THE CHALLENGE

AUSTRALIA – CANADA – CHILE – NEW ZEALAND – SOUTH AFRICA – USA

During 2003 a decision was made that launched this unique show. The most influential wine judge from each of the leading New World wine countries was invited to list their top 100 wines covering 15 typical varietal classes. The objective was to establish the Nation of Show by judging and nominating Wine of Show, Red and White Wine of Show and a range of gold medals.

The New World nations were chosen in light of their proven quality coupled with their judge’s view that there was sufficient range to compete and to win.

Annually the judges make their selections in light of their intimate knowledge of their own nation’s wines. Following that the head office in Australia sends out the invitations to compete and the wines are shipped to a secret location in Sydney. During August the judges convene for a week in Sydney and when they go home they are unaware of the winners until the embargo date. Everything is judged by numbers!

In October each year the trophy presentation formal dinner is held in Sydney. The guest list features the winning winemakers, the sponsors and the Ambassadors and Consuls General of each visiting country. The results are released to all entry wine companies and to media around the world.

The following day all 600 entry wines are featured in a large public tasting event in Sydney titled Thinkers & Drinkers. Generally 500 guests and members of the media attend to sample the choices made by the six judges. From time to time trophy dinners and tastings are held in the competing countries and Asia.

Dr Andrew Hedley, Chief Winemaker at New Zealand’s Framingham Wines won 2015 Wine of Show and Dessert Trophy for their Nobel Riesling 2014.

NZ Consul General and Wine of Show winner Hiro Kusada with President Judith Kennedy at the trophy dinner in Sydney October 2014.

When you have just finished judging 45 Malbecs and then 52 Bordeaux blends a judge’s tongue and Eduardo Brethauer of Chile respond!

Sydney Sommelier Seamus Brandt is one of the Senior Stewards preparing the wines for the Judges.

The Thinkers & Drinkers wine tasting festival follows the trophy dinner and shows members of the public the 600 wines originally judged.