2014 Trophy Winners


BILL REDMAN TROPHY FOR BEST WINE IN SHOW – 2012 Brands Laira Coonawarra 171 Cabernet Sauvignon


DAVID WYNN TROPHY FOR BEST RED – 2012 Brands Laira Coonawarra 171 Cabernet Sauvignon

COLIN KIDD TROPHY FOR BEST WHITE – 2014 DiGiorgio Family Wines Kongorong Riesling

KARL SEPPELT FOR BEST WHITE (excl CHARD) – 2014 DiGiorgio Family Wines Kongorong Riesling

BEST CHARDONNAY – 2013 Balnaves Chardonnay

BEST BLENDED RED – 2012 Wolf Blass White Label Shiraz Cabernet

BEST OTHER SINGLE RED VARIETY – 2012 Pepper Tree Wines ’14 Shores’ Single Vineyard Wrattonbully Merlot

RON HASELGROVE TROPHY FOR BEST CABERNET – 2012 Brands Laira Coonawarra 171 Cabernet Sauvignon

BEST INDIVIDUAL VINEYARD WINE – 2010 Wynns Coonawarra Estate “Alex88″ single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon


BEST SPARKLING OF SWEET WHITE WINE – 2012 Yalumba FSW8B Wrattonbully Botrytis Viognier


INTERNATIONAL JUDGES AWARD – 2010 Majella Sparkling Shiraz



Limestone Coast Wine Show winners announced tomorrow


                    MEDIA RELEASE 

29th October 2014

Gold medals are guaranteed for the 2014 Limestone Coast Wine Show when the results are revealed tomorrow night in Coonawarra. A judging line-up featuring Beijing wine educator Fongyee Walker, winemakers Stuart Watson (Woodlands Wines, WA) and David Morris (Morris Wines, Rutherglen), wine writer Jane Faulkner, and Sydney sommelier Patrick White have spent this week examining 418 of the region’s most prized drops. Chairman of judges, Andrew Wigan, says they have been highly impressed.

“My panel did the big 2012 Cabernet class on Tuesday and Jane Faulkner’s did the Shiraz class. They are two of the major classes of the show and the standard right across the board was very high,” he said. “The 2012 vintage was very good and the expectations of the judges were high and we weren’t disappointed; we saw some terrific examples of wines from that vintage.”

Yesterday also saw the judging of the 2013 Chardonnay class, and Mr Wigan confirmed that at least one gold medallist is among them. “It was a wine that showed a lot of complexity”, he said. “There has also been a couple of Sauvignon Blanc golds awarded and they were terrific, and a couple of Riesling golds, and this is probably all a reflection of the fact that the 2014, 2013 and 2012 vintages have all been very good quality, and we are starting to see the results on the judging table.”

The final classes will be judged this afternoon (Wednesday), with Thursday morning set aside to allocate the trophies. The winners will be announced at tomorrow night’s sell-out Limestone Coast Wine Show Trophy Presentation Feast being held at the historic Katnook Woolshed. 2013 Arthur Hoffman Trophy winner, Trent Brand, will be a guest speaker at the dinner, which will be matched with previous wine show trophy winners in a festive finale to the intense judging process.

“We are thrilled with the way this week has unfolded and would like to thank the band of volunteers who are working behind the scenes to make everything happen, not to mention the record 86 exhibitors who have willingly presented their wines for such close scrutiny,” says the wine show committee’s Sarah Pidgeon. “As a wine community, there is much to learn from comparing the results of our endeavours and collaboratively celebrating our success.”

This year’s Wine Show medal winners will be available for public tasting on Friday October 31st at the Coonawarra Hall from 11.30am – 1.30pm ($15 admission including results book).

Editors: For further information or interviews, please phone Sarah Pidgeon on 0412 825 149.

Attached image caption: Chair Andrew Wigan assessing this year’s entries; Judging is underway inside the Coonawarra Hall.


2014 Limestone Coast Wine Show on next week!

                    MEDIA RELEASE 

21st October 2014

Hot on the heels of the weekend’s hugely successful Coonawarra Cabernet Celebrations comes the Limestone Coast’s next big wine event – the 14th annual Limestone Coast Wine Show. A total of 418 entries have been received for next week’s show, which is hosted by the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council.

Peter Lehmann Wines chief winemaker Andrew Wigan returns as chair of an exciting expert line-up preparing to scrutinise the region’s top drops. Judging will take place over four days inside the Coonawarra Hall, from October 27-30, and Beijing wine consultant and educator Fongyee Walker will join the panel for her second year as Guest International Judge.

