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Best Aussie Chard to be crowned online

Judging for the inaugural James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge (JHCC) will take place in the Yarra Valley this week on 26 and 27 September.

Renowned Australian wine critic and Yarra Valley local James Halliday is patron of the challenge, which has been organised by Wine Yarra Valley.

In a wine show first, the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge winners will be announced online via a video cast at noon (EST) on Monday 8 October, 2012. To view the winners, log on to

The awards announcement can also be followed via Twitter by searching for hashtag: #chardchallenge

The judges will taste more than 430 wines from 260 wineries covering 40 regions in their quest to find Australia’s best Chardonnay.

Although all wines will be scored on a 100-point scale, the JHCC judging process differs from other large shows in that wines will be grouped by region, without judges being told which region they are tasting.

As well as awarding the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge Trophy for the best wine, the competition will also recognise the following categories:

  • The highest scoring wine from each region or regional grouping
  • The Chairman’s 11 (an award which reflects James Halliday’s love of cricket)
  • The region with the highest average score

Chair of Judges Ben Edwards commented, “When I started work with Wine Yarra Valley on the Challenge we knew this Trophy provided an amazing opportunity to showcase the depth and quality of Australian Chardonnay. What we weren’t so sure of was how winemakers would react. With just over 430 Chardonnays from 260 wineries representing 40 wine regions throughout Australia entered, we know the industry is as excited about it as we are.”

Edwards will be joined by fellow judges:

Stephen Pannell – S.C. Pannell

Philip Rich – Prince Wine Store

Jim Chatto – Peppertree

David Brookes – Vino Sense

Matt Harrop – Shadowfax

Dave Mackintosh – Salo and Ar Fion

Cliff Royal – Flametree Wines

Lisa Jenkins – City Wine Shop

Corrina Rayment – Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards.

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