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2008 International Sweet Wine Challenge – entries open now

There is a lot of talk about the Australian wine industry needing to explain its appellation story. The Riverina Winemakers’ Association has taken the challenge.

As Australia’s premium dessert wine region, the RWA has established an International Sweet Wine Challenge to lift the global profile of the Riverina as a leading sweet wine region and allow all Australian dessert wines to be pitted against their international rivals. This initiative is to be applauded.

In its third year, the RWA is proud to invite entries from around the world to the 2008 International Sweet Wine Challenge (ISWC), to be held in Griffith, New South Wales, Australia on 4 September 2008. The ISWC is part of the Riverina Wine Show, which notably is the first Australian regional wine show to be endorsed by the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation to display its awards in the European Union.

Last’s years ISWC saw a high standard of domestic and international entries from Australia, Austria, South Africa and New Zealand. Trophies were evenly shared between Australia and New Zealand with New Zealanders Forrest Wines winning the trophy for the Best Sweet Wines Floral Styles, and Wither Hills the trophy for the Best Sweet Wine in the Museum Class.

Overall winner of the Challenge was Leeton-based Lillypilly Estate whose 2002 Noble Blend also won the Trophy for the Best Sweet Wine –Fruity Styles.

This year the RWA is encouraging a greater number of international entries. The wines will be judged by an independent panel, Chaired by Australia’s renowned wine writer Huon Hooke and assisted by respected Australian wine writers and judges Ken Gargett and Lester Jesberg.

Key Dates: 22 August — Entries Close 4 September — ISWC Judging 5 September — Symposium & Tasting of International Sweet Wines from around the world moderated by Huon Hooke 5 September (evening) — Presentation Dinner & Trophy Announcement

Entries for the 2008 International Sweet Wine Challenge:

Rules and entry forms can be obtained from www.sweetwinechallenge.com.au. You can enter and pay on-line. Alternatively, please contact Stuart McGrath Kerr on ">i or phone + 61 2 6964 3504 or fax +61 2 6964 3526.

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