Story by Annabelle Cleeland, Farm Online National
VICTORIAN woolgrowers David and Susan Rowbottom of St. Helens have produced arguably the world’s best ultrafine wool fleece for four consecutive years.
They defended their title by winning the prestigious Vellus Aureum Trophy tonight (Friday) during the 54th Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Awards, after beginning their winning streak in 2014.
NSW woolgrowers took out the remaining five prestigious titles which were announced by Count Paolo Zegna, third-generation chairman of the €1.3 billion Italian family-owned fashion empire Ermenegildo Zegna, during the exclusive gala event held in Melbourne.
To celebrate the importance of Australian superfine wool to its premium fabrics, Zegna's Vellus Aureum competition seeks out the best of the best superfine fleece from Australia and New Zealand by benchmarking wool fleeces measure 13.9 microns and less.
Last year’s Extrafine Wool Trophy winners, Ed and Jill Hundy, “Windradeen”, Pyramul, NSW, won second place in the Vellus Aureum Trophy, while Ross and Rebecca Blake, “Allandale”, Walcha, NSW were awarded third place.
The 2017 Ermenegildo Zegna Extrafine Wool Trophy was won by David and Angie Waters, Tarrangower Merinos, “Hillgrove”, NSW, second place was won by Danny and Megan Picker, “Hill Creston Park”, Bigga, NSW and third Philip and Jennifer Carlon, “Queenlee”, Uralla, NSW.
Entering the Ermenegildo Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy, which was established in association with the Australian Superfine Wool Growers’ Association, is on invitation only.
Wool is judged by a strict criteria including fineness, style, strength and evenness.
The best lots of wool from the 10 finalists have been purchased by Ermenegildo Zegna with a 50 per cent premium over the market price.
These woolgrowers were awarded for the superiority of their wool production by Count Zegna during the celebration dinner held at Melbourne Museum.
“It is always an honour to give these awards out, as they underscore our support for the ongoing commitment and achievements of these incredible woolgrowers,” Count Zegna said.
“Our congratulations go to the winners and to each of the entrants.
“Superfine wool is a fundamental material for our collections and I am confident our ongoing support to interpret it with the highest creativity, innovation and service will continue to contribute to raise its appreciation by our clients around the world and, in so doing, guarantee a bright future to all the woolgrowers involved with us in the process.”