Melbourne, 16th April 2019 – Over 55 years ago, Ermenegildo Zegna established its inaugural “Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Trophy” to award and incentivize growers to improve the quality of superfine merino and has consistently worked to celebrate the importance of this fibre and support growers in their quest to produce the best in the world. This year, for the 56th edition of the prestigious program, Ermenegildo Zegna has once again honoured Australia’s best growers by awarding the “Superfine Wool Trophy” and the “Vellus Aureum Trophy” during an exclusive gala dinner hosted by Paolo Zegna, President of the Group.
The relationship between Ermenegildo Zegna and Australian wool dates back to the early years of 1900 when the company began sourcing this incredible natural fibre. Still today, it’s inherent excellence and unique characteristics allows Ermenegildo Zegna to constantly evolve the beauty and performance of its’ products. Superfine wool has been, and continues to be, the key to creating many of the company’s most precious fabrics and exclusive garments.
Ermenegildo Zegna was the first company to believe in and recognize the importance of supporting the growers and the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association (ASWGA) in their work, to reach a better and higher recognition in the international arena.
This competition is today the oldest in the world of wool and represents, for Australian and New Zealand growers, the Oscars for the best wool in the world.
A 2nd trophy, the “Vellus Aureum Trophy” followed almost 50 years later, in 2002 to recognize the quest and celebrate the incredible advances made by Australian woolgrowers for absolute excellence by benchmarking every year the finest woollen fleeces - measuring 13.9 microns and finer - in the wool production countries. In 2016, the finest and best fleece was recorded at an exceptional 9.9 microns, making it still an un-beaten world record.
Today, both competitions continue to be intended to encourage and reward breeders for their commitment to quality, in Australian and New Zealand. The winning fleeces are judged according to a strict set of criteria including fineness, style, strength, colour and evenness.
The 2019 Superfine Wool Trophy was won by David and Angie Waters (Tarrangower Merinos - Hillgrove, NSW), with Allan and Carolyn Phillips (Glen Stuart – Deddington, Tasmania) and Ed Hundy (Windradeen Mudgee -Pyramul, NSW) taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
The winners, David and Angie Waters took first place for the third year in a row while the Phillips and Hundy families have been among the winners for the last 7 editions.
Rose Villa (Ross-TAS), Snowhill (Avoca-TAS), Macquarie Hills (Longford–TAS) were for the 1st time in the final ranking.
The winners of the Vellus Aureum Trophy were David and Susan Rowbottom from “Rowensville”-St. Helens, VIC. Aaron and Rebecca Rowbottom from “Myndarra” – Orford -VIC and Robert McClenaghan from “Rockvale North”- Armidale, NSW were respectively 2nd and 3rd in the competition for the first time.
These woolgrowers were awarded by Paolo Zegna during the celebration dinner held at Luminaire, Melbourne on Tuesday 16th April, in the presence of representatives of the major institutions associated with the world of wool.
“We’ve 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. Despite having very difficult weather conditions with persistent and tough draught, which harmed some areas of Australia.” said Paolo Zegna, President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group. “For this reason, on behalf of the Ermenegildo Zegna 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.”