From our AGM 2018: Welcome in New Board


From our AGM held on 20th November 2018, we welcome the new members of our Board and thanks those stepping down.

See New Board make-up 

‘I Am George’ – yes indeed! #WS18 Results


Friday 26th October 2018


‘I Am George’ – yes indeed!


A wine honouring the spirit and legacy of Australian shiraz pioneer George Wyndham was the big winner at this year’s Limestone Coast Wine Show. The 2016 George Wyndham ‘I Am George’ Shiraz Cabernet won the Bill Redman Trophy for Best Wine of Show at last night’s sell-out presentation feast in Naracoorte, after earlier winning Best Blended Red and the David Wynn Trophy for Best Red Wine of Show. Viticulturist Tim McCarthy was awarded the highly coveted Arthur Hoffmann Trophy for ‘Viticulturist of Best Wine of Show’.


Chief judge, Samantha Connew, proclaimed ‘I Am George’ “a seductive wine”. “There was just another level of complexity in this blend which earned it the top gong – lots of juicy, primary, bright berry fruit but with some structure and tannin to give it complexity and length,” she said.


It was a triple trophy treat for DiGiorgio Family Wines after dominating the white classes. The 2017 DiGiorgio Family Wines Coonawarra Chardonnay won the Trophy for Best Chardonnay, and collected the Colin Kidd Trophy for Best White of Show. Judge Julian Langworthy praised the wine’s poise and complexity: “There’s great white wines in the Limestone Coast and this is a really complex and exciting wine to come from Coonawarra,” he said. Meanwhile, the 2018 DiGiorgio Family Wines Kongorong Riesling won the Karl Seppelt Trophy for Best White (excluding Chardonnay).


Leconfield Wines took home two trophies for the second year in a row; the NV Leconfield Syn Rouge won Best Sparkling Wine and the 2018 Leconfield Coonawarra Rose claimed Best Rose. St Hugo also had a double haul, with the 2015 St Hugo Vetus Purum Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon named Best Individual Vineyard Wine, and the 2010 vintage of the same wine winning the Ewen Fergusson McBain Trophy for Best Museum Wine.


The highly anticipated Provenance Trophies, which provide a platform for exhibitors to enter three vintages of the same wine, went to Raidis Estate’s ‘The Kid’ Riesling (2018, 2010, 2008) and a trio of Wynns Coonawarra Estate Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon (2015, 2010, 2005). The 2015 Jacaranda Ridge Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon won the H.R. (Ron) Haselgrove Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon, with cabernet also capturing the attention of New Zealand judge, Sam Kim, who gave the International Judges’ Award to the 2016 Black Wattle Vineyards Mt Benson Cabernet Sauvignon. “It had that amazing fruit purity and intensity without being overblown,” he said. “Beautifully composed, seamless with terrific length – the complete package for me.”


The Chief of Judges Wine to Watch was the 2017 Norfolk Rise Estate Shiraz, with Samantha Connew dubbing it “a really modern interpretation of Australian Shiraz with beautiful slurpy fruit.” Rounding out the trophy winners, the 2016 Petaluma Merlot won the Peter Wehl Trophy for Best Merlot, the 2016 Berrigan Shiraz won the Eric Brand Trophy for Best Shiraz, the 2018 Bellwether Ant Series Wrattonbully Barbera won the Small Batch and Experimental Wines Award, and the 2018 Penley Estate Spring Release Cab Franc was the Best Alternative Red Variety.


A record-high 338 medals were awarded at the 18th annual show, including 43 Gold, 110 Silver and 185 Bronze. Orlando Wines was named most successful exhibitor. All entries will be uncorked and available for public tasting at the Coonawarra Hall from 9am-1pm today.


The full list of trophy winners and digital images photographed by Adrian Gale are available here. Video interviews with selected trophy winners will also be available Friday afternoon. For further information, please contact LCWS Publicity Officer Gretel Sneath on 0417 382 035.                    




15 OCTOBER 2018

Judging for the 2018 Limestone Coast Wine Show starts next Tuesday at the Coonawarra Hall, with 501 of the region’s favourite wines facing close scrutiny. New chief of judges, Tasmania’s Samantha Connew, will lead a panel of 10 expert critics during the 18th annual event.


