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The 19th edition of Decanter World Wine Awards judging begins

Now in its 19th year, Decanter World Wine Awards 2022 judging has begun in London from Sunday 24th April to 7th May.

Already the world’s largest wine competition, the 2022 awards will see more wines judged than any other year with around 18,500 wines entered from 56 countries.

All wines for judging week categorised in the DWWA warehouse

This year’s expert judging panel includes almost 300 international wine experts, including more than 60 Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers.

All judges, including Senior Judges and Regional Chairs, are overseen by four Co-Chairs with the official appointment of Ronan Sayburn MS alongside returning Chairs Sarah Jane Evans MWAndrew Jefford and Michael Hill Smith MW.

Sarah Jane Evans MW discussing with the North & Eastern Europe judging panel

Welcoming the 2022 judges, Sarah Jane Evans MW comments, ‘It’s such a pleasure to be judging at Decanter World Wine Awards, to discover new wines and rediscover old favourites. Particularly to do it in such scrupulous circumstances where everything is very fairly, very independently judged blind.

‘So you know that when you’ve found a favourite it really has become a favourite of the table and deserves to get its medal. So when the results come, remember that it’s not just us four Co-Chairs but all of you who are ambassadors for these wines and these awards.’

Price versus value is an important factor of the unique DWWA judging process, with flights carefully organised by country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price point. This ensures wines are judged against their peers, and that results reflect top quality in relation to price.

On this, Ronan Sayburn MS advises to the panel: ‘We expect that the wines that are awarded high marks would be showing a typical characteristic of their grape variety, their climate, the region and the winemaking styles within that particular area. A very clear opinion from the judges about the wines quality within each price band is very important.’

Serdar Balkaya and Moonsong Bang on the South & Eastern Mediterranean panel, led by Regional Chair Caro Maurer MW

After two years of strict safety measures and limited travel due to Covid, Decanter World Wine Awards is thrilled to welcome back international judges from across the globe. Some of this year’s international Regional Chairs include:

Fiona McDonald, Regional Chair for South Africa

The first round of judging is on now until Saturday 30th April, with Platinum and Best in Show judging taking place next week from 3-7 May. Learn more about the judging process here.

With special thanks to our sponsor, Riedel

DWWA 2022 results will be announced Tuesday 7th June on Decanter.com

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