19th September 2017


Entries for the 2017 Limestone Coast Wine show have fallen just five bottles short of a new record. A total of 497 of the region’s favourite wines have been nominated for the October 23-26 event, with organisers toasting the industry’s continued support

Cabernet has maintained its tradition as the most popular wine entered in the show with more than 140 nominations, and red varieties account for 70 per cent of overall entries. Rose numbers are up, and fizz has also made a comeback, with a sharp swing in sparkling wine submissions. ‘Other Red Varieties’ is another category on the rise, showcasing the region’s smaller experimental plantings of lesser-known varieties like Montepulciano, Tempranillo and Malbec.

The Provenance classes, meanwhile, have maintained their strong following after first being introduced in 2016. Established labels are asked to submit three vintages of the same wine to be judged for consistency of style and quality over time, providing a medium to long-term reflection of the growth and development of Limestone Coast wines.

“Provenance classes have become a popular addition to wine shows in recent years, and nowhere else does such a class make sense more than the Limestone Coast, where ageability of our reds already has such a strong reputation,” says the wine show committee’s Sarah Pidgeon.

Judging for the 17th annual event will again take place over three days at the Coonawarra Hall, and tickets for the October 26 trophy presentation feast are now on sale. The dinner is always incredibly popular and sells out early, with this year’s soiree set to be hosted by the Padthaway Wine Region.

“A marquee will be erected on the lawns of Henry’s Drive Cellar Door, and local catering firm St Bee’s will prepare a feast for 120 guests,” says dinner MC, Krysteen McElroy. “The evening will have a strong community flavour, with the menu and décor highlighting the region’s vibrancy and diversity.”

Speakers on the night will include chief of judges, Jane Faulkner, guest international judge Sarah Ahmed from the UK, and back-to-back winner of the Viticulturist of the Year trophy, Peter Balnaves. Tickets are available online at www.limestonecoastwine.com.au/wineshow/dinner/


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


Snail and Earwig Workshop – 18Sept – bookings open


Snail and Earwig Workshop



14th August 2017


Entries for the 2017 Limestone Coast Wine show close at the end of next week on August 25, 2017. The 17th annual event promises to be another great showcase of the regions, with early signs of high entry numbers on the back of a strong vintage.

Chief of judges, Jane Faulkner, will be joined by an exciting new expert line-up in her final year at the helm. Brown Brothers winemaking consultant, Wendy Cameron MW, has been appointed chair of the new-look panel, which also includes Margaret River winemaker and Jimmy Watson Award-winner Julian Langworthy, 2016 Australian Women in Wine Awards Winemaker of the Year Emma Norbiato from the Riverina, and sommelier and manager of Melbourne’s City Wine Shop Jeremy Prideaux. In addition, UK-based freelance wine writer and educator Sarah Ahmed has accepted the invitation to be guest international judge, bringing her comprehensive knowledge of Portugese and Australian wines to this region.

“That’s five new palates offering new perspectives on Limestone Coast wines – it’s a really strong team, and entrants can look forward to great diversity of opinions and ultimately some really valuable feedback on their wines,” says the wine show committee’s Sarah Pidgeon.

In other exciting developments for this year’s show, the Provenance Class introduced in 2016 has been expanded to include separate awards for red and white varieties. The class gives exhibitors the opportunity to showcase the remarkable ageability of their wines by entering three vintages of the same wine to be judged for consistency, excellence of style, and pedigree.

“We had such strong support and quality in this class last year that we could see the benefit of awarding both a red and white provenance winner,” Sarah Pidgeon explains. “We’ve also made some changes to entry conditions for this class in order to make sure more people have the opportunity to enter – there will be one entry fee for the three vintages entered with two bottles only required for this class, and any unused bottles of the older vintages will be returned to the exhibitor at the public tasting on Friday 27th October.”

This year’s event will also see separate trophies awarded to a sweet and sparkling wine due to strong recent showings in both categories, bringing the total number of trophies and awards available to 22. Judging will take place at the Coonawarra Hall from Monday 23rd – Thursday 26th October, with the Padthaway Wine Region set to host the October 26 trophy presentation dinner.

