Matt Burton, owner and winemaker of Hunter Valley based Gundog Estate, has been nominated as a 2021 Winemaker of the Year finalist by Gourmet Traveller WINE.
The August/September 2021 issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE announced the final four finalists in its 2021 Winemaker of the Year Award.
“Our finalists for 2021 are all exceptional winemakers in their own right, championing region and site expression – all in the name of quality,” Gourmet Traveller WINE said.
Finalists are selected by a highly respected, industry leading judging panel who are also contributors to the magazine. The panel is led by Peter Forrestal and includes Toni Paterson MW, Huon Hooke, Peter Bourne, Nick Bulleid MW, Andrew Caillard MW and Sophie Otton.
“To be considered for Australia’s most prestigious wine industry award is utterly humbling and tremendously exciting,” Matt said.
“As a small family owned boutique producer, I am so proud of my super-talented team who help bring our winemaking dreams to life. This nomination is just a fantastic validation of what we do.”
In his published commentary on the selection of Matt Burton as a finalist, Peter Bourne praised Matt’s approach to winemaking and his business.
“Burton has an entrepreneurial streak with two small, warm and inviting cellar doors: one in old Pokolbin schoolhouse on MacDonald’s Road, aptly named Gundog Hunter Cellar; and Gourmet Pantry and Cork St Cellars in Gundaroo. Burton has his Gundog Estate label plus a standalone brand, Indomitus, to push the winemaking envelope. For extra fun, he collaborates with Dylan McMahon to make wine under the Burton McMahon label,” Peter Bourne said.
“The Gundog Estate offerings go beyond wine, with local gourmet products such as olive oils, curry pastes, spice rubs, pasta, dressings and even muesli. But wait, there’s more: hand-made chocolate balls filled with Gundog Estate shiraz and muscat, and a bespoke Gundog Dry Gin and Hunting Ale.
He takes his winemaking seriously, focusing on three varieties: the Hunter stalwarts, Semillon and Shiraz, along with Riesling from the Canberra District.
Burton’s philosophy has been shaped by the wineries where he’s worked and the (generous) mentors with whom he has shared a glass or three. Matt is enamoured with the traditional Hunter ‘Burgundies’ of yesteryear.
In 2010, just a decade into his career, he took the leap and established Gundog Estate with few assets but an abundance of hope and enthusiasm. The rest has been well-earned success at all levels. Burton is a man of integrity and compassion and has shared his fiscal achievements by supporting Path 2 Change, a charity that creates programs for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. He acknowledges our changing climate by partnering with Fifteen Trees to assist with the regeneration of the environment. Burton is still a young man, but one with a steady eye on the future. Watch this space.”
Matt said mastery of a craft is a lifetime’s work and he feels like he is only halfway there.
“Winemaking has not only allowed me to indulge my passion and creativity, it has also provided a platform to affect positive change in our community via our social and environmental sustainability efforts, which are equally important to me.”
This is the 24th year of the Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year award which has only been awarded to a Hunter Valley Winemaker once before. The award is sponsored by Perpetual with winners to be announced at a dinner to be held on 30 September at Black Restaurant, Star City.