MEDIA RELEASE - Tuesday 28 June
Reflecting the growing industry trend, production techniques and consumer interest, the renowned Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA), Australia’s most respected wine show, will for the first time recognise organic and biodynamic wines with the introduction of a new Best Organic or Biodynamic Trophy in 2016.
"It is our ongoing commitment to ensure the awards continue to be most relevant and valuable to the industry, identifying new classes and categories that will recognise the evolving nature of grape growing and winemaking," said Tom Carson, Chair of Judges.
"Organic grape production increased by 120% from 2011-2014 with evidence the trend is continuing. The introduction of the new Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine Trophy is a nod to the increasing production of these types of wines in the country, and the outstanding quality we have on offer.
In response to industry requests and building on the current release wines, the RMWA will accept entries of 2016 vintage red wines made from grapes harvested earlier this year. These wines will be eligible for their relevant varietal or blends class trophy as well as relevant major trophies.
Conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the RMWA gives producers the opportunity to benchmark their wines against industry standards; seek advice from an independent panel of experts; and to promote and market award winning products using the RMWA’s seal of excellence.
Other accolades to be awarded, include the much coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy for Best Young Red Wine, The James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir, The Douglas Seabrook Single Vineyard Trophy, The Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence, The Victorian Trophy for Wines of Provenance, The Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine, The Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz and The Bill Chambers Trophy for Best Fortified.
The winner of the 2016 Jimmy Watson Trophy will also secure the scholarship sponsored by RASV. The scholarship includes a $15,000 bursary for the winner to embark on an international study tour, providing professional development opportunities and increasing knowledge of the global wine industry.
"As a previous winner of the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy I can attest that an award win at the RMWA is an honour of long-standing tradition, and is highly regarded amongst the national industry and around the world, leading to increased sales, greater export opportunities and significant growth", said Mr Carson.
The RMWA judging panel is made up of leading local wine-makers, media, sommeliers and other industry experts led by Carson, who are carefully selected for their invaluable knowledge, experience and diverse backgrounds.
Entered wines are put through rigorous judging processes, which are in place to ensure fair and consistent marking across all its competition categories, including blind tasting of all entries.
Entries for the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards open on Tuesday 28 June at www.rasv.com.au and will close on Friday 19 August, with early entry encouraged.
Image: The coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy