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.
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