21st October 2015
A record number of wine producers have entered next week’s 15th annual Limestone Coast Wine Show, with 87 different exhibitors nominating 443 of their top drops for close scrutiny. The Show Committee’s Sarah Pidgeon says the figure is 10 per cent higher than last year. “This is the most exhibitors the wine show has had and reflects some pleasing interest in the event from newer winemakers around the regions, as well as strong entries from long-time supporters of the show,” she says.
All wines entered have been crafted with grapes grown in the Limestone Coast, which boasts a prestigious international reputation for Cabernet in particular. “Around three quarters of the entries are for red wine classes, with the two-year-old reds once again attracting the most confidence,” Sarah says. “The 2013 vintage was a strong one, and the judges should look forward to some terrific wines in those classes, while the Museum Red Class (showcasing wines that are seven-years-old or older) has also attracted a lot of interest – many local wineries take pride in showcasing these precious older wines within this class and recognise that this is a highlight for the visiting judges.”
One of Australia’s most respected wine journalists, Jane Faulkner, is the new Chief of Judges. She will be joined on the panel by winemakers Steph Dutton (Penfolds), David Morris (Morris Wines, Rutherglen) and Stuart Watson (Woodlands, Margaret River), and sommelier Patrick White. Leading Singapore consultant Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS, will bring a global perspective to the event as this year’s guest International Judge. Hwee Peng is scheduled to fly to Mount Gambier this Friday (October 23) and will spend three days touring Coonawarra, Robe and Mount Benson before judging begins at the Coonawarra Hall on Monday October 26.
The trophy winners will be determined on Thursday October 29 ahead of that evening’s Trophy Presentation dinner hosted by the Mount Gambier Wine Region at The Barn. The dinner will also feature a special presentation from the back-to-back winner of the Arthur Hoffman Trophy for ‘Viticulturist of Best Wine of Show’, Trent Brand.
“I was fortunate to tour New Zealand in July as part of my prize, visiting Hawkes Bay on the North Island and then the Marlborough region and Central Otago on the South Island to look at their grape production methods and different use of machinery, to see what may be useful for us here,” Trent explains. “Some of their sustainability efforts are really fascinating, including one winery which is baling up canes from their vines to fuel a boiler to help heat their premises.”
Trent Brand won the top award on the back of the stunning success of Brand’s Laira’s Coonawarra One Seven One Cabernet Sauvignon, which has dominated the Limestone Coast Wine Show for the past two years. Last year’s Chairman of judges, Andrew Wigan, said the 2012 vintage “did a demolition job on every other wine in the show” when it collected four trophies, with the winery hinging its hopes on the 2013 vintage for next week’s event.
“It’s still a very good wine, but it depends on what the competition is like,” Trent smiles.
IMPORTANT DATES: Judging 26-29th October at the Coonawarra Hall
Trophy Dinner 29th October at The Barn.
Exhibitors Tasting 30th October at Coonawarra Hall 9:30am (Public tasting is from 11.30am – 1.30pm – $15 admission including results book.)
Images att: 2013 and 2014 Arthur Hoffmann trophy winner Trent Brand visiting a Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Hawks Bay, New Zealand, and a Sauvignon Blanc vineyard at Yealand Estate, Marlborough. Further information: Sarah Pidgeon, LCWS Committee, on 0412 825 149 or visit limestonecoastwine.com.au