History of the Wine Show of Western Australia

Created in Mount Barker 40 years ago, the 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 a committee of the Society, 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 40-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 Section L in the Mount Barker Show Schedule (in between Section K Farm Produce and Section M Home Cooking). In 1982, Trans Australian Airlines (TAA), the forerunner to Australian Airlines and then Qantas Airlines, was the major sponsor for the show, offering two TAA flights to Canberra for the winners of the Best White Wine and Best Red Wine of Show to attend the National Wine Show, as well as bringing one judge to the Show from the Eastern States (Brian Croser).
The Wine Show of Western Australia has since steadily increased in popularity and interest with 43 classes across ten sections judged by three panels. Each panel has a chair, two judges and two associate judges and these are overseen by a Chief Judge. Since 1998 an international judge has come to Mt Barker. For details of the judges for the 2017 Show, please see the Judges page. 

The Wine Show of Western Australia anticipates continued growth and interest as it enters its 40th 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.

In 2016 we welcomed Singapore Airlines as our major sponsor and look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with them over the coming years.
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. 

In 2017 the Awards Dinner will also be a celebration of 40 years of the Wine Show of WA and feature memories from the early years. 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.

For a list of trophy winners from 2003 through 2016, visit the Trophy Winners page or click here.



Sponsors of the QANTAS Wine Show of Western Australia Wine Awards