophies and was awarded the best ‘Australian Red’ at the IWC in May.

Lee and Milne were among four winemakers shortlisted this year for the prestigious award, the others being: Hervé J. Fabre from Bodegas Fabre (Argentina), Christophe Briotet from Edouard Delaunay (France) and Chris Hatcher and Steven Frost from Wolf Blass (Australia).

Originally from Perth, Lee moved to Adelaide to study winemaking, graduating from the University of Adelaide in 2007 with a Bachelor of Oenology. He then travelled and worked in Rhône Valley, Niagara Peninsula and Margaret River where he gained invaluable experience in cool-climate winemaking, before starting at Bird in Hand in 2010.

Lee has worked under the guidance of Winemaking Director Kym Milne MW for eight years and is honoured to be awarded the 2019 Red Winemaker of the Year.

“I am delighted and humbled to win an international award of this level, and it is a credit to our dedicated, passionate and hardworking winery team. For us, being awarded on a global stage for wines across different varieties, styles and vintages is particularly pleasing as it shows that we have been able to maintain a high level of consistency in our winemaking.”

Bird in Hand was the region’s top producer, gaining four Gold medals – two from Adelaide Hills and two from Mount Lofty, including the Syrah 2017 which scored 96/100 points by a panel of international judges, including Masters of Wine Tim Atkin, Natasha Hughes and Madeleine Stenwreth. The Bird in Hand 2017 Syrah was described by the panel as “Brooding and focused with elegant floral black fruits on the nose and cool climate elegance. Pure raspberry and wild strawberry fruit, understated oak and fine tannins.”

In addition to the best ‘Australian Red’ trophy, the 2017 Syrah won another three trophies including Adelaide Hills Shiraz, South Australian Red and South Australian Shiraz. The Bird in Hand 2017 Shiraz was awarded the Mt Lofty Shiraz trophy and gold medals were also bestowed upon the 2017 Bird in Hand Shiraz 95pts, 2014 Nest Egg Shiraz 95pts and 2015 Nest Egg Cabernet Sauvignon 95pts.

Bird in Hand winery founder, Andrew Nugent says “As a family winery, we are so grateful to be able to showcase globally the elite artisan winemaking of South Australia and in particular our Adelaide Hills home. Dylan Lee, Kym Milne and the entire winery team have set a standard to be at the pinnacle of world winemaking and results like these are a wonderful recognition of their rare skill and dedication.”

Bird in Hand is a world-renowned producer of fine wine that celebrates place and passion, not only through expert vinification but also through food, art and cultural events. Its portfolio of cool climate wines is produced across four speciality tiers; Tribute Series, Nest Egg, Bird in Hand and Two in the Bush. Founded in 1997, the family run winery believes in the aspirational side of winemaking – the ability to be creative while pursuing quality and excellence.