Victorian couple takes Zegna's 'golden fleece' award

Major Zegna wool awards go to Victoria and Tasmania

Sheep
THE GOLDEN FLEECE: President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Paolo Zegna, with the winners of this year's Vellus Aureum Trophy, David and Susan Rowbottom, St Helens, Victoria.

THE GOLDEN FLEECE: President of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Paolo Zegna, with the winners of this year's Vellus Aureum Trophy, David and Susan Rowbottom, St Helens, Victoria.

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Growers from Victoria and Tasmania have dominated this year's Zegna wool awards.

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Victoria's David and Susan Rowbottom from St Helens have added a sixth Vellus Aureum Trophy for producing the finest Merino fleece in the world.

And Tasmanian growers have finished first and second in the Ermenegildo Zegna Wool Trophy for superfine wool.

Both awards are given each year by Italian luxury menswear brand Ermenegildo Zegna to encourage producers to keep striving to improve their superfine and ultrafine clips.

The Rowbottoms' son Aaron and daughter-in-law Rebecca, Myndarra, Koroit, Vic, finished third in the Vellus Aureum after placing second last year.

Splitting them this year was Danny and Megan Picker, Hillcreston Park, Bigga, NSW.

Fourth was David and Katherine Picker, Clearhill, Bigga,.

The Rowbottoms' finest fleece ever was a winning unbeaten world record 9.9 micron entry in 2016.

The Vellus Aureum Trophy was introduced in 2000.

The 2020 winner of the Zegna Superfine Wool Trophy, now in its 57th year, was Allan and Carolyn Phillips, Glen Stuart, Deddington, Tas, while fellow Tasmanian growers, Simon and Anne Louise Cameron, Kingston, Conara, were runners-up.

Third was prolific award winner, Ed Hundy, Windradeen, Pyramul, NSW, with fellow NSW growers, David and Angie Waters, Tarrangower, Hillgrove, fourth, and David and Betty Cameron, Gowrie, Guyra, fifth.

All wool is judged by independent judges according to a strict set of criteria including fineness, style, strength, colour and evenness.

"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 in the competitions but also in terms of the high quality achieved," president of the Ermenegildo Zegna Group, Paolo Zegna, said.

"This despite having very difficult weather conditions with persistent and tough drought which heavily harmed some areas of Australia.

"A deep personal thanks goes also to the Australian Superfine Wool Growers Association for its great commitment to support the participation of its members in our competitions."

All fleeces and wool lots entered in the two competitions are purchased by the Zegna Group.

A selection of the best of them is transformed into the top line fabrics and finished products in the Ermenegildo Zegna collections.

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