Margaret River wine show celebrates 22 years of excellence and innovation

The Lenton Brae cellar door team. Image courtesy Margaret River Wine Association

The 2023 Langtons Margaret River Wine Show was held last week, with judging culminating in a Gala Awards Lunch at the refurbished Lenton Brae Cellar Door on Friday, 20 October.

The Stella Bella team triumphed this year, taking home a trio of trophies for the Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2022, receiving Best Chardonnay, Best White Wine, and the ultimate accolade, Best Wine of Show. Stella Bella also capped off a remarkable show by being awarded the Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor.

This year is the second time that the Suckfizzle Chardonnay, from Margaret River Wine Region’s most southern vineyard, has won the Wine of the Show Trophy at the Margaret River Wine Show. The Augusta vineyard is influenced by the prevailing Antarctic winds of the Southern Ocean and moderated by the warmth of the Blackwood River, creating wine of unique power and flavour.

Stella Bella Chief Winemaker Luke Jolliffe shared his excitement about the success.

“We are thrilled to have won four trophies. Recognition such as this for our single vineyard Suckfizzle Chardonnay is a testament to the whole team. The passion in farming our land with care and precision, through to nurturing the wine from grape to bottle shows a very special and cohesive viticultural and winemaking team. We are incredibly fortunate. And how good is Margaret River Chardonnay?”

The judging, which took place on Wadandi Boodja at the Margaret River HEART, assessed 631 entries from ninety-two exhibitors. Fifty-two wines achieved the coveted gold medal status, earning scores of 95 points or higher on the 100-point scale. An additional 141 wines received silver medals and 257 wines received bronze medals adding to medal strike-rate of over 71%.

Chaired by wine writer Nick Ryan, this year’s event included a judging panel of experts from across Australia and Master of Wine, Richard Hemming from 67 Pall Mall in Singapore.


“This year’s wine show has seen high expectations met and new benchmarks set,” said chair of judges Nick Ryan. “The star of the show has once again been chardonnay, further reinforcing the new reality that sees Margaret River dominate the conversation around where the world’s best chardonnay is coming from.

“That Cabernet Sauvignon remained strong despite the challenging chickens of the 2021 vintage coming home to roost is a testament to the viticulturists and winemakers of the region, and the strong performance of Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc and the blends thereof reminded us these styles remain really relevant here.

“And the Rose’s?? Well, that’s a whole other story….suffice it to say Margaret River’s reputation as a paradise for pink wines has grown even more.”

Reflecting on the show, Margaret River Wine Association CEO, Amanda Whiteland said, “To add a bit of fun, this year the seven Rosé gold medal-winning wines were judged ‘in their natural habitat’ at the beachside White Elephant Café in Gnarabup, overlooking the magnificent Indian Ocean.  The Rosé Trophy went to the McHenry Hohnen Chloé Rosé  2023, which was a wonderful accident given vigneron Murray McHenry OAM had generously sponsored new custom-tailored P. Johnson Pink Jackets for those that missed out since 2018 as well as for a future five-years.”

The 2023 Langtons Margaret River Wine Show Gala Awards was a celebration of excellence, innovation, and the enduring success of the region’s wine.  In addition to the Wine Trophies, three special Excellence Awards recognising other important areas of the industry were also presented at the lunch.

Viticultural and Sustainability Excellence Award

The Viticultural and Sustainability Excellence Award presented by Cape Mentelle rewards a person’s outstanding achievement, and this year it was awarded to Stephen Kirby, Group Vineyard Manager at Howard Park Wines.

Cape Mentelle’s viticulturalist, Dave Moulton said, “This year’s winner has worked across wine regions in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania but has been a part of the Margaret River landscape for the past 13 years. With a passion for quality, efficiency, and sustainability, he is a clear communicator, a strong advocate for Margaret River and is well respected across the region.”

This award, initiated in 2007 to recognize the importance of vineyard practices in crafting outstanding wines, expanded in 2022 to include sustainability. It is supported by Cape Mentelle, offering a $3,000 travel and education bursary scholarship to the winner.

Cellar Door Excellence Award

Amanda Keady, sales & marketing manager at Swings & Roundabouts, was the recipient of the Margaret River Cellar Door Excellence Award presented by Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association CEO Sharna Kearny.

