National Wine Show makes a comeback after two-year hiatus

After a two-year hiatus brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Wine Show of Australia competition is set to return to determine the best of the best of Australian wines.

The event will be held on 20 May, and will feature the announcement of the winners of the 2021 National Wine Show. The event will also serve as a celebration of the resilience of Australia’s wine industry which has been hit by various challenges from bushfires and drought to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and international trade issues brought by the Ukraine conflict.

This year’s National Wine Show will involve several changes to the competition, such as a tighter qualifying process, with only gold and silver winners from qualifying shows across the country will be the ones considered to be in contention.

Other changes include the top trophy being renamed the Prime Minister’s Trophy for Champion Wine of Show and new trophies, including the Len Evans Memorial White Wine of Show and James Halliday Red Wine of Show. For the first time, varietal Grenache gets its own award class and trophy; Classes and trophies will now reflect both varietal and blended wines, recognising the rich history of blending in Australia; and two new qualifying shows have been introduced: The Australian Sparkling Wine Show and the National Sweet White Challenge.

“Australian winemakers have been through some shocking times over the past few years, battling environmental, economic and global health issues – it’s been one thing after another,” National Wine Show of Australia Chair Andy Gregory said.

“With only the highest-awarded wines at Australian qualifying shows now making it to the judging table, the National Wine Show is the perfect opportunity to recognise the sheer dedication and hard work that has enabled Australian winemakers to continue to produce some of the world’s best and most exciting wines.”

James Halliday, known as ‘Australia’s wine royalty’ and who has been part of the program’s advisory panel for almost 30 years, including having chaired the show on numerous occasions, said, “This is the most important wine show in Australia and it’s wonderful to see it back. The winners will benefit from the domestic and international profile that comes with being judged the very best of Australian wines and that is a wonderful opportunity for Australian winemakers.”

Gregory said inaugural partnerships with awards naming rights sponsor Endeavour Group and the National Press Club of Australia were pivotal in supporting an industry that contributes $45.5billion* to the Australian economy and represents 9 per cent of all agricultural exports.

“We’re delighted to have Australia’s leading retail drinks and hospitality business Endeavour Group and the Press Club on board to join us in flying the flag for Australian wines,” Gregory said.

Endeavour Group CEO & MD Steve Donohue said that the organisation was privileged to play a significant role in the Australian wine industry, saying “Throughout Australia, our Langton’s, Dan Murphy’s and BWS teams proudly and passionately offer customers thousands of outstanding local wines.”

“The future is bright for Australian wine, which is evident in the entries for this year’s National Wine Show trophies,” Donohue added. “We can’t wait to celebrate and recognise the winners; the best wines this country has to offer.”