Some of the best palates across Asia have started judging thousands of wines in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2016 in Hong Kong.

More than 2,850 wines will be tasted blind and rated against their peers by Decanter‘s assembled experts in Hong Kong this week.

The Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2016 (DAWA 2016) is now in its fourth year and entries have risen strongly since the competition was launched.

DAWA 2016 has seen increased interest from China, with 205 Chinese wine entries. That includes 120 entries from Ningxia.

More than 40 judges started blind tasting wines according to region and style on Tuesday 6 September.

DAWA 2016 judges, wine tasting

Judges get down to business at DAWA 2016.

The vasts majority of judges are local to the Asia region.

DAWA 2016 chairs include professor Li Demei, a world authority on Chinese wine and DecanterChina columnist.

He is joined by Japan’s Shinya Tasaki, previously named the world’s best sommelier and now president of the international sommeliers’ association.

‘Decanter is delighted to have assembled Asia’s most talented and influential wine experts to judge this year’s Decanter Asia Wine Awards,’ said Decanter MD Sarah Kemp on Tuesday morning.

Sarah Kemp, Dawa 2016

Sarah Kemp, Decanter’s MD, addresses judges on day one.

‘The best tasters from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, India, Malaysia, among others, will taste and discuss the wines with Decanter’s illustrious chairs.’

Satoru mori, sommelier, dawa 2016

Award-winning, executive sommelier Satoru Mori. Head sommelier at the Conrad Tokyo.

Also chairing is Decanter consultant editor Steven Spurrier, Decanter.com columnist Andrew Jefford, Michael Hill Smith MW, Gerard Basset MW MS, and wine writer and educator Ch’ng Poh Tiong.

DAWA 2016 chairs

Sarah Kemp with the DAWA 2016 chairs. From left: Michael Hill Smith MW, Ch’ng Poh Tiong, Andrew Jefford, Gerard Basset MW MS, Steven Spurrier, professor Li Demei, Shinya Tasaki.

Kemp added, ‘In its fourth year we have seen double digit growth in entries, a testament to the international wine trade’s trust and value they place on their wines receiving an award from Asia’s top critics at DAWA.

‘Asian consumers will have the chance to try the wines at numerous promotions this Autumn.’ This will include the Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter on 26 November.

gurjit barry, indian sommelier, dawa 2016

Indian sommelier Gurjit Barry tastes his first wines of DAWA 2016.

The DAWA 2016 is kindly sponsored by Riedel glasses and Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino water.

Stay tuned for more information promotions, and for the latest details from DAWA 2016 judging week.

See the DAWA judges