From 14 to 23 June, the first round of Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 judging took place with 18,093 wines tasted - more than any other year in the competition’s history.
Now onto Platinum and Best in Show judging until 29 June, discover photo highlights of what’s been going on at the 18th edition of the world’s largest and most influential wine competition.
Read more: DWWA 2021 judging begins
DWWA 2020: How the world’s largest wine competition was made possible during a pandemic
DWWA 2021 results will be announced 7 July 2021 on Decanter.com
Over 10 consecutive days, almost 170 expert wine judges, made up of 44 Masters of Wine, 11 Master Sommeliers and regional specialists, took part in the first round of the rigorous DWWA judging process. Pictured: Andy Howard MW and Laura Rhys MS
The USA & Mexico panel, led by Ronan Sayburn MS (Acting DWWA 2021 Co-Chair & Regional Chair for the USA). Judges on this panel included Amanda Barnes, Jan Konetzki, Stefan Neumann MS, Jeremy Lithgow MW, Robert Mathias, Stefan Kobald, Dominic Smith, Rebecca Palmer, Keith Isaac MW and Mags Janjo.
More than 72,000 bottles of wine were organised and pre-categorised for tasting by country, region, colour, grape, style, vintage and price to ensure that wines are judged in flights against their peers.
The judges taste wines individually. They know the region, style and price bracket, but they don’t know who produced the wine or the brand name. They then compare notes on the wine and reach a consensus on each wine’s medal.
All wines awarded a Gold medal by regional panels are re-tasted by the Co-Chairs to validate the award before the wines can move to the next round of judging for possible promotion to Platinum. Pictured: Sarah Jane Evans MW, DWWA 2021 Co-Chair
During the first round of judging, there were 220 panels made up of regional specialists. Pictured: Daphne Teremetz and Laure Patry on the South West & Rest of France panel, led by Regional Chair Dominique Vrigneau. Other judges on this panel included Peter Ranscombe, Matthew Stubbs MW, Heather Dougherty, Alastair Pyatt and David Round MW.
Peter Richards MW, Regional Chair for Chile
The South Africa panel, led by Regional Chair Greg Sherwood MW. Pictured: Peter Ranscombe, Dawn Davies MW and Greg Sherwood MW. Other judges on this panel included Jeremy Lithgow MW, Gerard Barnes, Roger Jones, Dominic Smith, Victoria Mason, Maggie Macpherson and Matt Wilkin MS
Andrew Jefford, DWWA 2021 Co-Chair, confirms a Gold medal from the North & Eastern Europe panel
Michael Garner, Regional Chair for Northern Italy (excluding Piedmont & Veneto)
Organised flights being brought to panels for tasting
New DWWA 2021 judge, Mags Janjo. Other new judges to the 2021 panel included Dominic Smith, Alastair Pyatt, Wieteke Teppema, Anja Breit, Freddie Cobb and Joe Aylmer.
Results for the 2021 Decanter World Wine Awards will be announced this 7 July on Decanter.com
DWWA 2021 is kindly sponsored by Riedel. Over the course of judging weeks, around 35,000 Riedel wine glasses were used for optimum tasting.
After a rigorous day of tasting, judges could end the day with a selection of drinks kindly sponsored by One Gin, Adnams, Small Beer Brew Co and Belu.
A special thanks to the incredible DWWA 2021 runners and warehouse team.