‘First ever crack’ lands bronze medal for Wilyabrup winery

A Sparkling Blanc de Blancs from the Margaret River wine region has landed a Bronze Medal at the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards in London, joining some of the world’s most iconic French Champagnes.

In a record field of 1269 sparkling white wines, 445 of which were from the Champagne region, Coward and Black Vineyards’ 2018 Wilyabrup Blanc de Blancs shared bronze with Perrier-Jouët, Moët and Chandon, Pommery and Tattinger.

Co-founder Patrick Coward said he was honoured to be in such illustrious company.

“For our first ever crack at a sparkling wine to be judged to be in the same league as some of the world’s great Champagnes is astonishing,” he said.

Coward said the release was the culmination of a twenty year journey which began in 2002, when he fell in love with the style after tasting a Blanc de Blancs from Champagne house, Ruinart.

“Traditional sparkling Blanc de Blancs are made from 100 percent Chardonnay,” he explained.

“Back in 2001, Margaret River Chardonnays were cleaning up on the world stage and only a few years earlier, the highly respected Wine Spectator Magazine had declared Leeuwin Estate’s Chardonnay to be ‘The Best Chardonnay in the World.'”

“Tasting the Ruinart Blanc de Blancs was a transformational experience for me. The revelation was simple and immediate.

“If this champagne was made from 100 percent Chardonnay grapes and Margaret River produced some of the best Chardonnay in the world then surely it followed that Margaret River could make one of the best Blanc de Blancs in the world.”

Established with lifelong friend Martin Black, Coward said the vineyard was a family affair.

“This wine is made by our own hands.

“We planted every vine and picked every bunch. I even painted the picture for the inaugural label.”

Planting Chardonnay and Semillon vines in 2004 owner Patrick Coward with his parents Joe and Margot

With orders tripling overnight since the award was announced, stocks are only available from cellar doors in Wilyabrup and Swan Valley or via cowardandblack.com.au