The NSW Wine Awards are once again upon us as the annual search for the 2010 NSW Wine of the Year begins with judging taking place on September 20 and 21 prior to the awards program and presentation dinner 18 – 21 October 2010 (see program below).
For NSW winemakers, the NSW Wine Awards are the most serious and coveted competition as in 2009 these awards generated more than $2.4 million in media coverage for the Top 40 NSW Wines, Trophy Winners and in particular, the NSW Wine of the Year.
In the face of the awards growing success, 2010 will see the awards taking on a new face, with some serious changes.
Firstly, the judging panel. Respected wine journalist Huon Hooke has been secured as Chair of Judges for 2010 and 2011 bringing experience and strength to the awards. Hooke will be leading a highly esteemed panel of 20 judges, like never seen before at these awards, including internationally renowned wine writers, sommeliers and wine industry professionals such as Iain Riggs, Peter Bourne, Tim Stock, Philip Shaw, Mike De Garis and Nick Bulleid MW.
Secondly, for the first time, Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be up for grabs as well as the hotly contested Top 40 NSW Wine placements, Trophies and coveted title of 'NSW Wine of the Year'. The introduction of medals is to allow consumers to readily recognize NSW Wines that have achieved medal status at the awards.
Tiffany Nugan, Chair of the NSW Wine Strategy, says, "Since the NSW Wine Strategy launched in February 2008 to increase the awareness of NSW Wine, sales have grown immensely now being worth more than $69.2 million, having grown 14.6% or $10.2 million in the last year alone. Restructuring the awards to include medals will help consumers, who are eager to discover NSW Wines', to buy a wine with confidence knowing it has achieved medal status in the awards."
Nugan goes on to say, "This year's awards are set to be the most coveted to date. With Huon Hooke as Chair, the awards have undoubtedly been elevated in the minds of NSW Winemakers, trade and consumers."
With over 800 entries from NSW's 14 diverse wine regions being entered this year, the competition to win the title of 'NSW Wine of the Year' will be tough. Entries to the NSW Wine Awards will be critiqued over two days (20-21 September inclusive). Judging will be completed in two stages across 16 classes by 20 judges comprising some of Australia's finest wine writers, sommeliers and winemakers. The first day of judging will take place with 5 panels of four judges reducing the 800 odd entries to approximately 120. Each panel will be chaired by a leading figure from the Australian wine industry. On the second day, 2 panels of the judges comprising the Panel Chairs from the first round will then determine the Top 40 NSW Wines, Trophy Winners and ultimately, the coveted NSW Wine of the Year. To enter this competition, wines must be made from NSW grapes.
Bigger and better this year, the 2010 NSW Wine Awards Program is the ultimate way for consumers to discover the best wines of NSW as judged by the experts:
· Monday October 18: 2010 NSW Wine Awards Gala Presentation Dinner at Guillaume
· Tuesday October 19: Tetsuya's NSW Wine "Best of the Best Trophy Winners" Dinner hosted by Huon Hooke
Tetsuya's Restaurant, 529 Kent St, Sydney. 7pm. Tickets $290pp including degustation menu & wines. Bookings on 02 9267 2900.
· Thursday October 21: NSW Wine "Best of the Best Top 40" Tasting @ Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks.
Trade Tasting 2.00- 4.00pm. Pre-registration compulsory.
Consumer Tasting 5.00- 9.00pm $50pp including NSW Wine glass, Wine Tasting & Canapés & Winemaker Tour. Tickets can be purchased online now at www.nswwine.com.au