Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2017 judging week begins

Some of the best palates from across Asia have gathered in Hong Kong to judge more than 3,000 wines in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2017.

The first wines are served to judges at DAWA 2017. Credit: Decanter
The first wines are served to judges at DAWA 2017. Credit: Decanter

More than 50 wine experts, including top sommeliers and Masters of Wine, began judging at this year’s Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA 2017) in Hong Kong this morning (5 September).

DAWA 2017 will see 3,235 wines tasted by judges, the most since the competition launched five years ago.

The wines will be tasted blind according to region and style and rated against their peers, in a judging process set to last for four days.

After competing for bronze, silver, and gold medals, the gold medalists compete for the highest award in the competition on Friday 8 September – the platinum best in show.

This year’s judging panel includes experts from 11 countries, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Singapore, India, Indonesia, Korea, and Taiwan.

Most judges work in top establishments in the Asia region and the DAWA 2017 chairs include professor Li Demei, a world authority on Chinese wine and DecanterChina columnist.

Li Demei, wine expert and columnist for DecanterChina.com from Beijing, is a judge and vice-chair in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA).
Li Demei, wine expert and columnist for DecanterChina.com from Beijing, is a judge and vice-chair in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA).

He is joined by Japan’s Shinya Tasaki, previously named the world’s best sommelier and now president of the international sommeliers’ association; Gerard Basset MS MW, Ch’ng Poh Tiong, Andrew Jefford, Michael Hill Smith and Steven Spurrier.

Shinya Tasaki, renowned and award-winning sommelier from Tokyo, Japan is a judge and vice-chair of DAWA 2017.
Shinya Tasaki, renowned and award-winning sommelier from Tokyo, Japan is a judge and vice-chair of DAWA 2017.

Joining this year’s line-up is Sonal Holland, India’s first Master of Wine. Holland founded SOHO wine club and her namesake institute offers WSET-accredited wine training; Tan Ying Hsien, Singapore’s first Master of Wine; and Adrian Zhang, Director of Wine at the Park Hyatt Shanghai.

Italy is the best-represented country at DAWA 2017 with a record-breaking 719 entries, followed by Australia with 591 and France with 391 wines.

The DAWA has seen a sustained interest from China, with 124 entries from eight wine-producing regions – including 50 wines from Ningxia, 33 from Xinjiang and 15 from Shandong province.

Christelle Guibert, Decanter’s tastings director, said, ‘We are so thrilled to start the 6th edition of the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, our biggest year to date. We have gathered some of the best and most influential wine experts across Asia to join our judging panel. During the four-day judging, they will work closely with our seven chairs and taste, discuss and award medals to the 3,235 wines received.’

Asian consumers will have the chance to try the wines at numerous promotions this Autumn.

This will include the Decanter Shanghai Fine Wine Encounter on 18 November and a tasting in Seoul on 3 December.

The DAWA 2017 is kindly sponsored by Riedel glasses and Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino water.

Stay tuned for more information promotions, and for the latest details from DAWA 2017 judging week.

Translated by Sylvia Wu / 吴嘉溦

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