“I am very much looking forward to coming back and seeing particularly the 2012’s that have undergone a bit of maturation,” she said.

Fongyee will arrive in the Limestone Coast this Wednesday in order to experience as many Limestone Coast wine districts as possible in the lead-up to the event, with the Mount Gambier GI among those regions relishing the opportunity to play host.

“As an emerging region we realise that it is imperative to utilise every opportunity to spread the word about Mount Gambier and its capacity to produce quality fruit and wines,” said Mount Gambier Regional Winegrower’s Association president Terry Strickland. “We are looking forward to showing Fongyee the region and providing a context for its cool climate wines.”  

Mount Gambier wines will be among a line-up of exceptional quality entries vying for trophies, with the Wine Show Committee saying that Cabernet and Shiraz varieties are again expected to dominate.

“The 2012 reds in particular are really starting to hit their straps, while the Reserve and Museum reds have also had strong support this year – it’s a real showcase class that certainly reflects the cellaring potential of wines from this area, and it’s always a highlight for the judges because there are so many beautiful gems,” says the Committee’s Sarah Pidgeon.

The panel’s favourite wines will be revealed at a Trophy Presentation Feast at the historic Katnook Woolshed on 30th October, 2014. The dinner menu will be matched with previous Wine Show trophy winners, and while tickets have now sold out, a waiting list is available.


Editors: Digital images of Fongyee Walker and Andrew Wigan are att. for your use.

Interview opportunities can be arranged with Sarah Pidgeon 0412 825 149 or Ulrich Grey Smith 0429 499 355.

Key dates – 2014 Limestone Coast Wine Show:

Judging: 27-30th October 2014, Coonawarra Hall

Presentation Dinner: 30th October 2014, Katnook Woolshed

Exhibitor & Public Tasting: 31st October 2014, Coonawarra Hall.




New technology tested in assessing eutypa impact


As part of the AGWA regional funding program we present a new paper;

Eutypa Impacts: Groundtruth Infrared Technologies


Soil stewards: getting the dirt on viticulture at a grassroots level






Soil stewards: getting the dirt on viticulture at a grassroots level


A select group of representatives from the Limestone Coast wine industry are about to explore exciting new depths within their chosen field as part of a long-term sustainability vision. Four successful applicants of the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council’s (LCGWC) inaugural Soil Stewardship program will embark on the first of three regional study tours this weekend examining soil-related issues within the industry. LCGWC chairman, Brendan Provis, says the soil stewards come from different disciplines and regions across the zone, and will be looking to unearth issues in their own ‘backyard’ before heading further afield.


“Starting in the Coorong, we will be mapping the good and the bad of the Limestone Coast and devising a plan to prioritise and address soil management across the region as a whole,” he says.


Participants will then travel to Margaret River and Perth in Western Australia, Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Victoria before the end of July to learn about innovative soil management practices with the potential to benefit the Limestone Coast.


“Our ultimate aim is to devise a long-term soil management strategy for this entire region,” says Mr Provis. “We are hoping to build on recent projects such as the ‘Unearthing Viticulture’ project and devise creative local solutions that value the world famous resources we work with, while also assisting in the development of highly skilled grape and wine industry leaders.”


The project is being co-ordinated by Ben Harris, chair of the LCGWC Technical Committee and vineyard manager of Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, Bellwether winemaker Sue Bell, and Padthaway grape grower Dr Mardi Longbottom, a senior viticulturist at the Australian Wine Research Institute and recipient of the 2012 Limestone Coast Sustainability Leaders Award.


“The Limestone Coast has a wealth of talent and resources in its people and this program will assist them to take their skills to the next level, building on their capacity and expertise in order to support adaptation and sustainability in the Limestone Coast,” says Dr Longbottom. “It is a fantastic opportunity for the leaders of the region to experience innovation in practice in other regions and industries.”


Melbourne-based advisor in environmental sustainability, Russell Fisher, has been appointed as program facilitator.


“What’s really interesting for me is the way the program brings together a multiplicity of perspectives on soil health and the skills and tools to influence and build greater resilience in the Limestone Coast wine industry,” he says.


The Soil Stewardship program is supported by funding from the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation’s regional program, the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and the Australian Wine Research Institute.


For further comment, please contact Sue Bell on Mobile 0417 080 945.

