Here’s to Excellence: Celebrating Hunter Valley wines
2023 PKF Hunter Valley Wine Show Trophy Winners

Judging of 541 entries from 66 exhibitors at the 51st Hunter Valley Wine Show, sponsored by PKF, concluded on Wednesday 30 August. Continuing its over 40-year partnership with the Singleton Army Base, the judging was once again held at the Lone Pine Barracks. This year’s trophy winners’ luncheon was celebrated today at Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort with 350 industry and special guests in attendance.

Sam Connew, Winemaker/Director at Stargazer Wines, returned for the second year as Chair of Judges. Sam led a team of 18 local and visiting judges, including visiting International Judge, Jane Skilton MW, who collectively awarded 58 gold medals and 22 trophies. This year saw 12 exhibitors awarded trophies, reflecting the breadth of quality wines on show.

Congratulations to Bimbadgen, Charteris Wines, De Iuliis Wines, First Creek Wines, Margan Wines, Mercer Wines, Scarborough Wine Co, Silkman Wines, Sweetwater Estate, Thomas Wines, Tinklers Wines and Tyrrell’s on their Trophy awards.

The judging panel featured three female Masters of Wine, of only 149 female Masters of Wine worldwide and 7 in Australia. Andrea Pritzker MW, Director Wine inTuition and Toni Paterson MW brought their significant expertise, with Jane, to the judging panel. Jane began her wine career in London gaining the WSET Diploma in 1988 and becoming a Master of Wine in 1993. In 2004 she founded the NZ School of Wines and Spirits, NZ’s leading provider of WSET qualifications to trade and consumers and has judged at shows across Australia and in Shanghai, Chengdu, Beijing, and London.

Jane commented: “I love judging regional shows as it gives you such a good overview of what is happening in the region, and you learn as you go along. I feel honoured to be in the Hunter Valley and I’ve been amazed by the uniform high quality of wines. The quality of the chardonnay was great, and the alternative varieties showed great possibilities as emerging winemakers trying something new.”

The George Wyndham Memorial Trophy for Best current and one-year-old Chardonnay was awarded to Charteris Wines for its 2022 Pokolbin Select Chardonnay and the Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy for Best two-year-old and older Chardonnay to Scarborough Wine Co for its 2021 ‘Keepers of the Flame’ Chardonnay.

Reflecting on the results, Sam said “The long-standing established history and tradition of both the show and region makes the Hunter Valley Wine Show special. There is no other region in Australia or worldwide that does Semillon to the standard of the Hunter Valley. The stronger vintages always come to the fore, so it was good to see the 2023 Semillons show really solid results. The older Semillon classes are always such a treat and a privilege to judge, plus the Wines of Provenance class showed some extraordinary wines.

The Len Evans Trophy for Best Single Vineyard White Wine saw Bimbadgen win for its 2014 Signature Palmers Lane Semillon. This year’s Marshall – Flannery Trophy for Best current Semillon was awarded to First Creek Wines for its 2023 Classic Semillon. First Creek Wines’ Reserve Semillon was also the recipient of the Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance for its 2014, 2017 and 2023 vintages.

Sam added: ‘The thing that people don’t talk about enough is the quality of the red wines from the Hunter Valley, that just standout as glorious medium bodied wines.”

The Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Red Wine of the Show was awarded to Margan Wines for its 2019 Fordwich Hill Shiraz, which was awarded 4 trophies, also winning the Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy for Best Shiraz, James Busby Memorial Trophy for Best Mature Three-Year Old and Older Shiraz and the Len Evans Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Red Wine.

The Petrie-Drinan Trophy for Best White Wine of the Show was awarded to Tyrrell’s for its 2013 Vat 1 Semillon, which also won the McGuigan Family Trophy for Best Two-Year-Old and older Semillon and the Tyrrell Family Trophy for Best Museum White Wine.

This year saw the introduction of a new trophy to celebrate the smaller, new and emerging wine brands in the Hunter Valley. The antique wine show trophy, which was purchased at auction, details an award presented at the 1870 Hunter River Horticultural & Agricultural Association wine show, which was awarded to Messrs JF & J Doyle, Kaloudah, for the best 12 bottles of wine, not more than 3 years old, grown in the valley of the Hunter.

This piece of Hunter Valley history was presented as the Kaloudah Trophy for Best Wine from a Small Producer to Tinklers Wines for its 2019 Reserve Semillon.

The John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy for Best Museum Red Wine saw De Iuliis Wines take the trophy for their 2014 Limited Release Shiraz. John Lewis was also recognised for his ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Hunter Valley Wine Industry’.

John’s unexpected transformation from a rugby-playing journalist into a renowned wine writer began in 1976 when he introduced a column named Trencherman covering food and wine in the Newcastle Sun newspaper. Lewis' interest in wine stemmed from a creme de menthe hangover, which led to his preference for white wine. He now evaluates roughly 500 wines yearly for his columns in the Newcastle Herald, receiving about 31 dozen wine samples weekly. Despite not intending to become a wine writer, he has formed strong connections with Hunter Valley winemakers who were today proud to recognise John for his outstanding contribution.

Also awarded on the day by the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association were two industry scholarships.  The 2023 Tyrrell Family Advanced Viticulture Scholarship was awarded to Lacey Agate, Assistant Vineyard Manager at Agnew Wines and the 2023 Alasdair Sutherland Scholarship to Hayden Tinkler, Vintage Winemaker at Brokenwood Wines. These scholarships have emerged as a catalyst for fostering growth within the Hunter Valley. "These initiatives not only support individuals' aspirations but also inject fresh perspectives and innovative ideas into our viticulture and winemaking practices." commented Jennie Curran, CEO of the Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association.

