Accolade winemaker joins Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition as VIP judge

Craig Stansborough, winemaker at Accolade Wines. Image courtesy  Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition.

As the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HK IWSC) marks its 15th anniversary in 2023, Australian winemaker Craig Stansborough, group premium winemaker for Accolade Wines, has been announced as the 2023 VIP International Wine Judge. The 2023 competition will also see the participation of nine international wine and spirit judges.

The HK IWSC is uniquely designed for the Asian market, featuring Asian judging panels, hotly contested Asian food and wine pairing award categories, and an “Asia’s Best” series of awards for the best wines produced in Asia.

“To mark our 15th year, we are thrilled to welcome one of Australia’s top winemakers as VIP International Wine Judge. As the fourth largest winery group in the world, Accolade’s depth and breadth of experience is immense. As such, Craig Stansborough’s role as winemaker for the group’s premium brands brings an exceptional level of expertise and insight to our panel of judges,” said Debra Meiburg MW, founding director of the HK IWSC.

“Along with Craig, we are extremely excited to welcome back our incredibly important contingent of pan-Asian judges – who were unfortunately absent during the Covid-19-era judging weeks of 2020, 2021 and 2022. As a truly regional competition, the palates of Asia’s top wine and spirit professionals from diverse countries ensure the results reflect the region as a whole. Not to mention the excitement and fun of the many cross-cultural exchanges and opinions that the presence of these judges bring. I cannot wait for September!”

Stansborough said he was “Looking forward to tasting with other wine experts, discussing style direction across the globe, discovering unknown gems!”

International judges include Kenichi Ohashi MW, President of Red Bridge Co Ltd., Japan; João Pires MS, the Director of Wine for Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s Macao properties; Terry Xu, Wine Educator at Shanghai Aroma Wines, China; Thomas Ling, Principal Partner at Entwine Consultancy, Malaysia; Thomas Ho, Founder of Le Somm Experience, Taiwan; Stephen Notman, Founder at WhiskyL! Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei; John Wei, Founder and Yeast Whisperer at Brewlander, Malaysia; David Wong, Executive Director – Food & Beverage Academy at Wynn Macau; Della Tang, Sommelier at Ensue, Shenzhen, China; and Gerald Lu, General Manager/Head Sommelier at Praelum Wine Bistro, Singapore.

Ohashi MW said, “I am excited to contribute to the HK IWSC Judging Panel, bringing my unique perspective as a Master of Wine from Japan. With a passion for food pairing, I am eager to collaborate with judges from diverse cultural backgrounds and hear their different ideas.”

Entries for the 2023 HK IWSC close on 10 September. Judging week takes place from 19 to 22 September in Hong Kong. The results will be publicly released on 10 November.

To enter the HK IWSC,  please enter online

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