2014 Soil Steward profiles overleaf:


2014 LCGWC Soil Stewards:


Anna Hooper – Winemaker, Cape Jaffa Wines

Anna Hooper and her husband, Derek, produced the Limestone Coast’s first certified biodynamic wine range ‘La Lune’. Anna’s interest in soils stems from an ongoing passion for environmental sustainability, her biodynamic viticultural experiences and a winemaking philosophy that wine quality starts in the vineyard. Anna is on the South East Natural Resource Management Board and the South East Water Conservation and Drainage Board. She has also been involved in a number of voluntary roles relating to conservation in the local community. She is president of the Mount Benson Vignerons Association and sits on the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and the Wine Industry National Environment Committee. Anna holds a bachelor degree in Agricultural Science (oenology) and a Masters in Agribusiness.


Luke Tocaciu – Winemaker/Director, Patrick of Coonawarra

After graduating from the University of Adelaide with a degree in Oenology and completing vintages in the Clare Valley, the Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and the USA’s Sonoma Valley, Luke Tocaciu returned home to continue the legacy and tradition of the family business, Patrick of Coonawarra.
Luke has quickly made his mark on the company, securing several trophies, medals and praise from consumers. He is among an emerging generation of ‘young gun’ winemakers, demonstrating an ability to adapt to new age trends and consumer demand.


Nick Baverstock – Vineyard Manager, Penfolds Robe Vineyards

Nick Baverstock graduated with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Viticulture) from Adelaide University in 1999 and has been involved in the wine industry for 15 years, working in various viticultural roles. He currently manages a 250ha vineyard at Robe, which is responsible for providing exceptionally high quality grapes for premium Penfolds brands including St Henri and Bin 389. A keen conservationist, Nick has volunteered for many organisations and has been involved in developing viticultural knowledge at a regional level via several industry technical committees in both McLaren Vale and the Limestone Coast.


Kim Longbottom– Proprietor, Henry’s Drive Vignerons

In 1992, Kim Longbottom and her late husband, Mark, carefully selected sections of their Padthaway properties for vine planting, and the couple launched their first wines under the Henry’s Drive banner following a “dream vintage” in 1998. Today, the Henry’s Drive brand has grown to produce 100,000 cases with 10 different labels. Kim divides her time between the Padthaway Cellar Door and vineyards, her Adelaide home and works out of the company’s Kent Town office, where she oversees the day-to-day running of the business. The different varieties and styles of wine she discovers around Australia and the world continue to fascinate Kim, and the people she meets on her travels to different markets inspire her to continue building the Henry’s Drive name.

Soil Stewardship Recipients Announced


Investing in our people & soils: Limestone Coast Soil Stewardship program recipients announced.


Times have undoubtably been tough in recent years in the grape and wine game, even somewhere as well suited to viticulture & agriculture in general, like the Limestone Coast.


However times like this sort out long term players who genuinely care about the past, present & future.


The Limestone Coast Grape & Wine Council continues to show wonderful long term vision for what they know is a sustainable area for high quality grape growing & wine production.


Recent projects like ‘Unearthing Viticulture in the Limestone Coast’  and  the ‘Culture project’.  These projects show the depth, humility and resilience of the natural resources and people who live and work there.


A new project has just been announced and is being co-ordinated by Ben Harris, Chair of the Limestone Coast Grape & Wine Council Technical committee and  Vineyard Manager of Wynn’s Coonawarra Estate, Dr Mardi Longbottom, Padthaway grape grower and Senior Viticulturist at the Australian Wine Research Institute and Sue Bell,winemaker at Bellwether.



The four talented recipients of a place in the program are:

Anna Hooper

(Winemaker Cape Jaffa)

Luke Tocacui

(Winemaker/Director Patrick wines, Coonawarra).

Kim Longbottom

(Proprietor Henry’s Drive Vignerons)

Nick Baverstock

(Vineyard Manager, Penfolds Robe Vineyards)


The participants will travel to WA, Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Victoria meeting peers and experts from other industries to devise a long term soil management strategy for the Limestone Coast. Their journey will start in the Coorong in the Limestone Coast and will end in Coonawarra where they will present their plan.


The program is supported by funding from the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation’s regional program, the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council and the Australian Wine Research Institute.


‘We are hoping they will help build on recent projects, adding more depth and devise creative local solutions that value the world famous resources we work with’ says Sue, ‘the recipients come from different disciplines & regions across our zone, we have a great facilitator, Russell Fisher from Sustainability in mind, based in Victoria.


