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State’s best wines put to the test

Jenne BrammerCountryman
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Camera IconWA's best wines were scrutinised at the recent Exhibitors' Tasting, as part of the Wine Show of WA. Credit: Countryman

The State’s top wines will be unveiled this weekend as part of the 39th annual Wine Show of WA.

This year’s Wine Show of WA attracted 1009 entries from 140 exhibitors, vying for medals across 43 classes. There are also 20 trophies to be awarded at a dinner this weekend, including the prestigious Trophy for Best Wine of Show.

Wine Show of WA committee chairman Joanne Bradbury said entries came in from across WA’s nine gazetted wine producing areas, namely Perth Hills, Swan Valley, Pemberton, Margaret River, Geographe, Peel, Blackwood Valley, Manjimup and Great Southern.

The 2016 judging panel is headed by Iain Riggs, who is the immediate past chair of judges at the Sydney Royal Wine Show. Supporting him is a strong panel of senior judges, including Pete Dillon (Victoria), Samantha Connew (Tasmania), and Stuart Watson (WA). The UK’s award winning wine writer, wine judge, author and broadcaster Jane Parkinson also joined the team of judges this year.

Ms Bradbury, also producer at the Mt Barker-based 3Drops, said two of the main industry events ahead of the lead up to the Awards Dinner on October 29 took place earlier this month. These included the Exhibitors Tasting, an opportunity for the exhibitors (winemakers and wine producers) and wine trade to taste the wines and discuss the results with the judges. All 1009 bottles were available to taste, though winemakers tend to select wines from particular classes they are interested.

Ms Bradbury said this event provided the opportunity for producers and winemakers to benchmark their wines against the others entered in that class, and to obtain national and international feedback on their wines.

In addition an exhibitors lunch was held at Plantagenet Wines and attended by around 150 winemakers and producers, wine trade, sponsors and interested members of the Mt Barker Community. Both the chief judge and the international judge spoke about their impression of the wines judged at the show.

Two further wine show events, open to the public, are also part of the Wine Show of WA. A tasting of the top 50 medal winning wines, was held at the Print Hall in Perth on Wednesday. The Wine Show of WA will then culminate in the Awards dinner to be held at the Hyatt Regency on Saturday night. Trophies are announced at this event.

“These events in Perth help to promote the results and give people the opportunity to try WA’s best wines,” Ms Bradbury said.

The Wine Show of WA started in 1978, with just six classes, as part of the Mount Barker and District Agricultural Show, since growing to become a separate event which each year determines the best of WA wines.

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