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


Sarah Ahmed

Vintage Report 2017


2017 Vintage Report

Response to Hon.Tom Koutsantonis Announcement



Before the main event – vintage 2017 – come and participate in a field walk/seminar


Before the main event – vintage 2017 – come and participate in a field walk/seminar 

Wednesday March 22, will be a half day where grape growers can mingle amongst Coonawarra Cabernet vines assessing rootstocks as well as learning about the latest research on Eutypa and participate in the launch of a best management practice guide for iron bacteria.

Commencing at 8am at the Coonawarra Hall, participants will be ferried to the Coonawarra Cabernet Rootstock trial to listen to Suzanne McLoughlin from Vine Health Australia present the latest data from the trial which commenced in 2009/10. Growers will be able to physically see the rootstocks and developing fruit and be able to determine how they perform on a commercial basis. 

Following on from morning tea back at the Coonawarra Hall, Mark Sosnowski (South Australian Research Development Institute) will present on a newly funded project titled: Grapevine trunk disease management for vineyard longevity in diverse climates of Australia. This project commenced in January 2017 and has a co-investment from the LSCGWC to ensure the region continues to be at the forefront of Eutypa research and management.

The final presenter of the day will be Glenn Harrington (Innovative Ground Water solutions) who will introduce the results of the Irrigating from the unconfined aquifer survey (undertaken in August/Sept 2016). Additionally Glenn will launch the  best management practice guide which stemmed from the survey as a tool to assist farmers in the LSC understand how to manage the unique qualities of the irrigation water sourced from the unconfined aquifer. This includes iron bacteria, salinity and high levels of calcium and magnesium.

Bought to you by the Limestone Coast Grape and Wine Council as part of the Regional program of Wine Australia. Other partners include Coonawarra Vignerons, Vine Health Australia and SENRM.

To register : http://limestonecoastwine.com.au/whats-on/field-day-coonawarra/

Further information: Kerry DeGaris (0417) 408 796 or Cath Kidman (0439) 352 143

Limestone Coast Wine Show unearths Hot 76 Summer Sips



Monday 5th DECEMBER 2016

Limestone Coast Wine Show unearths Hot 76 Summer Sips

South Australia’s Limestone Coast has released a new list of summer sips to satisfy all wine lovers this festive season. The ‘Hot 76’ List showcases the record 76 gold medal winners at October’s Limestone Coast Wine Show judged in Coonawarra.

“This year’s figure well and truly eclipsed the previous all-time high of 61 set in 2015, so we think this is something to celebrate,” says the Limestone Coast Wine Show committee’s Sarah Pidgeon. “These are the Limestone Coast region’s best of the best as judged by some of Australia’s most prominent wine critics, so it will certainly be worth stocking your cellar with some of these terrific wines while they are still available.”

The HOT 76 List features nearly 20 different wine styles highlighting the diversity of the Limestone Coast’s seven wine regions.

“The fact that we have gold medals representing such a large variety of wines and vineyards reflects the Limestone Coast’s varied strengths and exciting terroir,” Sarah says.

The list is the must-have menu for Christmas hosts, with wines divided into a range of categories depending on the occasion. Festive Fizz will get the mood rolling, followed by a mouth-watering selection of Crisp Whites, Fragrant Shiraz, Succulent Red Blends and Sweet Treats starting from as low as $9 dollars a bottle.

“A majority of the medal winners – including the overall trophy winners – retail between the $15 – $40 dollar mark which is exceptional value when you consider that they have been voted the region’s best,” Sarah says.

In keeping with tradition, Cabernet Sauvignon was the most heavily awarded wine style at this year’s show, collecting 30 gold medals. The wine category features several ‘top shelf’ wines retailing for up to $200, but the great buys begin at $15 a bottle.