“I haven’t spent a compact period of time in the region for a long time, so I’m looking forward to seeing what changes have occurred in terms of winemaking and quality,” she says. “Cabernet is always going to be the centre of attention because of the legacy that is involved, but from my experience judging other wine shows, there’s also some really exciting things happening with alternative varieties and other red blends.”


Samantha Connew predicts that the Provenance Class, featuring three vintages of the same wine, will be one of the most highly anticipated elements of the show. “We know that Limestone Coast wines age so well, so that should be a real delight,” she says.


This year’s major winners will receive a new-look trophy created by Penola sculptor Guy Detot. Since the wine show’s inception, Mr Detot has collaborated with Mount Gambier architect and artist Robert Miles, who sadly lost his battle with cancer last year. As an ongoing legacy, the 2018 trophies continue to feature Robert Miles’ original designs laser cut in stainless steel. Penola artist Andy Clifford has supplied salvaged fence posts from his historic property Yallum Park, and is assisting Guy Detot with the design of the coveted creations.


“I’m really excited about this new design, which has a more free-form style compared to our previous trophies,” Mr Detot says. “While each trophy follows the same theme, they feature subtle differences reflecting each individual piece of wood and also the individuality of the wines selected.”


Multiple trophy winner Wolf Blass Wines will be aiming for its fourth overall win at the show. The high-profile brand first claimed the top award in 2011 for its 2009 Grey Label Shiraz Cabernet, and was back on top again in 2012 and 2017 after judges declared that their Coonawarra Gold Label Cabernet Sauvignon “just screamed its region”. Wolf Blass viticulturist, Martin Wirper, will be a guest speaker at next Thursday’s sell-out LCWS Trophy Dinner at the Naracoorte Town Hall, sharing details of a recent trip to Hungary, Bulgaria and Germany as part of his 2017 Arthur Hoffmann Trophy prize.


“These countries have a long and rich history with wine, yet you don’t really hear a lot about them on the world stage,” he explains. “I was mindful that I would be presenting my findings to marketers, winemakers and fellow viticulturists, so I wanted to go somewhere completely different and look at all aspects of their industry over there, from viticulture to wineries, varieties and innovation.”


For interviews, please contact Sarah Pidgeon (LCWS Committee) on 0412 825 149, Martin Wirper (2017 Arthur Hoffman Trophy winner) on 0438 862 690.


Captions for Dropbox Photos: Martin Wirper visiting the rootstock nursery and wine sales area (with Dr Zora Nagy and Dr Attila Nagy) at the NARIC Research Institute for Viticulture and Enology in Badacsonytomaj, Hungary.


Key dates:

Judging 23rd-24th October at the Coonawarra Hall

Trophy dinner 25th October at Naracoorte Town Hall

Exhibitors & Public Tasting Friday 26th October at Coonawarra Hall 9am-1:00pm






A total of 499 of the region’s favourite wines have been entered in next month’s 2018 Limestone Coast Wine Show (LCWS), representing 77 producers from all seven Limestone Coast sub-regions. Entries have now closed for the October 23-26 event, with the two-year-old cabernet class again attracting the largest number of nominations. The LCWS committee’s Sarah Pidgeon says the response reflects excellent recent vintages.

“Cabernet is certainly the hero variety for this part of the world, and it’s pleasing to see such strong support again for the 2018 event, with 76 wines vying for this class,” she says.

The wine show has also received strong shiraz entries, while pinot gris is the fastest-growing category, reflecting a varietal shift in the region towards this trending wine.

“It’s starting to rival the more classic sauvignon blancs and rieslings that are doing well, although it still has some way to go to match solid chardonnay entry figures,” Sarah says.

