New Awards System for 21st Canberra International Riesling Challenge

Posted 11 May 2022 11:27am


The 21st Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) to be held 10-15 October 2022 will introduce a new awards system commencing with the 2022 Challenge.

Originally intended for introduction in 2021 the CIRC has used the COVID imposed delay to further refine the new awards system.

 Instead of the traditional medal system used by most wine shows, the CIRC will use a system based on the 100 point scale against which the wines are judged during the Challenge.

 The Canberra International Riesling Challenge will use the following descriptors:

Elite                  - 95+ points
Excellent           - 93-94 points
Premium           - 90-92 points
Recommended  - 85-89 points

 “The medal system where a wine can be awarded a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal is misunderstood by the public” said Ken Helm AM, Deputy Chair of the Challenge.

“The wine show medal system refers to a quality standard so there can be many Gold, Silver or Bronze medals awarded at a show. This grading system was in use for many decades in the wine industry prior to its use by the Olympic movement to describe first, second and third placings. For example, a Tasmanian sparkling wine won a Gold medal in Paris in 1848.

 “Unfortunately use of this terminology from a sporting context can have negative connotations when used in the wine judging context. Some people think that a Bronze medal result is somehow an inferior wine, when in fact bronze in the wine show system means a well-made wine of good quality. 

 “For most of us 85% is a pretty smart score, and so is a wine score of 85/100.

“We believe that the new descriptors more clearly represent the quality of the wine and are more easily understood. The judging results and the awards will be made known via bottle labels showing the score on the 100 point scale.

“The Canberra International Riesling Challenge has always been a leader in developing Australian wine show practices, and this is another example of the Challenge leading the way” Ken Helm said.   

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