Launched in 2018, this award acknowledges the significance of wine tourism and cellar doors to the Margaret River Wine Region, underscoring the intrinsic link between wine tourism experiences and wine sales. Keady received a $2,000 education and training bursary from the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association.

Innovation Excellence Award

Georgina Harrison of Kaloorup Vineyard was honoured with the second John Tate Memorial Innovation Award, sponsored by Miles From Nowhere.  This award pays tribute to the legacy of the late John Tate and his contributions to the Margaret River wine industry.

Harrison’s award recognises her innovative work and trials at several vineyards in the region, using copper mesh as an effective barrier against snails on grapevines.

She will receive a $5,000 bursary from Miles from Nowhere to further her innovation and encourage further innovative practices.


Langtons 2023 Margaret River Wine Show Trophies:

Langtons Trophy for Wine of Show

Stella Bella Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2022


Margaret River Wagyu Trophy for Red Wine of Show

Abbey Vale Premium RSV Cabernet Sauvignon 2022


Labelmakers Group of Companies Trophy for White Wine of Show

Stella Bella Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2022


Vinline Mobile Bottling Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor

Stella Bella


Langtons Trophy for Wine of Provenance

Lenton Brae Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012, 2015, 2023


Margaret River Wine Association International Judge’s Trophy

Swings & Roundabouts Brash Road Syrah 2022


City of Busselton Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon

Abbey Vale Premium RSV Cabernet Sauvignon 2022


MCC Trophy for Best Chardonnay

Stella Bella Suckfizzle Chardonnay 2022


Tonnellerie de Mercurey Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Red

Mandoon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2022


Sanector Trophy for Best Single Vineyard White

Snake and Herring Primary Chardonnay 2022


Cospak Saverglass Trophy for Best Cabernet Sauvignon Blend

Evans & Tate Redbrook Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2021


My Vintner Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc

Mandoon Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2023


Orora Trophy for Best Blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon

Wills Domain Mystic Spring Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2023


Burkert Trophy for Best Other White Blend or Varietal

Xanadu Vinework Chenin Blanc 2023


Fusion Electrical Trophy for Best Shiraz

Credaro 1000 Crowns Shiraz 2022


Chr. Hansen ‘Pink Jacket’ Trophy for Best Rosé

McHenry Hohnen Chloé Rosé  2023


Hahn Corporation Trophy for Best Other Red Blend or Varietal

McHenry Hohnen Hazel’s Vineyard Tempranillo 2022

2023 Margaret River Wine Awards

Viticulture & Sustainability Excellence Award presented by Cape Mentelle

Stephen Kirby, Howard Park Wines


Cellar Door Excellence Award presented by Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association

Amanda Keady, Swings & Roundabouts


John Tate Memorial Innovation Excellence Award presented by Miles from Nowhere

Georgina Harrison, Kaloorup Vineyard


The Langtons Margaret River Wine Show was judged at the Margaret River HEART from Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 October 2023.


The 2023 judges were:

  • Chair of Judges: Nick Ryan – Writer, Presenter, Communicator
  • International Judge: Richard Hemming MW, 67 Pall Mall – Singapore
  • Cliff Royle – Winemaker & General Manager, Flametree Wines, Western Australia
  • Feleasha Prendergast – Winemaker, Evans & Tate, Western Australia
  • Foni Pollitt – Owner/ Sommelier/Operations Director, Mayfair Lane, Western Australia
  • Liam McElhinney – General Manager & Chief Winemaker, Tasmanian Vintners, Tasmania
  • Tim Dolan – Chief Winemaker, Kaesler Wines, South Australia
  • Shanteh Wale – Sommelier & Wine Writer, Halliday Wine Companion | Winepilot, NSW
  • Stuart Hordern – Senior Winemaker, Brokenwood, New South Wales


The 2023 associate judges were:

  • Alex Miller – Voyager Estate
  • Brent Carter – Vasse Felix | Idée Fixe
  • Henry Wynne – McHenry Hohnen
  • Larissa Dalli Cani – Howard Park
  • Mark Bailey – Howard Park
  • Tony Westwood – Dan Murphy’s


The full results book from the 2023 Langtons Margaret River Wine Show is available at

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