Judging will take place at the Coonawarra Hall, with 10 judges overseeing the event rather than the traditional six. New chief of judges, acclaimed Tasmania-based winemaker and consultant Samantha Connew, will lead three distinguished panels of critics including high-profile wine communicator Jeni Port and New Zealand-based wine judge and author Sam Kim. In a first for the 18-year-old event, a local Limestone Coast-based judge will also join each panel this year, with winemakers Sue Hodder (Wynns Coonawarra Estate), Anna Hooper (Cape Jaffa Wines) and Luke Tocaciu (Patrick of Coonawarra) adding their broad expertise to the event.

Trophy winners will be announced on Thursday 25th October at the Naracoorte Town Hall, which is being hosted by the Wrattonbully Wine Region. Co-ordinator Susie Harris says a limited number of tickets are still available for the event, with local caterers St Bee’s creating an unforgettable menu with matched trophy and medal-winning wines from Wrattonbully.

“It’s going to be a fabulous evening that pays homage to the ancient coastline and geology that gives rise to Wrattonbully’s unique and award-winning wine styles,” Susie explains.

Wolf Blass viticulturist Martin Wirper, the 2017 Arthur Hoffmann Trophy-winner, will be a guest speaker at the dinner, sharing details of his recent study tour abroad. Tickets are available at

For further information, please contact Sarah Pidgeon on 0412 825 149.

Key dates:

Judging 23-24 October at the Coonawarra Hall

Trophy dinner 25th October at Naracoorte Town Hall

Exhibitors & Public Tasting Friday 26th October at Coonawarra Hall 9am-1:00pm





Work is underway on a major cross-border interactive wine trail designed to expand and enhance the unique wine tourism experiences across the Limestone Coast and South West Victoria. A steering committee has been appointed to map the future direction of the Mixed Dozen Interactive Trails Project, and the search is now on for an independent project manager with demonstrated high-level management skills to bring the concept to life over the next 18 months.

The Trail will target international wine visitors in a bid to bolster the global reputation of Australia’s food and wine, with a particular focus on China and the United States of America. The project manager will work with local industry bodies and associated tourism-based organisations to develop tailored experiences designed to increase length of stay and maximise tourism expenditure. They will also oversee the design of a digital consumer-facing portal designed to inform, entice and disperse travellers across the target areas.

Project chair, Peter Bissell, said producers from all Limestone Coast wine zones plus Victoria’s Henty and Grampians regions will be promoted as a combined attraction due to the variety of compelling wine experiences found over a short distance.

“This cross-border partnership will generate a seamless overlap with the well-established Melbourne to Adelaide Touring Route and represents a whole new level of collaboration across the region and with our Victorian neighbours,” he said.

The Trail project has attracted $175,000 of federal funding, with local tourism officials confirming that it’s the largest allocation to the region for a single tourism initiative in more than a decade. The money is being matched dollar-for-dollar with a $125,000 grant from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA and $50,000 from stakeholders on both sides of the SA-Vic border.

APPLICATIONS CLOSE Friday 24th August 2018. For more background, please visit

An information pack including instructions on how to apply is available by emailing [email protected]

For further comment please contact Peter Bissell, chairman, Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council 0427 852 315





International visitor numbers to Limestone Coast wine regions are expected to increase after a unique wine trail proposal received a major federal funding boost.

The Turnbull Government will pour $175,000 from its International Wine Tourism Competitive Grants Program into the project to develop ‘Mixed Dozen Interactive Wine Trails’ that traverse both sides of the SA-Vic border. The funding will be matched dollar-for-dollar with a $125,000 grant from the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA and $50,000 of local stakeholder money.

Tourism Industry Development Manager, Biddie Shearing, said it’s the largest amount of funding to be allocated to the region for a single tourism initiative in more than a decade.

“This is a really significant opportunity to expand and enhance our unique wine tourism experiences, and grow the reputation of Australia’s food and wine abroad,” she said.

The Mixed Dozen Interactive Wine Trails will target visitors from China and the USA in particular, and will feature a central consumer tool or website that promotes tailored experiences designed to increase length of stay and maximise tourism expenditure. The initiative was developed by the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council with the support of Wine Australia. Project chair, Peter Bissell, said it’s unique because it will pitch wine producers from two neighbouring states as a combined attraction.

