16th annual Marananga Wine Show welcomes public to tasting

A previous scene from Marananga Wine Show which returns later this month. Photo: Nathaniel Mason
A previous scene from Marananga Wine Show which returns later this month. Photo: Nathaniel Mason

An unorthodox yet well cemented annual Barossa event with Western Ridge grapes as its hero is about to enter its 16th year.

It's none other than the Marananga Wine Show which this month heralds quality produced wines inside a Seppeltsfield Wines cellar and open to the public for one night of tasting.

Quirkily, the show is actually run by members of the Gnadenfrei Lutheran Church, Marananga.

An organiser and church parishioners Cathy Wills says it's their chance to "express gratitude for the sun, the rain and the beautiful climate that God sends us and makes this little patch of dirt something quite remarkable".

"It's also a celebration of the fruit of the soil right here in the western ridge... and we are very proud of this area and are committed to stewarding it for the long term," she said.

The clever community-spirited bunch's humble beginnings works to financially assist wine studies at both Nuriootpa High School and Faith College, Tanunda, which is still ongoing.

"The wine show was originally conceptualized to provide an opportunity for the smaller winemakers and growers in the church and our local community to have the opportunity to benchmark their wines, at a sub-regional wine show that was judged to Australian standards," Ms Wills explained.

Meanwhile, the show has grown with entries now capped at 120 wines in a variety of categories from sweet to blends and alternative to fortified wines.

"We did peak 136 entries once but that pushes our limits (judges and organisers) to offering a reputable wine show," Ms Wills said.

And quality judging is something organisers prides themselves on.

All entered Western Ridge wines are judged to Australian show standards with a panel already locked in, which each year includes an outside winemaker. This year's hails from Pikes Wines, Clare.

Besides wine accolades presented on the evening to winning entries, all entrants are presented a running sheet highlighting winemaker's comments on their wines.

The Marananga Wine Show public tasting event, which has grown to attract people from as far as Sydney, falls, Saturday, August 31, 7pm.

Tickets are just $25 and includes a tasting glass and light refreshments. Book online or purchase at the door.