When Rob Geddes has something to say, everyone in the Australian wine industry listens.
That's why his comments after judging at the Australian Highlands Wine Show at Bowral were so important to all involved in the emerging wine region.
Mr Geddes, one of Australia's 18 masters of wine, was impressed with what he saw and tasted on his visit last week.
He last judged a wine show in the Southern Highlands more than a decade ago and said it was a pleasure to return and see how far the local industry had come.
"I judged here for several years in the early noughties and what I am seeing now is better chardonnay and better pinot noir," he said.
"You have got two star producers in Tertini and Centennial. But where they were the main stars there are now a firmament of stars."
Mr Geddes said it was good to see the wine show reorganise itself to include vineyards of similar altitude elsewhere.
"The larger competitor set will help the locals gauge what they are doing with more accuracy against what is happening across Australia, rather than in just the local winemaking area," he said.
"It is all good up here. The show is going forward, the wines are going forward and there is a greater maturity among producers and operators."
Gold medals went to the Centennial Reserve 2011 pinot noir, Centennial Reserve 2011 shiraz viognier, Centennial Woodside 2010 chardonnay winery block and Centennial Woodside 2011 pinot noir.
Tertini took top place for its 2010 pinot noir and Crossroads 2006 riesling.
Southern Highlands Wines Oldbury Reserve 2012 sauvignon blanc also took gold.
So did the Astemis 2011 riesling that can be tasted at the Mundrakoona Estate cellar door.