Shaw Wines in Murrumbateman took out a Canberra Region Tourism Award in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries category.

The planned 2021 awards ceremony to celebrate the Canberra region’s best of the best in tourism was last month announced as a virtual event due to the Covid Omicron outbreak.

“Whilst we could not all be together to celebrate in person, we still absolutely wanted to recognise our entrants and winners,” said Dr Naomi Dale, Canberra Region Tourism Industry Council CEO. “This is the first time we have made the event virtual.”

Shaw Wines director Tanya Olinder said she was feeling very excited about the award considering what it’s been like the last few years.

“It’s nice to get the recognition and get your name out there,” she said. “Especially when it’s been hard as far as tourist numbers coming through.”

“It has been challenging,” Tanya said. “Every day is different and until we get the grapes off the vines, we’re holding our breath.”

But Tanya said at this stage the vineyard is looking good although there was one block of vines that was lost after it was waterlogged and the team was unable to spray post-rain.

“The rest of the vineyard, because it’s a very large vineyard, we could get on,” she said. “My brother, the vineyard manager, I don’t know how many times he’s been up and down those rows spraying and they all look great.”

Shaw Wines next challenge is finding crews to aid in netting the vines in the narrow window available between the grapes ripening and birds having a nibble.

“If we do it too early it means we can’t spray if we get rain,” Tanya said. “It’s this very small window to get the perfect time.”

The family run winery hosts about 70 acres of vineyards with Tanya’s parents Graeme and Ann Shaw at the helm, Tanya’s husband Michael Olinder in the office, and her brother, Michael Shaw, the vineyard manager.

“It’s the team that’s won it,” Tanya said. “Obviously, we’ve got a great team and most of them are locals, young people, and it’s thanks to them.”

“It’s all about the team,” she said. “We’re very proud of them.”

“Their hard work and the way they treat the customers and the service they give it’s thanks to them that we got the award.”

It was stiff competition across the region with Yass Valley boasting over a dozen wineries alone. Tanya said, “It was nice recognition considering how many of us there are.”

The winery is currently hosting their new event Sculpture@SHAW from March 5 to 20.

Runner up to Shaw Wines was Contentious Character Winery in Wamboin, which received a commendation.

By Brianna O’Rourke