For further information about the program, please contact Ulrich Grey-Smith, Executive Officer Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council on 0429 499 355 or by email: tech3@limestonecoastwine.com.au


Grape industry seeks watertight mining commitment




26 February 2014

Grape industry seeks watertight mining commitment


One of South Australia’s peak viticultural organisations is calling for State election candidates to add their voice to widespread calls for a moratorium on unconventional shale gas mining. The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council (LCGWC), which represents all vineyards in the Limestone Coast, believes that water resource protection should take priority over mining and exploration, and has established a sub-committee to address the issue. LCGWC chair, Brendan Provis, says the wine industry won’t be the only sector to feel the impact of reduced aquifer volume and/or quality if regional exploration plans go awry.


“The greater Limestone Coast is absolutely dependent on the ground water supply which services our towns, our industry, our livestock and our irrigated agriculture. We have no other options; if this goes wrong, we do not have access to the Murray River, reservoirs, or desalination, and this is why any uncontrolled change in aquifer levels or any well failure rate is such a major concern,” he says.


The LCGWC is also concerned about the use of water during mining activity, given that stakeholders have been asked to accept significant reductions in water allocation since the Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan (WAP) was approved by the Environment Minister in late November 2013. “The WAP has no provision for mining – every drop is accounted for, and any new water uses will need to come from existing licence holders, be they viticulture, agriculture, potatoes or forestry,” says Mr Provis.


The Victorian State Government has a moratorium on ‘fracking’ in place until mid 2015, and the LCGWC is seeking a watertight commitment from both major South Australian political parties that water resources in this state will be protected. “While only exploratory licences have been issued, the intention to explore the possibility of many wells and large scale hydraulic fracturing using old and new techniques raises many risks,” says Mr Provis, adding that the offer of a parliamentary enquiry is unsatisfactory. “Parliamentary enquiries become a political process whereby compromises can occur. We, along with many other long-term local industries, cannot compromise our water resources.”


The LCGWC is concerned that the Liberal Candidate for Mount Gambier, Troy Bell, has not made his position on the issue clear enough. “Are they prepared to put an immediate halt to drilling or not? Saying that you will never support anything that puts the supply of water or its quality at risk simply isn’t enough when drilling activity is already underway,” says Mr Provis.


Meanwhile, the LCGWC has been buoyed by the support of Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, who recently indicated that he will move amendments to the Federal Government’s Environment Legislation Amendment Bill to prevent fracking from taking place where there will be an impact on water resources. “Senator Xenophon has listened to Limestone Coast residents and is aware of the loophole in the existing law, which is placing our groundwater supplies in jeopardy,” says Mr Provis.


The LCGWC also has the support of Independent Mount Gambier MP, Don Pegler, who wrote to the Environment Minister, Ian Hunter, in December calling for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing “until such time that an iron clad guarantee can be given that our environment will not be threatened”.


For further comment, please contact Brendan Provis, Chair LCGWC, Mobile 0408 849 566.


Key’s Report 13 February

Travelling the underground

Written by Tony Keys, The Key Report 13th February 2014 www.thekeyreport.com.au

Fracking is causing upset in the south-east of South Australia. It poses a possible threat to the wine regions of Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, Robe, Mount Gambier and Mount Benson, or, collectively, the Limestone Coast.

Beach Energy commenced drilling on January 11 just  two kilometres south of Penola. The (Jolly-1 vertical) well is exploring the potential of shale and tight sandstone, which have potential for liquids-rich gas.

The map shows the situation of the well and just how far the company wants to explore. Can it be trusted to look after the land? The company, of course, says yes. But it also says the aim of Beach Energy is “to increase shareholders’ wealth through profitable investment in exploration, development and production” .

As we are well aware, wealth creation is often at the cost of the land.

As in other parts of Australia and the world, this is a sensitive issue, and an issue that has politicians arguing. The Greens are clear they are against it; other parties are confusing as they appear to want the product but not the method of obtaining it. They want to save jobs but not lose the vote of the farmers and landowners. It’s ongoing and will affect all our lives, and possibly those of our children as well.

The practical issue of concern as far as grape growers and other farmers is pollution of the aquifer. Beach Energy says the community is confusing the extraction of coal seam gas with shale gas extraction. The former requires a lot of water; the latter not as much and the water is reused. TKR asked Allen Jenkins, president of Coonawarra Grape and Wine Incorporated, to state the growers’ case. Jenkins is also senior viticulturist for Treasury Wine Estates in the region. He said:

“This issue is one of relevance to much of the Lower Limestone Coast (not just Coonawarra). If unconventional shale gas mining and associated high volume, high pressure slickwater fracking were to expand over this sort of area (180,000 hectares) a large number of wells would be required and the long term future of our water supplies in this important part of South Australia could be seriously compromised.

