Wine show aims to restore credibility

AS judging begins in the 38th Hunter Valley Wine Show at Singleton Army Base, organisers say they are determined to bring credibility back to the system of awards and medals.

Speaking on the first day of judging yesterday, Hunter Valley Wine Show president Tim Murray said some shows ‘‘bumped up’’ entries so that every wine won a prize.

‘‘Credibility starts with judges and the show,’’ Mr Murray said.

‘‘We want to stand up and say we are credible and our results are the real McCoy.’’

Mr Murray said results at some regional shows were not a true reflection of the industry, while parts of the wine industry did not show the show system the respect it deserved.

He said the Hunter show checked ‘‘back to the paddock’’ that what was stated to be in the bottle was accurate.

Post-competition checks were also made, Mr Murray said.

The 2012 chairman of judges is chief winemaker at Peppertree, Jim Chatto.

The show comes amid tough conditions including a sluggish economy, amalgamation of wineries by non-wine corporate interests and two very poor vintages, 2008 and 2012.

Mr Murray said more than 20 vineyards had entered a new class, the Wine of Provenance competition.

Entries range from 2012 back to 1990 and the class will identify vineyards that produce consistently high-quality wine.

Mr Murray said winners would be rewarded with a strong marketing tool for their wine.

‘‘We are trying to celebrate vintages of exceptional quality,’’ he said.

‘‘We are trying to celebrate our area, which is unique.’’

The show has attracted almost 800 entries and the winners will be announced on Friday.

Mr Murray said the number of entries, which was very stable compared with previous years, was pleasing considering the problems the industry had to deal with.

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