Decanter launches World Wine Awards
- Wednesday 2 July 2003
The Decanter World Wine Awards differs in many respects from established wine competitions. One of the most important distinctions is the fact that in the first stages wines will compete regionally as well as varietally. This ensures that a sense of origin – and terroir – will be of primary importance.
The top wines from each regional heat will then go on to compete at an international, varietal level. At the first level, for example, a California Chardonnay will be judged only against the same varietal from the same region. Only overall winners will go on to compete internationally.
Decanter's publishing director Sarah Kemp – who is 'absolutely thrilled' to have launched the Awards – said, 'we will give consumers what they want. They trust Decanter to provide an unparalleled amount of dependable advice.
'We have the best and most experienced judges – you cannot find more serious wine experts anywhere in the world.'
While terroir is celebrated, the consumer is paramount. Wines will be judged in two price brackets – under £10 and over £10. This ensures the Awards never lose sight of their primary purpose: to provide practical recommendations to people who buy and enjoy wine.
The chairman of the judges is Decanter consultant editor Steven Spurrier, who has had a key consultative role in the setting up of the awards.
Regional chairs have been appointed for their thorough understanding of their region. Each regional chairman will be in charge of a team of judges, also experts in the region.
Regional chairs include James Lawther MW, Stephen Brook, Rosemary George MW, Andrew Jefford, Michael Hill-Smith MW and a host of outstanding wine experts.
Awards organiser Clare Seel said, 'Today's wine consumer has a genuine need for guidance in choosing wine from the overwhelming range on offer from all over the world. By bringing in a selection of the world's greatest palates we are aiming to highlight not only quality and value but also the amazing diversity of wine available'.