2020 Cabernet Challenge

World-first virtual wine judging hailed a success

September 17, 2020
By Alana House

Results of the 2020 James Halliday Australian Cabernet Challenge will be announced live on YouTube next week after three days of virtual wine judging of 364 wine exhibits from 29 different wine regions in Coonawarra and Margaret River.

In what is believed to be a world first, the judging panels, stewards and organising teams based in Coonawarra, Margaret River and Yarra Valley connected through Zoom, Skype, telephone, social media and the AWRI wine judging software, to make the show run smoothly.

2020 Cabernet Challenge

Margaret River Panel Chair, Robert Mann said at the commencement of day one that “people drink wine for enjoyment, but people drink cabernet for enlightenment”.

Coonawarra Vignerons Executive Officer, Heidi Eldridge, praised the work of the organising parties to bring the event together despite the challenges presented by COVID-19 and distance between the host locations.

“There was a lot of logistics involved directing entries across the country to ensure that each location had a sample of every bottle to be judged. To see it all come together on the ground and virtually through the live streaming was very satisfying”.

Given the success of the event, Caroline Evans, Executive Officer of Wine Yarra Valley, believes it sets a benchmark for future wine judging.

“There is every possibility that future single variety wine shows will proceed with a collaborative effort between regions that champion particular signature varieties.”

2020 Cabernet Challenge

During the three days of judging, five live-crosses to the judging venues were shared on Facebook and Instagram, which have been watched by more than 8500 people to-date.

Results to be announced at 6pm AWST (8pm AEST), Thursday, September 24. They will be live on Langton’s Youtube channel and streaming to Facebook too.

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