Patrons of Springwood's Royal Hotel are raising a glass to their local after it made the finals of the Australian Hotels Association's (AHA) NSW Awards of Excellence.
The Macquarie Road hotel was a state finalist for its wine list, pipped on the night by The Squires Landing at The Rocks in Sydney.
For licensee Jarrod White, making the state finals was pay off for the hotel's decision to focus on developing its wine list.
"We've been perfecting the list for a couple of years now," he said, "ranging from a few of the local favourites such as Wild Oats from Mudgee and Tyrrells from the Hunter, a few big names like Taylors and DeBortoli and boutique offerings such as Petersons from the Hunter and Barking Hedge from Marlborough NZ."
The hotel has gauged the opinions of its customers at special wine tasting events while its staff have attended wine education seminars, toured wineries and received training from professional sommeliers. Mr White said former staff member Ben Hayes also had significant input into the development of the wine list.
"We're really passionate about our wines and now we know we've come up with something pretty special," he said.
AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said the winners and finalists set the standard across the hotel industry.
"The bar was set extremely high this year with more than 600 nominations from right across NSW," he said.
The Royal Hotel will be offering 'by the glass' selections from its wine list at Springwood's late night Christmas shopping event on Thursday, December 12.
The AHA award winners were announced at The Star, Sydney on November 19.