Entries open for the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards

A new trophy in honour of an Australian wine industry icon, and innovative new state-based trophies lead a number of changes as The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) announce that entries are now open for the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA).

The RMWA annually celebrate and recognise the best wines across Australia with up to 35 trophies presented to the champions of each category, including the coveted Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the Best Young Red Wine of the 2019 or 2020 vintage, and the François de Castella Trophy, which is awarded to the Best Young White Wine of the 2019 or 2020 vintage.

This year, the RMWA will be judged over five days at Melbourne Showgrounds, from 11–15 October 2021 with RASV CEO Brad Jenkins excited to bring together some of the country’s most exciting and accomplished winemakers and producers to judge the finest Australian wines.

“For more than 135 years, the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards have attracted the best winemakers from around Australia to benchmark their wines against industry standards, seek advice from an independent panel of experts, and promote and market award-winning products using the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards’ seal of excellence.”

The RMWA is overseen and shaped by a committee who work closely with RASV to develop the future direction of the program. The committee features some of the Australian wine industry’s most highly regarded professionals, including Samantha Isherwood (Chair), Matt Harrop (Chair of Judges), Emma Brown, Jeni Port, Melanie Chester and Mark O’Callaghan.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards are so highly valued and respected by the Australian wine industry because they continue to adapt and introduce new ways to celebrate and recognise wine whilst providing a platform to improve quality and inspire innovation,” concluded Brad.

In collaboration with the RASV, the committee has introduced some innovative changes to the program that includes greater recognition of Australian Chardonnay with six new state-based trophies.

The new state-based Chardonnay trophies will be awarded to the highest scoring gold medal-winning Chardonnay wine from each state as follows – Best New South Wales/ACT Chardonnay, Best Queensland Chardonnay, Best South Australian Chardonnay, Best Tasmanian Chardonnay, Best Victorian Chardonnay, and Best Western Australian Chardonnay.

Also new in 2021 is a trophy for Champion Victorian Winery that replaces the Victorian Wines of Provenance Trophies. Single varietal Cabernet Sauvignon wines will now be eligible for the new Best Cabernet Sauvignon, and the Cabernet Sauvignon-dominant blends will now be eligible for the new Best Cabernet Sauvignon Blend trophy.

Along with these exciting changes, the RASV recognises the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In consultation with the RMWA Committee, the RASV has adapted how the Awards will be conducted to ensure it will be delivered under COVID-safe guidelines. Whereas in an ordinary year the judging panel would be made up of a mix of interstate, and local judges, this year’s RMWA, with COVID-safety in mind, will be judged by Victorian-based judges.

This year, the Awards are remembering and honouring the contribution of Dr Anthony (Tony) Jordan, OAM.

Dr Jordan passed away in August 2019 after a lifetime of involvement in the wine industry, most notably for establishing Domaine Chandon Australia in the Yarra Valley in 1985 and in doing so, establishing one of Australia’s most celebrated and successful sparkling wines.

Awarded for the first time in 2021, the Dr Tony Jordan Trophy for Best Sparkling recognises Dr Jordan’s lifetime contribution to the Australian wine industry and the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

RMWA Committee Chair, Samantha Isherwood is pleased that the Awards will recognise the contribution of Dr Jordan.

“Dr Jordan made a tremendous contribution to Australian wine and graciously volunteered his time judging at 15 separate Royal Melbourne Wine Awards.

“There is no better way to honour Dr Jordan, who pioneered sparkling wine in Australia, than by naming the trophy for Best Sparkling Wine in his honour.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards Committee are extremely grateful to the Jordan family for their support of this trophy and providing an opportunity to ensure Dr Jordan’s tremendous legacy will be forever remembered at the Awards,” said Samantha.

Entries for the competition close on Friday, 20 August 2021. For more information or to enter online visit the website.

Key Dates
Entries open:  Tuesday, 20 July
Entries close:  Friday, 20 August
Delivery to Portavin:  Monday, 27 September–Friday, 1 October
Judging:  Monday, 11 October– Friday, 15 October at Melbourne Showgrounds
Awards Presentation:  Thursday, 21 October at Victoria Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds
Stay up to date with the latest developments and engage with RMWA on Facebook and Instagram: Instagram @RASofVic

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