Wine judges set to taste over 1,300 wines
Year-on-year growth in entries has seen the New World Wine Awards become one of New
Zealand's leading wine shows, with a record 1,332 entries this
At this scale, the independent judging panel of 13 wine experts
will be required to blind-taste up to 120 wines each per day over
three days from 3-5 August.
Chair of judges Jim Harré attributes this sustained growth to
winemakers' confidence in the integrity of the process, with wines
judged using the same internationally-recognised points system as
all other leading wine awards, and the benefits of these awards
over others in terms of distribution and promotion of medal-winning
This year's guest international judge is Dr Rowald Hepp,
director and head winemaker of Schloss Vollrads in the Rhine Valley
of Germany, a castle and wine estate that has been making Riesling
for over 800 years. He joins 12 local wine experts on the judging
panel including chair of judges and wine industry personality Jim
Harré, as well as Kate Radburnd, Barry Riwai, Dr Alastair Leggat,
Jane Boyle, Olly Masters, Sam Kim, Simon Nunns, Jane Cooper, Sarah
Burton, James Rowan and Jack Glover.
Also contributing to driving up the number of entries this year
was a change to the minimum number of bottles available for sale to
be eligible to enter, down from 6,000 to 5,000. There are further
reductions to the minimum stockholding for lesser-known varietals
such as some aromatics and dessert wines, which are typically made
in smaller quantities.
"This gives consumers nationwide the chance to get to know some
of the lesser-known varietals by trying medal-winning wines that
have been judged by an independent panel of expert wine judges,"
says Mr Harré.
As well as availability of wines being one of the key criteria
for entry - hence the minimum stockholding requirement - the other
unique feature of the New World Wine Awards is that affordability
is also paramount. Wines entered must retail for $25 or less.
"More and more people are choosing to buy their wine at the
supermarket at the same time as they stop and get what they need
for dinner, so the New World Wine Awards takes the guess work out
of choosing award winning wines at a great price," says Mr
Sales of the New World Wine Awards medal-winning wines attest to
consumer confidence in these awards. In the first six weeks of the
2014 results being announced in September, 282,000 bottles of the
'Top 50' wines with a retail value of $4.2 million flew off New
World supermarket shelves.
The independent panel of wine experts will judge the wines
entered in the awards from the 3-5 August at Te Papa Museum in
Wellington, scoring each wine according to the internationally
recognised 20- point system. The judges will award Gold, Silver and
Bronze medals, with the best wines in each category re-tasted to
determine the Champion wine of each varietal, plus the overall
Champion Red and Champion White.
Eight associate judges selected from New World's nationwide team
of Liquor Managers will also join the judges. Their scores do not
count towards the final marks, but they have the opportunity to
provide their opinions on each wine and learn from the professional
wine judges. This judging experience helps them enhance the way
they select wines for the New World cellars, and assist customers
with questions about wine.
Award-winning wines will be announced in September 2015.