Gladstones Trophy recognises regional wine excellence

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Each year since 1978 the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia has awarded a trophy at the Mount Barker Wine Show to the wine displaying the Best and Most Distinctive Regional Character.

These are all Western Australian wines and winners have come mainly from the Great Southern and Margaret River.

The trophy recognises John Gladstones, a former department employee, who first recognised the potential of the South-West of Western Australia for producing premium quality table wine.

JS Gladstones Trophy

DAFWA has sponsored a trophy for the wine with the Best and Most Distinctive Regional Character at the Mount Barker Wine Show since 1978.

Each year candidate Western Australian wines are judged at Mount Barker in October. The winner is announced at the Gala Award Dinner sponsored by Qantas and now held in Perth.

Some of Australia’s premier wine judges including James Halliday have been the Chief Judge. John Gladstones represented the department at the judging until stepping down several years ago.

DAFWA’s sponsorship and involvement in judging the winning wines for this trophy has provided a great opportunity to promote our support of the wine industry.

Promoting regional character is also a major pillar of the Western Australian Wine Strategy published in 2014. The trophy and research and market development work DAFWA is doing with the industry speaks directly supports the WA wine industry’s focus on regional distinct wines in their marketing initiative.

The Qantas Wine Show is exclusively for WA wines and has played a major role in the development of wine quality and wine styles in the state.

About John Gladstones

John Gladstones was first a crop and pasture legume breeder at The University of Western Australia and then the WA Department of Agriculture (now DAFWA) for more than 40 years. He bred the world’s first crop varieties of narrow-leaf lupins which are now grown all over the world.

John Gladstones

Similarly John made a major contribution to the pasture industry through work on collecting, selecting and breeding subterranean clover and serradella varieties.

Although considered to be ‘the father of the lupin industry’ and the world’s leading authority on lupin as a crop plant, his ‘hobby interest’ in wine grapes has endeared him to the wine industry.

In his early studies of vine ecology, published in December 1965 in his paper ‘The climate and Soils of South Western Australia in Relation to Vinegrowing’ in the Journal of the Australian Institute of Agriculture Science, he identified Margaret River as a region for premium wine production, and was instrumental in its development.

In his seminal work ‘Viticulture and Environment’ published in 1992, John set out with remarkable clarity why some regions consistently make better wine than others and the influence of climate and other regional factors on wine style and character.

He discussed in considerable detail the influence of individual climatic factors on grape quality. This covered all the wine regions in Western Australia and Australia and included detailed tables comparing climatic data with the major wine growing regions of the world including France, Italy, Spain Germany, the USA and New Zealand. The book and John’s work have had an enduring influence not only in the Australian wine industry but internationally.

John has been awarded many scientific honours and was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1980. Houghton Wines have named their iconic Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz wines after him (Dr John Gladstones).

His importance as a viticultural researcher was recognised in 2008 when he received the Maurice O’Shea Award for outstanding contribution to the wine industry.

Mount Barker Qantas Wine Show

The Mount Barker Qantas Wine Show is one of Australia’s most recognised wine shows.

It is the major event which showcases the enormous regional diversity, distinctive character and quality of Western Australian wines and the South-West as a leading cool climate wine production region.

Recent trophy winners

2016     Cellarmasters Cormack and Co Steadfast Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Margaret River

2015     Zarephath Wines Zarephath Riesling 2015, Great Southern

2014     Harewood Estate Porongurup Riesling 2014, Great Southern

2013     Mandoon Estate Cabernet Merlot 2012, Margaret River

2012     Evans & Tate Frankland River Riesling 2009, Great Southern

2011     Warner Glen Estate Frog Belly Semillon 2010, Margaret River

2010     Evans & Tate Frankland River Riesling 2009, Great Southern

2009     Xanadu Wines Cabernet Sauvignon 2007, Margaret River

2008     Houghton Wine Company, 2004 Jack Mann Cabernet Sauvignon, Great Southern

2007     Abbey Creek 2006 Riesling, Great Southern

2006     Houghton Wine Company, Riesling 2003, Great Southern

2005     Lamont’s Winery Verdelho 2005, Swan Districts

2004     Houghton Wine Company, Gladstones Cabernet Sauvignon 1999, Margaret River



Contact information

Glynn Ward
+61 (0)8 9368 3568