The Challenge is owned and managed by the Association of Australian Boutique Winemakers Inc. The head office is in Sydney Australia and the judging takes place there in August each year.
Entry is by invitation and the judge representing each country makes his selections in anticipation of winning the various awards.
The challenging countries are Argentina, Australia, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America.
The objective of the Challenge is to discover the New World Champions. The Judging will decide the Nation of Show, Wine of Show, Red and White Wines of Show. A trophy will be awarded for the top scoring wine in each of the 17 classes. Double Gold and Gold medals will also be awarded. The results will be published on this web site, in hard copies distributed to all entrant companies and media releases will be distributed world-wide.
This is the only wine show in the world where the wines come in exclusively by invitation from the Judges.
“Because the wines are all selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world”. Bob Campbell MW.
There are seventeen classes: Sparkling; Riesling; Chardonnay; Aromatic (non Riesling); Sauvignon Blanc; Other White Varieties; White Blends; Pinot Noir; Merlot/Carmenere; Malbec; Bordeaux Blends; Non Bordeaux Blends; Major Red Varieties; Other Red Varieties; Shiraz/Syrah; Cabernet Sauvignon and Dessert Wine.
Each Judge is set the task of selecting 100 wines across the17 Classes with a maximum of 10 in any one class – the best in their country regardless of wine company size and wine volume available.
The selections are communicated to the Challenge office in Sydney and the invitations to participate are sent out to the winemakers. The sample bottles are consolidated in each country and shipped to Sydney in time to take a rest in cool storage prior to the judging. Two days before the judging the wines are transported to the judging rooms where the Stewards match the wines to the judging sheets and each wine is given a number within its class.
There are three judging days in Sydney. The wines are poured out of sight of the Judges and each judge judges all wines knowing the vintage, the variety or varieties in a blend and simply a number. The scores are calculated to determine; Trophy and Runner up (Double Gold) in each class plus Double Gold and Gold medals where agreed. All trophy wines are re-judged for the Wine of Show, White Wine of Show and Red Wine of Show. Nation of Show is then calculated.
The tasting event and presentation trophy dinner is set approximately one month later in Sydney.