The 2012 International Sweet Wine Challenge, a leading wine show
dedicated to the delights of sweet wines, is inviting sweet wine
producers from all around the world to submit their wines for entry into
the awards between 22 June to 24 August 2012.
Whilst Spain is unfortunately not holding its popular Vinoble Sweet Wine Fair this year, the Riverina region of NSW Australia remains committed to the production and promotion of the many different and delicious styles of non-fortified sweet wines.
This will be the 8th consecutive year the ISWC has been held in the Riverina and the founding aims of the awards remain the same, as Les Worland, President of the Riverina Winemakers Association, explains, “The International Sweet Wine Challenge was created to bring together the various styles of sweet wine from Australia and abroad to compare and contrast, to help highlight the best wines within their style, and to promote greater understanding and awareness of sweet wines.
Last year’s challenge saw a very high standard of entries, with an increased quantity and quality of international entries. This year’s Challenge promises to be as keenly contested, with winning wines at the ISWC not only rewarded with Medals and Trophies, but also benefiting from a public relations campaign run by the ISWC, providing valuable editorial and advertising exposure in international and Australian wine and lifestyle publications.”
The Challenge is open to any non-fortified sweet wine that is commercially available in the country of origin, and holds a minimum stock of 50 case lots at the time of entry. There is also a separate Museum Class for wines five years or older, which are not commercially available, with the aim of this class to show unusual or rare styles. Ten Trophies are awarded in total – see full details at www.sweetwinechallenge.com.au.
Entries will be judged under the masterful eye and palate of Ben Edwards (President of Sommeliers Australia and contributor to Australia's best selling wine guide, the Australian Wine Companion). Ben will be assisted by Dan Dineen from Josef Chromy and Sue Bell from Glen Roy.
The judges are looking forward to seeing a greater number of Moscato and sweet red wines this year with international demand for these two styles continuing to thrive. For Moscato the numbers are stunning, particularly for a grape considered one of the oldest in existence. According to Nielsen data in the US, overall Moscato sales rose over 70% in 2011, culminating in about $300 million in sales. And that is on top of 100% growth for the category in 2010! In fact, the research group Wine Market Council estimates that even if growth in 2012 settles down to 50%, over the course of this year Moscato is on track to leapfrog Sauvignon Blanc and White Zinfandel to become America’s sixth most popular varietal wine.
At the 2011 ISWC it was an Australian wine that was victorious and claimed the top Trophy, the 2008 Lillypilly Noble Blend. Winemakers wanting to stake their claim to this year’s ultimate title of 2012 International Sweet Wine of the Year should start preparing to enter now before entries close on 24 August.
2012 International Sweet Wine Challenge
Entries open: 22 June 2012
Entries close: 24 August 2012
Judging: 6 September 2012
Exhibitors tasting: 7 September 2012
Award Presentations: 8 September 2012
Entry forms can be found at www.sweetwinechallenge.com.au.