Entries are now open for the 2018 Limestone Coast Wine Show

Region's top drops to be scrutinised by new-look judging line-up

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Limestone Coast Wine Show Judge 2018 Samantha Connew

Limestone Coast Wine Show Judge 2018 Samantha Connew [©Limestone Coast Wine Show]

The 2016 Limestone Coast Awards winners circle
Limestone Coast Wine Show Judge 2018 Sam Kim
All the wines lined up, Limestone Coast Wine Awards 2017


Online entries for the 2018 Limestone Coast Wine Show (LCWS) are now open, with the region’s top drops set to be scrutinised by a new-look judging line-up packed with experience and credentials.

In a competition first, 10 judges will oversee the event rather than the traditional six, reflecting the strong participation of local producers.

Three judging panels will be led by acclaimed Tasmania-based winemaker and consultant, Samantha Connew, who takes over from popular Melbourne wine critic Jane Faulkner as the new chief of judges. In 2007, Samantha was named ‘International Red Winemaker of the Year’, and she was the first female chair of judges at the Sydney Royal Wine Show (2014). She has previously worked as a senior winemaker in the Hunter Valley and McLaren Vale, and launched her Tasmanian solo project, Stargazer Wines, in 2013.

This year’s guest international judge is New Zealand-based wine judge and author, Sam Kim, who publishes the online wine review magazine Wine Orbit. Sam holds a Certificate in Winemaking and has been judging wine for two decades at wine competitions including The Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Decanter Asia Wine Awards and The Spiegelau International Wine Competition.

Further high-profile LCWS judges hail from Margaret River, Melbourne, Griffith, Adelaide and the Limestone Coast, bringing an unprecedented level of scrutiny and palate diversity to the program. Between them, they will be tasting an estimated 500 of the region's favourite wines at the Coonawarra Hall from 22-26 October.

Last year’s wine show unearthed the broadest list of trophy winners in the event’s history, with all Limestone Coast regions represented. It saw a near-record haul of 72 gold medals, with 92 silver and 142 bronze also awarded. Organisers are hoping for similar success in 2018 on the back of a strong vintage.

“The wine show offers a great opportunity for wineries to have their wines tasted by some of the top palates and influencers in the wine world, and we encourage all Limestone Coast producers to get on board and enter,” says the LCWS Committee’s Sarah Pidgeon. “This year for the first time, we are also opening classes to 2018 bottled red wines, reflecting the growing popularity of ‘early release’ fresh drinking styles.”

Printed schedule booklets will be posted out to past entrants this week, and entries can be lodged at limestonecoastwine.com.au . Entries close on Friday 24th August and trophy winners will be announced on Thursday 25th October at a dinner at Naracoorte Town Hall hosted by the Wrattonbully Wine Region.

2018 LCWS Judges:

  • Samantha Connew, winemaker, Stargazer Wines Tasmania
  •  Sam Kim, wine communicator, Auckland NZ
  • Julian Langworthy, winemaker, Deep Woods Margaret River
  • Emma Norbiato, winemaker,  Calabria Wines  Riverina
  • Margot Muir, manager The Ed Cellars Adelaide
  • Patrick White, sommelier Bocca Di Lupo McLaren Vale
  • Jeni Port, freelance journalist, Melbourne
  • Sue Hodder, winemaker, Wynns Coonawarra Estate
  • Anna Hooper, winemaker, Cape Jaffa Wines
  • Luke Tocaciu, winemaker, Patrick of Coonawarra.

Key dates:
Entries open Monday 23rd July
Entries close Fri 24th August
Judging 22nd-25th 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


  • Limestone Coast (SA)

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July 24th, 2018
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