Georgia is set to host the esteemed IWSC Wine Judging competition for the second time, with an impressive lineup of 520 wines from over 170 companies registered for the event. This year's participation marks a record high for the competition.
In a significant development, the event, in collaboration with the Gurjaani Wine Festival and the National Wine Agency of Georgia, will transform into a key regional event. This expansion means that, in addition to Georgian wines, 60 wines from 18 Armenian companies will also be assessed.
Mariam Gujabidze, the competition's brand ambassador, highlighted the significance of this year's record-breaking registration. "We are particularly thrilled to see small and medium-sized wineries presenting their wines at such a prestigious level and competing for internationally recognized awards. The support from the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) has been instrumental in facilitating this," Gujabidze commented.
Last year, the competition featured 487 Georgian wines from over 150 companies, with the IWSC medals distributed as follows: 16 gold, 63 silver, and 209 bronze. It was a historic moment for Georgian manufacturers to receive international recognition in their homeland.
This year's jury, led by Alistair Cooper, president of Cata d'Or and a global consultant for United Cellars, boasts an increased number of international judges. The panel includes esteemed wine buyers, senior sommeliers, and consultants such as Salvatore Castano - Europe's Best Sommelier 2021, Melania Battiston - Best Young Sommelier of Europe 2022, Kate Lomax - Awarded Retail Buyer of the Year by "The Drinks Business", and Emma Penman - wine buyer for Waitrose & Partners, among others.
Local judges include prominent Georgian wine professionals like Levan Mekhuzla, Chairman of the National Wine Agency, and Ana Godabrelidze, Chairman of the Tasting Commission of the National Wine Agency.
The IWSC 2024 Wine Judging in Georgia, organized by the Gurjaani Wine Festival, is supported by the National Wine Agency and National Tourism Administration, with sponsorship from "Teliani Veli" and "Bank of Georgia". The event is scheduled for November 28-30, 2023, in Kakheti, with the award ceremony and announcement of the medal-winning wines slated for December 1.