Winestar world launches largest ever international competition: Entries now open!
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Up to 200 wineries from around the world will again compete for millions of dollars of business, with the winners being plucked from obscurity, to land in the spotlight of eight of the world’s leading Global Wine Buyers, at Winestars World’s (WSW) largest ever International Wine Competition, to be held at Prowein in March 2013.

WSW, launching its third competition in just ten months, is a progression from the old ‘wine competition’ model, where wines are rated “blind” and based on wine quality. WSW recognizes that quality is not the only metric for success. Packaging, management, sourcing, winemaking strategy, pricing and overall marketing & business plan are the things that, when counted together, are reflected in the final wine quality. Without the foundation of a well-run business, good wine quality is often not sustainable. As a result, WSW judges entrants based upon their complete business model, not just their wine quality and uses the same methodology that real buyers use everyday to purchase wines.

Limited spaces are now available for wineries to enter the only competition where wineries have the chance to not only win recognition, but also gain listings/orders from a minimum (WSW rules) of 6,000 bottles up to an average peak of 800,000 bottles per annum, worth between $20,000 and $3m annually. Wineries can enter online via a 40-question, downloadable questionnaire at www.winestarsworld.co.uk.

All entries will be analysed and read by the judges, after which 100 wineries will be chosen, then 20 Top Finalists for a pre-tasting and presentation to take place at Prowein, and a Top 10 Finals to be held LIVE on Tuesday 26th March at Prowein Hall 7.1 at 3pm.  

Judges comprise Justin Howard Sneyd, Direct Wines (UK); Lynne Coyle, O’Briens (Ireland’s best retail chain); Peter Pulawski, Grand Cru/Dobre Wina (Poland); Alexander Khatiashvili, Simple (Russia); Hans Bootsma Gall & Gall + Albert Heim (Ahold) (Holland); two further high profile judges from the UK and USA will be attending and will be announced later this week.  Two leading non-wine related, “surprise” Business Entrepreneurs, will be joining the panel and will be announced next week.

It is estimated that the top 40 wine producing countries produce over 2.1 billion dozen cases of wine each year. There are an estimated 100,000 commercial wineries in the world. Most wineries struggle to sell their full production, and rely on small sales and marketing teams that are often family members.

“WSW competitions are a way for wineries to get exposure to some of the world’s leading buyers and get potential listings overnight.  Forget medals, forget importers who take 25-30% margins making it more difficult for wineries to sell and buyers to buy.  This is about long-term sales listings, helping wineries understand sales, pricing, markets, design and removing the huge costs associated for both wineries and buyers/retailers.  We are delighted with the fantastic reaction to date from buyers and producers and look forward to seeing more wineries find success in global markets,” says Catherine Monahan, Founder, Winestars World.

The WSW International Competition in Prowein is now the third competition falling under the WSW banner, with success seen in the listing of 7 of the 10 winners from the LIWF 2012 and more potential sales and listings to come for the 8 wineries who participated in the Winestars Twist Argentina Competition in January 2013.

WSW is gaining huge momentum with each event and drawing exciting comments from buyer and producers alike:-

UK Wine Buyers:
•    Mimi Avery, Avery’s Wine Merchants: “Buyers should be clamouring to join in these competitions.”
•    Andrew Shaw, ex Head of Buying for Waitrose: “We were really excited to be part of the WineStars event. An  innovative concept, it enabled us to see the brightest and best of the wine world and shone a light into corners that we may not have looked into ourselves.”
•    Jamie Hutchinson, Award-winning, leading UK Independent, The Sampler: “Having just returned from a very productive and very funny week in Argentina with Winestars World, it struck me quite what a good idea it is. As a buyer I am swamped with wineries looking for listings, and often just don't have the time and manpower to give them all the level of consideration that I'd like to. By holding a "quality control" tasting in London followed by a proper visit to the wineries involved we met a small number of estates, but each with a real level of commercial interest for us. I hope WSW continues to thrive, as it seems to me that it helps both the wineries and the merchants.

Global Wine Producers:
•    Dave Cush, Spring Vale, Tasmania, Australia “It was a totally mind- bending experience.To be plucked from relative obscurity in Tasmania and plonked in front of the UK wine industry’s leading buyers was extremely gratifying for us. It is very apparent that Catherine has come up with a revolutionary idea that will add another dimension to the wine business.”
•    Pieter Walser from Blankbottle Wines: “This final unleashed a whole international wine trade following, mainly via Twitter, which I had not had before. There I was, standing in front of some of the world's most influential wine gurus.  When I switched my computer on 3 hours after the event, I had received 400 emails and new twitter followers all who were international wine buyers/writers/producers. I was unaware of the Tsunami that a combination of Facebook, Twitter, the live streaming, my newsletters, on-line media etc. was causing and how that was impacting my stock levels back in South Africa!! I'm not complaining and enjoying the ride. Thank you Winestars! “

WSW Prowein International Wine Competition will be promoted via the website www.winestarsworld.com, through their twitter site | facebook site | linkedin and via all generic bodies, global trade publications and local wine press globally.

WSW now comprises 6 International Competitions: Prowein, LIWF; Prowine (China); Korea; Miami; Argentina; Brazil and a new Sparkling Wine Competition to be launched later in 2013.

Furthermore, in addition to the WSW Top 10 Finalists new listings from every competition, there will be a consumer element to the site launched early March with e-commerce using widgets to direct consumers to retailers listing WSW finalists’ wines, and with consumer wine ratings and a video blog, where consumers can write and share their views/videos of events and wines.  The first WSW wine consumer tasting, comprising all UK listed wines from the 2 original competitions, will be held at the Fulham Wine Rooms, mid March – tickets cost 27.50 GBP per person and are available from winestarsinfo@gmail.com.

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