The Sydney International Wine Competition (SIWC) will proceed with its 41st competition this year, with the entry period and judging schedule moved back a month to ensure wineries have the best opportunities to enter.
One of Australia’s longest-running wine events, the SIWC is the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with appropriate food, to ensure that medal-winning wines are both technically excellent and relevant for consumers.
To cater for the increased logistical issues associated with coronavirus, the entry date for wines has been pushed back a month, opening from 27 July 2020 and closing 26 October. Judging will take place in mid-November.
The judging panel will be reduced to 11 to ensure the judging room meets the current NSW social distancing regulations, while entries will be restricted to a maximum of 1300.
In lieu of international border closures, judges will largely come from Australia this year, but may include New Zealand judges if restrictions ease in time to finalise arrangements.
As is the tradition with the Sydney International Wine Competition, the judging panel will be balanced between technical and style experts, including significant representation of Masters of Wine.
With no minimum production requirements, this show is particularly applicable to experimental and small makers to test their wines alongside wines from major producers.
Co-convenor of the Sydney International Wine Competition Brett Ling said that, given the difficulties faced by the wine industry over the past year, it was important for competitions such as the Sydney International to proceed to highlight to consumers the exceptional range of food-friendly wines available to be enjoyed at restaurants and at home.
“While usually we can anticipate entries from ten to twelve of the leading wine-producing countries, this year we expect most of the entries to come from Australia and New Zealand, but as ever we will welcome entries from further afield if they can navigate the challenging freight issues,” said Ling.
“Following consultation with many of the wine companies we have re-scheduled the entry dates, which should coincide with opening up of State borders, increased air transport, and return to full operations in most of the wineries.
“Our judging panel this year will be made up largely of judges from Australia, but we are also hoping for representation from New Zealand, which is traditionally a powerhouse in the competition. We can only hope the ‘bubble’ is floating by the time judging takes place in November.
“Because of the nature of the competition and its emphasis on wines being both technically excellent and food-appropriate, wineries are anxious to see the return of the competition as restaurants progressively open-up and highly-value wines that are proven to be food-friendly.
“In the past twelve months we saw a record download of recipes for dishes prepared by Michael Manners to complement the various wine categories, and once again Michael will be designing the menu for the final stages of judging.
“While this year’s Competition will be slightly different to previous years, we are expecting the same vigorous competition and excellence in the medal and trophy winners. The tasting of the medal and trophy winning wines is scheduled to be held in Sydney in February 2021.”
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