Wine Show of Western Australia

History of the Wine Show of Western Australia

The Wine Show of Western Australia is one of Australia's most respected wine shows. It is the state's premier wine show, judging Western Australian wines exclusively, mirroring the growth of the state's wine industry and providing wine enthusiasts with insights into the best of Western Australia's wines.

In 1978 the Wine Show had an inauspicious start as Section L in the Annual Mount Barker and District Agricultural Society Show Schedule (in between Section K Farm Produce and Section M Home Cooking).

In that year Section L comprised of just six classes of wine that attracted ten very enthusiastic exhibitors with 26 entries judged solely by Western Australian John Hanley.Two trophies and a total of 14 medals were awarded that year: one gold, seven silver and six bronze.

From those beginnings the Wine Show has grown in scale and stature to become a separate and distinguished event managed by an independent committee of the Society. The contemporary Wine Show reflects the development of Western Australia’s wine industry, which has grown from small beginnings into a major international player in wine production, with a world class reputation.

The Wine Show attracted its first major sponsorship in 1982 when Trans Australian Airlines offered two flights to the National Wine Show in Canberra for the winners of the Best White Wine and Best Red Wine of Show and also flew the well credentialed Brian Croser in from the East to act as Chief Judge.

The Wine Show continues to increase in popularity and prestige and since 1998 an international judge has been involved in judging at the Wine Show. Currently the Chief Judge oversees three judging panels each comprising of a chair, two judges and two associate judges who evaluate 43 classes of wine across ten sections.

In 2006, the Annual Wine Show Awards Presentation Dinner was relocated from Mount Barker to the Hyatt Regency Perth, enabling more guests from the wine and hospitality industries and others who appreciate wine to be a part of the celebration. In 2017 the Presentation Dinner celebrated the fortieth year of the Wine Show of Western Australia.  In 2016 Singapore Airlines became the major sponsor of the Wine Show and this relationship highlighted the important role the wine industry now plays in the state's cultural and agricultural identity, both nationwide and internationally. 

In 2018 the Wine Show returned to its regional roots by centralising all awards and presentation activities in Mount Barker. The Wine Show is pleased to announce that in 2020 the show will be the Portavin Wine Show of WA and that we will have two panels of WA based judges in this year of the corona-virus.

For a list of trophy winners from 2003 through 2019, visit the Trophy Winners page or click here.