History of the Wine Show of Western Australia

Created in Mount Barker 39 years ago, the Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia has earned a reputation as one of Australia's most respected wine shows mirroring the growth of the state's wine industry and providing wine enthusiasts with insights into the best of Western Australia's wines.

It is the state's premier wine show, judging exclusively Western Australian wines.

From small beginnings in 1978 as a section of the Annual Mount Barker and District Agricultural Society Show the Wine Show of Western Australia, Mount Barker has since grown in scale and stature to become a separate and distinguished event managed by an independent committee, with the highly regarded awards known as the Wine Show of Western Australia.

The Wine Show is the one wine show in Australia to exclusively judge Western Australian grown wines and its 36 year evolution mirrors the development of Western Australia's wine industry, as it too has grown from small beginnings into a major international player in wine growing, with a world class reputation.

In 1978, the wine show was comprised of just six classes which saw ten very enthusiastic exhibitors with twenty six entries judged solely by Chief Judge, John Hanley from Western Australia.

Two trophies and a total of 14 medals were awarded that year, one gold, seven silver and six bronze. The show was then known as the Mount Barker Wine Show, and Australian Airlines, the forerunner to Qantas Airlines, was the major sponsor for the show, offering an Australian Airlines flight to Canberra for the winner of the Best Wine of Show to attend the National Wine Show.

The Wine Show of Western Australia has since steadily increased in popularity and interest with the 2012 show boasting 42 classes and 1,125 entries from 185 exhibitors. Seventeen trophies and a total of 504 medals were awarded in 2011, 51 gold, 106 silver and 347 bronze medals which were presented at a Gala Awards Dinner.

The 2015 wines were judged by three panels of judges led by respected wine journalist and Judge, Jane Faulkner. The three panels were made up from eight senior judges and six associate judges. For details of the judges for the 2016 Show, please see the Judges page.

The Wine Show of Western Australia anticipates continued growth as it enters its 39th year. The show's longevity reflecting the important role the Western Australian wine industry now plays in the state's cultural and agricultural identity, both nation-wide and world-wide.

This year we say goodbye to Qantas Airways who was the major sponsor of the Wine Show of Western Australia since taking over Australian Airways in 1993. This year we warmly welcome Singapore Airlines as our major sponsor and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with them over the coming years.

Singapore Airlines' partnership for the Wine Show also extends to bringing various judges to WA from the Eastern States and flying in our international Judge.

The Hyatt Regency Perth became involved with the Wine Show in 2002 when the Top 50 pointed wines from the Show were first presented at a public tasting event following the show judging in Mount Barker.

Now a popular part of the annual offerings of the Wine Show, the Top 50 Tasting attracts wine lovers and wine investors keen to taste the top fifty-rated wines of each year's show. Attendees also have the opportunity to discuss the wines with one or more of the senior judges, Wine Show Committee members and stewards.

In 2006, the Annual Wine Show Awards Presentation Dinner was relocated from Mount Barker to the Hyatt Regency Perth for the first time, enabling more guests from the wine and hospitality industries and others who appreciate wine to be a part of the celebration.

The 2016 Awards Dinner will see more than 300 members of the WA wine industry come together, along with media, sponsors and wine enthusiasts, at a superb black tie dinner where the Trophy-winning wines from the 2016 show will be matched with dishes showcasing the best regional Western Australian produce, prepared by the talented chefs of the Hyatt Regency Perth.

Guests will also be treated to comments and insights into the wine judging by Chief Judge Iain Riggs, and have the chance to mingle with the wine makers of Western Australia's best wines, following the announcement of the Trophy winners.

Please join us for a grand night of celebration of the Western Australian wine industry and the winners of the WA Wine Show. Tickets for the 2016 Awards Dinner can be purchased by clicking here.

For a list of trophy winners from 2003 through 2015, visit the Trophy Winners page or click here.



Sponsors of the QANTAS Wine Show of Western Australia Wine Awards