Wine Show


Chalk Hill’s 2022 Tempranillo Grenache has won McLaren Vale’s Best Wine of Show 2023, seeing Winemaker Renae Hirsch and Owner Tom Harvey crowned McLaren Vale Bushing Monarchs for the second time.

View full details & results book via

MVGWTA Bushings18 Web 8 c0771743fe152719

2023: Please click here to download the 2023 McLaren Vale Wine Show Results.

2022: Please click here to download the 2022 McLaren Vale Wine Show Results.

2021: Please click here to download the 2021 McLaren Vale Wine Show Results.


Every year in October, the great producers of the McLaren Vale wine community prepare their most prized wines for judging at the annual McLaren Vale Wine Show - one of the most significant regional wine shows in Australia. The McLaren Vale Wine Show provides a platform for presenting wines that demonstrate varietal expression, excellence in viticulture and production, as well as provenance and sub-regionality.

The McLaren Vale Wine Show is highly regarded by international and national wine media and trade, and annually attracts a panel of high-calibre wine judges.

In 2014, McLaren Vale became the first regional Australian wine show to introduce a food component into the judging process with the intention to invite the public along to be part of the experience through a series of intimate local wine dinners for epicurean devotees. It also became the first regional wine show to invite Australian ‘Silver Bullets’ to guest judge varieties of particular influence and lead the discussion for the attendees at the dinners. The Consumer Dinner Series inclusion proved to be hugely successful and paved the way for the future trajectory of the event.


For half a century, the McLaren Vale wine community has celebrated, shared and crowned its best through the Bushing tradition.

The tradition brought together three elements - the annual wine exhibition, “the best party ever”, and the desire to present new release wines to trade and the public.

The McLaren Vale wine exhibition, developed from an informal showing of wines initiated in 1965 by the Southern Vales Cooperative, was formalised in 1968 by the newly-formed McLaren Vale Winemakers' Committee. Marking the first competitive wine show outside of Adelaide, thirteen southern wineries took part in the 1968 wine exhibition which saw trophies awarded for the best Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Dry White wines. This wine exhibition continued to take place in October each year.

In 1972 local legends Greg Trott, Tony Brooks and fellow members of the Spontaneous Events Society organised an Elizabethan-themed Feast which was deemed “the best party ever”, so good in fact that it was decided that it must be repeated.

Around the same time local winemaker David Hardy began advocating for the formation of a local wine festival with an Elizabethan theme to mark the release of new vintage wines and present these to trade and consumers.

In October 1973 the McLaren Vale Wine Bushing Festival was launched as a week-long celebration, encompassing the wine exhibition and a celebratory feast that continued the Elizabethan theme by crowning the maker of the best wine of the show as the Bushing Monarch.


The term “bushing” springs from a medieval European custom of placing a branch or bunch of ivy, sometimes known as a bush, above tavern or alehouse doors as a sign that it sold wine. The branch of ivy could also signal the arrival of new wine and so the tradition was adopted in McLaren Vale, where many of the new whites are released towards the end of the year but with an olive branch rather than a bush of ivy.

During the early days of the Bushing Festival, McLaren Vale winemakers adopted this tradition to mark the release of new vintage wines by hanging olive branches over their cellar doors. Nowadays the tradition continues with olive trees placed (or planted) outside many cellar doors.

The format of the Bushing celebration has evolved over the past 50 years from the inaugural Elizabethan Feast to the much larger Bushing Festival and Parade, encompassing family-fun days, gala dinners, cellar door tours, wine breakfasts and tastings.

Today, each October the McLaren Vale winemaking community still gathers for the celebratory gala lunch to celebrate the best of the region through the awarding of the McLaren Vale Wine Show trophies and crowning of the Bushing Monarchs, marked with charged glasses and the singing of the ‘Wassail’.

The job of each newly crowned Bushing Monarch is to ‘ring in’ the start of the next vintage at the annual Bell Ringing Ceremony held in the February, tolling Wirra Wirra’s Angelus Bell.