Sparkling wine has emerged as the standout class in next month's Limestone Coast Wine Show, with local nominations for the 'party wine' almost doubling those at last year's competition.
According to the LCWS committee's Sarah Pidgeon, the growing interest in sparkling wine is a national trend as people are seeking a 'fun wine'.
She said Australian producers were certainly making more refined, elegant styles in response to this demand.
"Sparkling thrives in our region's cool climate and ancient soils, so the wine show represents a real opportunity for local producers to make a splash and capture the judges' attention," Ms Pidgeon said.
In all, 79 producers representing all seven Limestone Coast regions have nominated their favourite drops for the wine show, to be held on October 22 to 24.
The two-year-old cabernet sauvignon class has retained its title as most the popular category, which is little surprise given the firm hero status of cabernet sauvignon in the Limestone Coast.
But, there are strong signs of growth among several other varieties.
"It's always interesting to look at the trends regarding wine show entries," Ms Pidgeon said.
"There is slow growth in the rose class and pinot noir, the 'other red varieties' class has also grown year-on-year, with cabernet franc overtaking tempranillo as the on-trend variety for the first time this year."
Guest international judge Michelle Bouffard from Montreal, Canada, said she was looking forward to tasting a wide selection of cabernet sauvignon, while also exploring the diversity beyond the region's flagship variety.
"The offering in the Canadian market is very limited, and I am very much looking forward to discovering the depth of what the Limestone Coast has to offer," she said.
Three panels, led by chief of judges Samantha Connew, will spend two days taste-testing a total of 496 top local drops at the Coonawarra Hall on October 22 and 23.
The 2019 Limestone Coast Wine Show winners will be announced at a trophy presentation feast on Thursday, October 24, in Penola, with event organiser Peta Baverstock preparing for one of the biggest dinners in the show's 19-year history.
"Pipers of Penola are catering in the fabulous Rymill Hall with the theme for the dinner being 'Spring Bud Burst'," Ms Baverstock said.
"(In all) 22 trophies and awards will be given on the night with attendees able to taste previous wine show winners."
A limited number of tickets are still available for the dinner, hosted by the Coonawarra Wine Region.
- Details: Visit limestonecoastwine.com.au/wine-show/dinner2019