Wines vying for gongs at Wine Show of WA as judging starts in Mt Barker

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Judges Courtney Treacher and Ying Hsien Tan last year.
Camera IconJudges Courtney Treacher and Ying Hsien Tan last year.

Some of WA’s best drops will be judged over the next three days at the Wine Show of WA Awards in Mt Barker.

The competition, which started as part of the Mt Barker and District Agricultural Show in 1978, is the only wine show in the State that judges exclusively West Australian wines.

At one stage, the organisers were prepared to cancel this year’s event because of COVID-19, but with restrictions easing, the show will go on with some changes.

Typically, the competition judges 37 classes, but for this year, the classes have been restricted to 18.

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Organiser Marie O’Dea said they could not get interstate judges for the 2020 event.

“We were prompted to run a show because 2020 had been a really good vintage, so there were going to be quality wines available,” she said. “We were aware though that there hasn’t been as many grapes, so the tonnage wasn’t there.”

It will be a busy three days for judges with more than 650 wines from recent vintages entered in the awards, which was more than they expected.

The judging panels will be led by chair of judges Courtney Treacher, the senior winemaker at Houghton Wines.

Ms O’Dea said recognition at the show could give a dramatic boost to the marketing of wines and their commercial success.

“It is about the regions assessing themselves against other,” she said.

“This is the third year that we’ve had an award for best Great Southern wine because there isn’t a show that judges just the Great Southern wine.”

The Wine Show of WA will be held at the Frost Park Pavilion.

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