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Grape innovations

Posted on : 18 March 2016

As Sam Connew returns to be the Chair of Judges at the Sydney Royal Wine Show for a second year, we spoke to her to find out what changes we can expect to see in the 2016 competition.


"The Sydney Royal Wine Show has a proud tradition of striving for excellence. The Competition does this by keeping up-to-date with trends and innovating."

The biggest change of course is moving the judging date of the show from February to July. This modification received whole-hearted endorsement from both the industry and judges as we all face the ongoing reality of earlier and earlier vintages. Based on Exhibitor feedback, allowances were made to cater for the entry of 2016 whites.

We continue to make modifications to the Schedule to echo industry developments and maintain our desire to be Exhibitor friendly. This year has evolved to reflect the best practice recommendations of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. As a consequence, single vineyard classes have been folded into the main classes and there have been modifications to both the sparkling and fortified classes. We have also reduced the small producer qualification from 500 to 100 tonnes.

Sydney Royal Wine Show continues to be the only capital city competition to explore judging wine with food, and in 2016 we will expand on the success of the last two years, fine tuning paring options using Sydney Royal award-winning produce.

Following an extensive review, a number of changes have been made to our trophy line-up. The most dramatic is the move to a points based pyramid system for the NSW Department of Primary Industries James Busby Perpetual Trophy for Best NSW Wine. To win this award in 2016, the NSW wine exhibited will need to have accumulated the highest total medal score over the previous 12-months on the NSW Wine Show circuit.

- Samantha Connew, Chair of Judges, Sydney Royal Wine Show
Sydney Royal Wine Show entries close 10 March 2016. Visit www.sydneyroyal.com.au/wine for more information.

Article first appeared in RAS Times February 2016
Photography: Sam Connew Photo by Elfes Images (copyright)