Wine shows show Kiwis the door

A second Trans-Tasman wine competition has kicked out New Zealand exhibitors’ wines. The Royal Hobart Wine Show has reversed a policy of many years to invite New Zealand entries. Its organisers said they were disappointed that the anticipated reciprocal judging invitations to Australian judges to take part in New Zealand shows had not eventuated.

The ban follows last year’s Australian national wine show in Canberra de-listing New Zealand, stating that the original intention had been to intensify competition for Australian wines, and that purpose had been served.

The Kiwis point out that New Zealand wines have scooped the pinot noir trophy at Hobart the past two years, and pinot noir is a variety at which Tasmania fancies itself, so maybe it’s a case of ‘sour grapes’.

There are still several Australian wine competitions which invite New Zealand wines, such as the Cool Climate Wine Show judged on the Mornington Peninsula, and the Australian Small Winemakers Show in Stanthorpe, Queensland. As well, the Boutique Wine Awards, which I have chaired since its inception, last year opened its doors to New Zealand wines for the first time – with impressive results for the Kiwis. See www.boutiquewines.com.au.

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