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For the second year in a row, an international wine competition the Winelovers Wine Awards took part in Budapest from June, 7-9 and Drinks+ were delighted to be among the wine judges of this contest that ambitiously claims that aims to become the most influential wine competition in Central and Eastern Europe as Hungary, has always functioned as a gateway between East and West.
This year the judges and the wines from different countries expanded due to the contest’s teamwork and communications. Incidentally, it is worth adding that Agnes Nemeth, the Wine Travel Awards nominee in the “Author of the Year” category, performs as a chief professional organizer as part of the Winelovers Wine Awards competition.
It is also important, that Ukrainian wines got the special occasion to take part on a free basis. This proposition from the organizing committee was immediately announced on our media resources and spread through the Ukrainian winemakers’ community. And the excellent results for Ukrainian winemakers were not long in coming. But let’s tell orderly how the competition took place as well as who’s who in award decisions.
The wine judges very carefully selected by the leaders of the competition are enough international. Not only Hungarian professionals attended, but also representatives from Poland, Croatia, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Romania, Austria, Slovakia, USA, and Belgium. Each wine commission is headed by a titled representative of the wine world, such as Wine Akademiker, Masters of Wine еtс. This year it was delightful to see such famous wine personalities as Dr. Caroline Gilby MW, Dr. Jamie Goode, Essi Avellan MW, Kristian Kielmayer DipWSET and Weinakademiker with whom I was very lucky to taste, discuss and evaluate wines in our team as a jury member of the competition during the three days. By the way, the first two days for our team were devoted exclusively to still white wines, the last – to red ones.
More than 50 renowned international experts judge and give feedback on the entered wines at Winelovers Wine Awards competition. This 2023 edition numbers: 840 wines, 256 wineries, 11 countries, 38 wine regions.
According to the statistic of the Non-Hungarian entries, the first place was Romania (32,6%) and the second place was Ukraine taking 20% of the total number, then comes Slovakia with a share of 13.8 percent.
István TÁBOR, competition director, in his address to the jury members 2023 said: “The Winelovers Wine Awards represent the latest generation of international wine competitions, with aims and activities that go beyond traditional wine competitions. The competition was created to give wines a real breakthrough, covering the marketing value of medals into commercial results to build the bridge East to West, a win-win situation for Winemakers”.
László BÁLINT, competition president, commented to Drinks+: “The Winelovers Wine Awards 2023 wine competition has made significant progress compared to the previous year: both the number of domestic and foreign entries has increased. The number of international entries has surpassed 50%, indicating that the reputation of the competition has reached more wineries, and the professional level is unquestionable and exemplary due to the selection of the jury members. Any winery achieving outstanding results in this competition can be confident that their wine will stand its ground in any international competition and market”.
We are absolutely agreeing and are proud of Ukrainian winemakers who defiantly deserve such results they got.
In total 762 medals were awarded, and 4 wines received the Grand Gold distinction. Alongside the judges gave 101 Gold, 281 Silver, and 307 Bronze medals awarded. Our Ukrainian winemakers have an excellent result – 25 wines were awarded medals. The Ukrainian Winemakers who took part in the contest were Biologist Craft Winery from Kyiv region, Bereczky “Borászat” Winery from Beregovo, Frumushika-Nova Family Winery from Odesa region, Wine Cellar of Sass family (Kidyosh, Transcarpathia), Orosz Winery (Derecen, Transcarpathia), Bolgrad Winery (Odesa Region, Bessarabia)
The highest score of 91 points was given to the Wine Cellar of the Sass family for its oak-aged white wine Hárslevelű 2021. The Gold medals were also given to Biologist Craft Winery for its Aligote 2022, Bolgrad Winery for Bolgrad Reserve Collection Chardonnay 2021 and 1821 Select Collection Bolgrad Pinot Grigio 2021.
Congratulation from all our team!
All the results can be found here.
Not only blind tastings awaited the jury during these 3 days of the competition. In addition, the organizers tried to present us with a wide program of exciting master classes. Essi Avellan MW in her sparkling wine masterclass showed us the difference between various sparkling wine tastes of 0.75 bottle VS Magnum. And the taste is really different because the second magnum fermentation starts on average two days later than the same wine in 75 cl bottles, and takes almost one week longer. Citation from the presentation: ”The wines produced in magnums are also intrinsically different, due to the additional processes involved in the longer fermentation”.
She also shared with us the experience from The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2022. According to Essi Avellan MW, 51 pairs of comparable 0.75l and magnum bottles were entered with the same wine from the same vintage or non-vintage (regardless of base year) including all production methods. The result – 86% of the wines received the same or better medal results in magnum formats because of the specific mention above.
A brilliant masterclass conducted by Sebastian Giraldo Makovej, brand ambassador of Sauska Wines: ‘Furmint as a Sparkling: In the pursuit of the Sauska style’ where we could see the potential and different tastes and styles of the Furmint grape variety.
In its master class Gergely Ripka, Editor at TokajGuide, presented Young Aszú vintages from Tokaj.
The program of the second day was dedicated to the Winelovers X tasting & networking event. A relaxed and professional tasting of the wines by a small number of selected wineries (a list of 15 wineries was presented), and some samples entered the wine contest.
Our Drinks+ team congratulate all the winners and we are very pleased that the members of our team become participants in such prestigious wine competitions.