OLD hands and first-time winners shared the accolades at the prestigious Ermenegildo Zegna wool awards in Italy this year.
The 2020 Ermenegildo Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy for the top bale of ultrafine wool was won for the first time by Allan and Carolyn Phillips from ‘Glen Stuart’ at Deddington in Tasmania.
Mr Phillips said the flock had entered a bale each year since the trophy’s inception about four years ago.
“It was unbelievable, we were very, very pleased.”
He said the 120kg bale of 14.6 micron fleece had a tensile strength of 56 Newtons/kilotex with a yield of about 77 percent. It came from three year-old Glen Stuart blood wethers run on native pasture and bush country, coated only for a few months over summer to keep the dust out.
Second placegetters in the bale award were Simon and Ann Louise Cameron of Kingston at Conara in Tasmania from Ed Hundy, Windradeen Mudgee at Pyramul, NSW, in third place.
Rowensville maintains dominance
Victorian ultrafine wool producers David and Susan Rowbottom maintained their dominance of the prestigious Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy by winning the fleece award for the sixth time in the last seven years.
Their 10.6 micron skirted Rowensville wether fleece weighing 0.86kgs won the award with 89.6 points out of a possible 100 points.
Mr Rowbottom said it was “pretty tremendous” winning the award again.
“It always is.”
The Rowbottoms’ finest fleece ever submitted was their world record winning entry in 2016 – a 9.9 micron fleece. They win some gold as part of their first prize, but are unclear as to how much it is valued at.
Second place in the fleece award was taken by Danny and Megan Picker of Hillcreston Park at Bigga, NSW, from third placegetters Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom from Myndarra at Koroit in Victoria.
The minor placings in the superfine wool trophy were David and Angie Waters, Tarrangower Merinos, Hillgrove, NSW, 4th; David and Betty Cameron, Gowrie, Guyra, NSW; 5th; Clive & Margaret Smith, Mulgowan, Amiens, QSL, 6th; Rodney & Carol Westmore, Patterdale, Deddington, Tasmania, 7th; Brett and Susan Picker, Hillcreston Heights, Bigga, NSW, 8th; Robert Freeman, Rose Villa, Ross, Tasmania, 9th; J. Fletcher & Son, Kentucky Station, Kentucky, NSW, 10th.
The other placegetters in the 2020 Ermenegildo Zegna Vellus Aureum Trophy were David and Katherine Picker, Clearhill, Bigga, NSW, 4th; Heather, Stephen and William Reid, Kooringa Farming, Kooringa, 5th.
Zegna swaid the awards in collaboration with the Australian Superfine Woolgrower Association, honour the world best wool growers. All wool is judged by independent judges according to a strict set of criteria including fineness, style, strength, colour and evenness.
All fleeces and wool lots entered in the two competitions are purchased by the Zegna Group. A further severe selection of the best of them is transformed into the top line fabrics and finished products of the Ermenegildo Zegna collections.
President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group Paolo Zegna, said the company has been honouring the best quality wool for over 50 years now and especially this year, the results of the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool trophies are excellent, not only in terms of number of farms participating the competitions, but also in terms of the high quality achieved.
“This despite having very difficult weather conditions with persistent and tough drought which heavily harmed some areas of Australia,” he said.
“For this reason, on behalf of our Group, I would like to congratulate not only the winners, but all the farms involved in the competition.
“A deep personal thanks goes also to the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association for its great commitment to support the participation of its members to our competitions,” he said.
“A personal wish for a much better growing season goes to all those who continue to support our prizes and all woolgrowers in general.
“Finally let’s also hope the world will soon be out of the dramatic effects of the corona virus and will be able to restart again with a restored confidence, sense of responsibility and respect for the beauty of the environment and its products.”