“A local newspaper has reported the wells would be five kilometres apart. If they were to locate the major well heads on a 5 X 5 km grid then 10 wells per year would cover around 250 sq km or 25,000 hectares.

“The whole Limestone Coast is absolutely dependent on the ground water supply which services our town water, our industry, our livestock, and our irrigated agriculture. We have no other options, we do not have access to the River Murray, or reservoirs, or desalination. We are not confusing coal seam gas with the unconventional shale gas (USG) exploration currently underway just south of Penola.  

“Our understanding is that all USG needs fracking and Beach Energy indicated in their Penola public consultation their intent to hydraulically fracture these first two exploration wells. (Evidently they have no approval for fracking as yet.)

“Despite the commentary about a long history of gas wells in the Limestone Coast, our understanding is they have all been conventional wells, not unconventional shale. This is a new deal with new risks and an array of unknown consequences.

“Beach in their Penola consultation indicated that approximately four megalitres of water would be required for establishment and fracking of each horizontal well. Our understanding is that at each major well pad around six horizontal wells are drilled through the shale layer, each up to 1.2km long. This would mean around 24 ML would be required at each major well site. How much is recycled and really required is beyond my expertise.

“The big issue for us is that wells don’t last forever – steel and cement decay. We are a long term industry and many vineyards are being replanted in Coonawarra, and the expectation is for a 40 to 50-year life span. If the gas wells fail in 30 years’ time, and the ground water is contaminated or potentially drained into lower geology then the future of this region is compromised. Short term thinking and financial gain should not be allowed to compromise this amazing water supply and landscape for future generations. Seismic activity potentially precipitated by extensive high pressure fracking and also naturally occurring is also a very real long term risk to well integrity.

“We also have just completed 12 years of negotiations and activity leading to a new Lower Limestone Coast Water Allocation Plan (WAP) which has a precautionary principle as its major tenet. As part of this WAP we are taking 15 per cent cuts to assist preserve our water resource, and so it is very concerning to see another industry come in and be given carte blanche access to water.

“Unfortunately, we don’t see any precautionary principle in evidence from our SA Govt re USG when compared to Victoria and NSW, who are taking a more measured approach. We also don’t know what contaminants the fracking water will bring to the surface when returned. Nor do we know what will be done to dispose of this waste in an environmentally safe manner.

“In essence, enough doubt exists that there can be no guarantee of zero harm to the precious ground water, and as a consequence we want to see a more precautionary approach to this issue.”

Announcing the 2014 soil stewardship program


The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council (LCGWC) are pleased to announce an exciting project taking place the Limestone Coast Wine Zone. The LCGWC are calling for applications to their ‘Soil Stewardship’ program, a year long program that will take participants on several regional study tours and assist in the development of highly skilled grape and wine industry leaders.

The LCGWC Chairman, Mr Brendan Provis, said, “This project will give 4 members of our viticulture and winemaking community a unique opportunity to study soil related issues in other parts of Australia, and evaluate how those learnings can benefit our own soil environment.”

Dr Mardi Longbottom, AWRI Senior Viticulturist and recipient of the 2012 Limestone Coast Sustainability Leaders Award said, “The aim of this program is to build the capacity and expertise of the group which will support adaptation and sustainability in the Limestone Coast. It is a fantastic opportunity for the leaders of the region to experience innovation in practice in other regions and in other industries.”

“The Limestone Coast has a wealth of talent and resources in its people. This program will assist them to take their skills to the next level,” Dr Longbottom said.

The Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council Technical Sub Committee is the peak research body for the Limestone Coast Zone. The main endeavour of this group is to facilitate the growth of technical knowledge in viticulture and winemaking. The Soil Stewardship program will support a group of passionate individuals to travel to Western Australia, Adelaide, the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek to experience innovative soil management practices with the potential to benefit the Limestone Coast. The group will also participate in leadership activities which will assist with the adoption of the learnings in the Limestone Coast.

The LCGWC ‘Soil Leaders’ program is available to 4 people in the Limestone Coast grape and wine community. The program is being funded through the generous support of the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation Regional program.

For further information contact Ulrich Grey-Smith on 0429 499 355 or email: tech3@limestonecoastwine.com.au