Entries to Australia's most innovative Royal Melbourne Wine Awards now open

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) is calling wine-makers and wineries from across Australia, to enter the 2019 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA), Australia’s premier wine event, built on a longstanding tradition of celebrating excellence and innovation in Australian winemaking.

Now in its 135th year, the RMWA which is conducted annually by the RASV, will judge over 3,200 Australian wines across five big days at Melbourne Showgrounds.

The RMWA recognise and reward Australia’s best wines. This year, the RASV has evolved the awards to meet changing industry expectations regarding wine style, winemaking techniques and market dynamics.

Leading these exciting new changes is a restructured method of recognising Australia’s most widely planted variety, Shiraz. With Shiraz contributing almost 25% of entries, for the first time the RMWA will include trophies for the Best Shiraz in each of State and Territory.

The RMWA will award 32 trophies, including Australia’s best known individual wine award, the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy among a series of other tribute and best trophies in a number of categories. This includes, Francois De Castella Trophy for Best Young White Wine; James Halliday Trophy for Best Pinot Noir; Best Organic or Biodynamic Wine; Best Rosé, and more.

Reflecting on the strong history and prestige of the awards, Paul Guerra, CEO, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria says the RMWA is an innovator in the industry.

“The RASV is leading the way in conducting credible and highly esteemed food and beverage programs that award excellence. It’s essential that the Awards Program continues to evolve and innovate and we’re proud to do so with the introduction of trophies for the Best Shiraz in each State and Territory, for the first time.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards brings together the very best Australian wine-makers and producers and is renowned as a benchmark of excellence in wine production. The selection of judges ensures only the most experienced judges, who are immersed in the wine industry as winemakers, wine writers or sommeliers, are put forward by the Chair of Judges and the RMWA Committee,” Mr Guerra said.

Talking to the innovation of the Awards conducted by the RASV, Matt Harrop, Chair of Judges says, the RMWA is the first Australian wine competition to award trophies by state.

“The RASV has initiated many firsts for the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards including being the first competition to judge by region, which enables the judges to assess wines in a like-with-like situation. This grouping is particularly important to assist judges in honing their palates into a relatively focused field of flavour, structure and texture, ensuring the best wines from each area can be identified,” Mr Harrop said.

This year, Shiraz is expected to remain the largest category with 780 entries received in 2018 making up 25% of total entries received that year. To reflect the growth in this space, in 2019, the RMWA is introducing seven new trophies into the Shiraz category which will result in a trophy being awarded to the best Shiraz in each state, before these winners will be critiqued against each other in a state taste-off for the Trevor Mast Trophy for Best Shiraz.

Recognising the value of the RMWA beyond the wine industry, Paul Guerra says the Awards benefit general wine shoppers and indulgers, too.

“Many Australians are spoiled for choice when it comes to selecting wine to gift or enjoy, so the RMWA provides an easily identifiable mark of quality, helping to guide informed wine purchases,” Mr Guerra said.

Entries to the RMWA close on Friday 16 August and will be judged at the Melbourne Showgrounds from Monday 7 October – Friday 11 October. Coveted winners will be announced on Thursday 17 October at a presentation dinner at Melbourne Showgrounds brand new Victoria Pavilion..

Stay up to date with the latest developments and engage with RMWA on Facebook: @RASofVIC and #melbwineawards and on Instagram: Instagram @WinningTastes and hashtag #MelbWineAwards.