“The List’s ‘Aged to Perfection’ museum wines dating back as far as 2004 are also well worth considering for special occasions such as Christmas dinner or New Year’s Eve as they not only taste superb, but really highlight the ageability of Limestone Coast Cabernet and Shiraz,” Sarah says.

The full HOT 76 List is HERE. For images from the 2016 Limestone Coast Wine Show (by photographer Marcus Jones) please click here. For further information, please contact Sarah Pidgeon, LCWS Committee, on Mob. 0412 825 149 or visit limestonecoastwine.com.au

Response to findings in Unconventional Gas Inquiry December 2016


Wrattonbully’s Pepper Tree wins Limestone Coast Wine Show – again!


Friday 28th OCTOBER 2016

Wrattonbully’s Pepper Tree wins Limestone Coast Wine Show – again!

Pepper Tree Wines has dominated the Limestone Coast Wine Show for the second year in a row. The 2013 Pepper Tree ‘Elderslee Road’ Single Vineyard Wrattonbully Cabernet Sauvignon won the David Wynn Trophy for ‘Best Red Wine of Show’, the H.R. (Ron) Haselgrove O.B.E. Trophy for ‘Best Cabernet Sauvignon of Show’ and was also named the ‘Best Individual Vineyard Wine’ at last night’s VINE | STONE | COAST presentation feast hosted by the Robe and Mount Benson wine regions. The wine then went on to claim the Bill Redman Trophy for ‘Best Wine of Show’, with viticulturist Peter Balnaves claiming the highly coveted Arthur Hoffmann Trophy and back-to-back titles as ‘Viticulturist of Best Wine of Show’.

“Unless you’ve got good grapes and people that are interested in growing good grapes, it’s hard to get the wine over the line, so thanks very much,” Mr Balnaves told the crowd.

Balnaves of Coonawarra manages Pepper Tree Wines’ Limestone Coast vineyards, and the Balnaves family’s own winning streak continued when they claimed another ‘Best Chardonnay’ Trophy for the 2015 Balnaves Chardonnay. The wine was also awarded the Colin Kidd Trophy for ‘Best White Wine of Show’.

Leconfield Coonawarra secured a triple trophy haul, winning ‘Most Successful Exhibitor’ along with the ‘Small Batch and Experimental Wines’ trophy for the 2015 Leconfield Petit Verdot, and the Peter Wehl Trophy for ‘Best Merlot’ for the 2015 Leconfield Merlot.

A new ‘Wine of Provenance’ Trophy was added to this year’s prize pool, providing a platform for exhibitors to enter three vintages of the same wine, and Majella Cabernet from 2014, 2009 and 2004 was declared the stand-out.

“The region is just made for this type of class – it’s about heritage, it’s about lineage, and while it was really exciting to see that depth and breadth with five whites and eight reds in contention, it was not surprising that Cabernet dominated,” said Chief of Judges Jane Faulkner.

The accolades continued for the family-owned Majella Wines, with the 2005 Majella Cabernet collecting the Ewen Fergusson McBain Trophy for ‘Best Museum Wine’, and the 2014 Majella Shiraz taking out the
International Judges’ Award.

“It was the most vibrant, juicy, drinkable wine – maybe not the most complex wine in the show, but it was just super delicious,” said guest judge, Jane Skilton MW, from New Zealand.

The 2016 Tidswell Wines Heathfield Vermentino took out the new ‘Chief of Judges Wine to Watch’ Trophy.

“I loved that wine – it was varietal, it was zesty and bright with crunchy acidity and sea spray salty characters, and it just shows you that there is opportunity for other varieties to fit into this region,” Jane Faulkner said.

Rounding out the trophy winners for the Limestone Coast Wine Show’s 16th annual event, The Karl Seppelt Trophy for ‘Best Aromatic White Wine (excluding Chardonnay)’ was awarded to the 2016 Cellarmasters Lysander Limestone Coast Sauvignon Blanc, while the 2015 Hollick Wines The Nectar won ‘Best Sparkling or Sweet Wine’. The 2015 Wynns Coonawarra Estate Cabernet Shiraz Merlot collected the ‘Best Blended Red’ trophy, while the 2014 Limestone Coast Wines ‘The Hidden Sea’ Shiraz won the Eric Brand Trophy for Best Shiraz.