2023 PKF Hunter Valley Wine Show Trophy Winners

Marshall - Flannery Trophy

Best Current Semillon (Class 1), Trophy Sponsor – Winequip

Winner: First Creek Wines 2023 Classic Semillon (Entry 1-6)


Ed Jouault Memorial Trophy

Best One-Year-Old Dry Semillon (Class 2)

Winner: Silkman Wines 2022 Reserve Semillon (Entry 2-47)


McGuigan Family Trophy

Best Two-Year–Old and older Semillon (Class 3), Roll of Honour Sponsor - McGuigan Family

Winner: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 1 Semillon (Entry 3–52)


George Wyndham Memorial Trophy

Best Current and One-Year-Old Chardonnay (Classes 4 & 5), Trophy Sponsor – Laffort

Winner: Charteris Wines 2022 Pokolbin Selection Chardonnay (Entry 5-63)


Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy

Best Two–Year-Old and Older Chardonnay (Class 6), Trophy Sponsor – Jurds Real Estate

Winner: Scarborough Wine Co 2021"Keepers of the Flame” Chardonnay (Entry 6-16)


J.Y. (Jay) Tulloch Trophy

Best Verdelho (Class 7)

Winner: First Creek Wines 2023 Classic Verdelho (Entry 7- 12)


Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy

Best Chardonnay, Trophy Sponsor – MCC- Premium Label Solutions, Roll of Honour Sponsor – Tyrrell’s Vineyards Pty Ltd

Winner: Charteris Wines 2022 Pokolbin Selection Chardonnay (Entry 5 - 63)


Rosé Trophy

Best Rosé of Show (Class 14), Trophy Sponsor – Singleton Diggers

Winner: De Iuliis Wines 2023 Rose Merlot Shiraz (Entry 14-9)


John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy

Best Museum Red Wine (Class 25)

Winner: De Iuliis Wines 2014 Limited Release Shiraz (Entry 25-7)


Tyrrell Family Trophy

Best Museum White Wine Sponsor – Riedel (RSN Australia), Roll of Honour Sponsor – Tyrrell’s Vineyards Pty Ltd

Winner: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Belford Semillon (Entry 24–6)


Lone Pine Barracks Officers Mess Silver Bullet

Winner: Mercer Wines 2023 Shiraz Nouveau (Entry 18-2)


Alexander Munro Memorial Trophy

Best Current Vintage and One Year Old Shiraz (Classes 15& 18), Trophy Sponsor – Mercurey Australia

Winner: Sweetwater Estate 2022 Shiraz (Entry 15- 46)


Elliott Family Trophy

Best Two-Year-Old Shiraz (Class 16), Trophy Sponsor – Hahn Corporation

Winner: Thomas Wines 2021 Sweetwater Shiraz (Entry 16-11)


James Busby Memorial Trophy

Best Mature Three-Year-Old and Older Shiraz (Class 17), Trophy Sponsor – Jenkins Legal Services

Winner: Margan 2019 Fordwich Hill Shiraz (Entry 17-9)


Drayton Family Trophy

Best Semillon, Roll of Honour Sponsor – Drayton’s Family Wines

Winner: Tyrrells Vineyards 2013 Vat 1 Semillon (Entry 3-52)


Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy

Best Shiraz, Roll of Honour Sponsor – Tulloch Wines; Trophy Sponsor – Seguin Moreau

Winner: Margan 2019 Fordwich Hill Shiraz (Entry 17-9)


Kaloudah Trophy

Best Wine from a Small Producer, Sponsor – Thomas Wines

Winner: Tinklers Wines 2019 Reserve Semillon (Entry 3-12)


Len Evans Trophy

Best Single Vineyard White Wine, Sponsor – Insight Wealth Planning

Winner: Bimbadgen 2014 Signature Palmers Lane Semillon (Entry 3-48)


Len Evans Trophy

Best Single Vineyard Red Wine, Sponsor – Insight Wealth Planning

Winner: Margan 2019 Fordwich Hill Shiraz (Entry 17–9)


Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance

Provenance Sponsor – CCL (Classes 26, 27)

Winner: First Creek Wines Winemakers Reserve Semillon 2014,2017,2023


Petrie-Drinan Trophy

Best White Wine of the Show, Sponsor – PKF

Winner: Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2013 Vat 1 Semillon (Entry 3 –52)


Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy

Best Red Wine of the Show, Sponsor – PKF

Winner: Margan 2019 Fordwich Hill Shiraz (Entry 17-9)

For all media enquiries, please contact Julia Moore This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. |0458 228 526

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About the Hunter Valley Wine Show

In 1847, the ‘first-formed vineyard association in the colony’, the Hunter River Vineyard Association, was established to foster a healthy spirit of openness, collaborative self-education, disciplined experimentation and industry organisation. It set a precedent for subsequent Australian wine associations, which have continued to influence the production and commerce of Australian wine.

The Hunter River Vineyard Association held their first wine show judging in 1847 as part of the Hunter River Agricultural Society in Maitland. It was the first regional wine show to be held in Australia and continued intermittently until 1963.

The show in its current form, as a sustainable regional wine competition started on 15 April 1973 at Singleton’s Northern Agricultural Association Showground. Since 1980 the show has been held at the Singleton Lone Pine Barracks marking the start of a long and mutually beneficial community partnership with the Australian Army. 


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