“We have enlisted 12 stakeholders – including all the wine zones in the Limestone Coast plus the Henty and Grampians regions across the border – to join forces to build a digital tool to help attract and disperse international wine travellers across the region,” he explained. “This represents a whole new level of collaboration across the region and with our Victorian neighbours, and we have secured strong support from local government leaders and industry bodies.”

The cross-border partnership will generate a seamless overlap with the well-established Melbourne to Adelaide Touring Route – one of Australia’s most prolific self-drive itineraries. The aim is to entice visitors beyond popular attractions like the Great Ocean Road, the Grampians and Kangaroo Island by offering a range of compelling experiences relating to wine.

“We have a depth of variety in terms of wine and wine experiences and all within a short drive or in some cases walk of each other,” Mr Bissell said. “For example, there could be a ‘Coastal Trail’ that links coastal terroir with wine varieties and seafood experiences, or we could highlight Coonawarra and the adjacent Penola and Glenroy Conservation Park walks, or the World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves nestled in the heart of the Wrattonbully Wine region, which contain a wealth of information about regional geology.”

The Federal Member for Barker, Tony Pasin, has described the grant as “great news for local producers and the local economy”. “By enhancing the wine tourism experiences of international visitors, we are helping grow wine exports and further bolstering the Limestone Coast’s excellent wine reputation at an international level,” he said.

 A project manager and local steering committee will oversee the initiative, with hopes the trail experiences will be firmly entrenched in travellers’ itineraries by mid-2020.

For further comment please contact Peter Bissell, chairman, Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council 0427 852 315

Italian Pruners coming to Wrattonbully & Coonawarra


Italian Pruners coming to Wrattonbully and Coonawarra

Where: Smith & Hooper Vineyard Offices, Wrattonbully.

When: Wednesday July 4, 10am – 3.30pm, lunch included.

Cost: $75pp – 20 places only.  

The techniques behind ‘soft-pruning’ will be extended to Limestone Coast grape growers in July by the self-proclaimed Italian ‘pruning-guys’, Simonet and Sirch who have taken the Australian viticultural industry by storm over the past few pruning seasons.

Known for their modified  Pousset methodology for pruning grapevines where by an understanding of the way a grapevine moves nutrients and water  and thereby choosing canes that provide an uninterrupted supply of sap is one of the fundamental take home messages.

Their workshops consist of a two hour technical session where you learn about the methodology before heading out for 2 hours in a vineyard to put into practice what they have been teaching.

Workshop on July 6 at the Coonawarra Hall is SOLD OUT.  

Book Here

June: Grapevine Nutrition Workshop in Padthaway


Grapevine Nutrition workshop returns to the Limestone Coast

Understanding grapevine nutrition and how this influences yield and quality will be focus of a one day workshop on Tuesday June 5 at Treasury Wine Estates Padthaway.

Utilising the well-known Research to Practice training module developed by the CRC for viticulture and updated by the AWRI –, the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council (LSCGWC) will run a one-day course on the topic of grapevine nutrition.  The day will be coordinated by Drs Mardi Longbottom and Kerry DeGaris from the Australian Wine Research Institute. Both Mardi and Kerry are well-known locals with expertise in grapevine nutrition.

To ensure the day is tailored to the Limestone Coast, a survey has been created to enable local grapegrowers to identify their nutritional practices and challenges. The link to the survey is located on the LSCGWC website and can be found here.

Grapevine nutrition management, principles of nutrition, key grapevine nutrients, managing nutrition in the vineyard and measurement tools and techniques will be the main topics of discussion.

The day can be a refresher for those who have been in the industry for a while but also an introduction for new growers in the region.

The day is subsidised by the Wine Australia regional program with a cost of $25 per head to cover catering.

To register please go to the LSCGWC website: 

For more information contact: Kerry DeGaris (0417) 408796 or Mardi Longbottom (08) 83136600

From AGM: New Committee of Management


The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council AGM was held on 22nd November 2017.  Congratulations to new and returning office bears and committee of management. 

Report from Chair

Minutes available on request, contact Ulrich Grey-Smith, Secretary at [email protected]