Royal Melbourne Wine Awards restructures shiraz judging

July 1, 2019
By Alana House

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) is expanding its Shiraz judging at the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards, introducing trophies for every state and territory for the first time.

Now in its 135th year, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards will judge more than 3200 Australian wines across five days at Melbourne Showgrounds.

The RMWA recognise and reward Australia’s best wines. This year, the RASV has evolved the awards to meet changing industry expectations regarding wine style, winemaking techniques and market dynamics.

Leading the changes is a restructured method of recognising Australia’s most widely planted variety, Shiraz. With Shiraz contributing almost 25% of entries, for the first time the RMWA will include trophies for the Best Shiraz in each of State and Territory.

The RMWA will award 32 trophies, including Australia’s best known individual wine award, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy among a series of other tribute and best trophies in a number of categories. This includes, Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine; James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir; Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine; Best Rosé, and more.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria CEO Paul Guerra said: “The RASV is leading the way in conducting credible and highly esteemed food and beverage programs that award excellence. It’s essential that the Awards Program continues to evolve and innovate and we’re proud to do so with the introduction of trophies for the Best Shiraz in each State and Territory, for the first time.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards brings together the very best Australian wine-makers and producers and is renowned as a benchmark of excellence in wine production. The selection of judges ensures only the most experienced judges, who are immersed in the wine industry as winemakers, wine writers or sommeliers, are put forward by the Chair of Judges and the RMWA Committee.”

Chair of Judges Matt Harrop added: “The RASV has initiated many firsts for the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards including being the first competition to judge by region, which enables the judges to assess wines in a like-with-like situation.

“This grouping is particularly important to assist judges in honing their palates into a relatively focused field of flavour, structure and texture, ensuring the best wines from each area can be identified.”

This year, Shiraz is expected to remain the largest category with 780 entries received in 2018 making up 25% of total entries received that year. The winners of best Shiraz in each state will be critiqued against each other in a state taste-off for the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz.

Entries to the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards close on Friday, August 16, and will be judged at the Melbourne Showgrounds from October 7– 11. Winners will be announced on October 17 at a presentation dinner at Melbourne Showgrounds brand new Victoria Pavilion..

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