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Australian wine show shake up

The Australian wine show system is set for a shake up following discussions at a conference in the Hunter Valley over the weekend.

Len Evans Tutorial

The conference was timed to celebrate the birthday of the late Len Evans, with a reunion of scholars of his highly respected Len Evans Tutorial (LET). Many of the country’s agricultural societies and wine show committees were represented at the talkfest, which has been hailed as a historic meeting of the minds for the Australian wine industry.

Australian wine shows have played a critical role in shaping Australia’s wine styles and trends to date, fostering improvement in viticulture, winemaking and marketing.

With the support of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology (ASVO) wine shows, agricultural societies and others from industry will pursue the major recommendations made during the weekend over the coming months.

(L-R) wine writer Nick Ryan, LET Trustee Iain Riggs and wine blogger Dave Brooks

ASVO Wine Show Committee member Samantha Connew commented, “It is hoped that future changes that result from the reunion weekend will give consumers a better understanding of the integrity of the wine show system, as well as continuing to provide winemakers with the forum they need to benchmark their wines.”

Recommendations made during the conference include:

  • • The establishment of an Association of Judges and a central register, similar to the current ASVO system, of current judges
  • • The enhanced focus on consumer engagement and marketing and the importance of strong, relevant communication of wine show outcomes
  • • The continued focus on best practice and the communication of agreed standards for the conduct of wine shows
  • • A continued commitment of the agricultural societies to meet collectively
  • • Moving the dialogue about the purpose of shows from “improving the breed” to the “pursuit of excellence”



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