The 2016 wine show saw a record medal haul, with a total of 76 gold medals eclipsing the previous record of 61 set in 2015. A further 102 silver and 130 bronze medals were also awarded from the 501 entries received.

Entries in this year’s show will be uncorked and available for tasting at the Coonawarra Hall this morning (Friday October 28), offering members of the public an opportunity to try the wines and compare notes with the expert judging panel. The Exhibitor’s Tasting will be held from 9:00am, and the Public Tasting from 11.30am – 1.30pm ($15 admission including results book).

Editors: Please phone Sarah Pidgeon from the Limestone Coast Wine Show Committee on 0412 825 149 to arrange interviews with the winners. Video interviews with selected winners and judges will also be uploaded onto www.limestonecoastwine.com.au and the Limestone Coast Wine Show Facebook page.

The full list of trophy winners is attached. Images of trophy winners and social photos supplied by Marcus Jones are available by contacting publicity assistant Gretel Sneath – 0417382035 / [email protected]

Limestone Coast Wine Show on next week




19th OCTOBER 2016

Limestone Coast Wine Show on next week

Guest international judge, Jane Skilton MW, arrives in the Limestone Coast on Thursday ahead of next week’s Limestone Coast Wine Show. The leading New Zealand wine educator and writer will tour Coonawarra, Padthaway and Wrattonbully in the lead-up to the 16th annual event, with four days of judging set to get underway at Coonawarra Hall on Monday.

Jane Skilton MW is a regular senior judge at the Royal Easter Wine Show, the NZ International Wine Show, the Spiegelau International Wine Competition, and the Hawkes Bay Wine Awards. She has also judged in London, Tokyo, Brisbane, Rutherglen and Shanghai, and says she is looking forward to her first year of involvement in the Limestone Coast Wine Show.

“I really love judging regional shows; it gives an excellent overview of a region, the vintages, winemakers – much more than giant national shows,” Jane says. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the region is preserving its heritage and sense of place, but also meeting the challenges of competition from more ‘in vogue’ wine styles like pinot noir, for example.”

Distancing herself from what she describes as New Zealand’s “Pinocentric” view, Jane lists sparkling wine, chardonnay in all of its forms (especially chablis), Rutherglen muscat/tokay and cabernet sauvignon among her favourite wine styles.

“When I told (fellow NZ judge) Michael Brajkovich I was judging, he said ‘Coonawarra is the most under-rated red wine area in Australia’ which is high praise indeed,” she reveals.

Jane began her wine career in London and moved to New Zealand in 2000, where she founded the NZ School of Wines and Spirits.

“I teach the Wine and Spirit Education Trust qualifications and general wine courses to trade and consumers pretty much full time, so I explain to the students where the Limestone Coast is and the fact that it is a heritage region,” she says.  “I’ve been a couple of times but have never actually seen the coast itself.”

Next Thursday evening (27 October), the coastal Robe and Mount Benson wine regions will host the wine show’s sell-out trophy presentation dinner on the Robe foreshore in a clear-sided marquee overlooking Guichen Bay, complete with vine chandeliers, locally carved limestone bowls, and festoon lighting. Jane Skilton will select her favourite wine from amongst the entries for the highly coveted International Judges Award, while a brand new Wine of Provenance Trophy and a new Chief of Judges ‘Wine to Watch’ will be among other prestigious awards up for grabs during the seafood-themed feast.


Judging 24-27th October at the Coonawarra Hall

Trophy dinner 27th October on Robe Foreshore

Exhibitors & Public Tasting Friday 28th October at Coonawarra Hall 9am-1:30pm

Image att: Guest international judge Jane Skilton MW.

For further information, please contact Sarah Pidgeon, LCWS Committee, on Mob. 0412 825 149 or visit limestonecoastwine.com.au