Dear industry,

In 2023, the WA Good Food Guide will tell the untold story of regional diversity through an inaugural, stand-alone WAGFG Wine Awards event with special international guest Matthew Jukes.

The event will see us open our arms to the entire WA wine community and invite them to celebrate and acknowledge the winners in over 12 award categories including an award that focuses on best wine of region, and more, with individual awards to be announced.

Our Top 25 WA Wines Of The Year returns as a foundation stone of the WAGFG Wine Awards. In a new initiative, we have reached out globally to create an additional layer to our judging and results, with an invitation to Matthew Jukes to attend and participate in the Awards. Jukes will be blind judging the Top 25 on stage on the evening with an aim to find his best-of-best – an interactive and dynamic ‘silver bullet’ award that will fortify the existing results.

As always, There will be one number one wine determined by our panel prior, and Jukes will pass judgement on the results by live-judging his best-of on the evening – this could of course be the same wine. Details of the event, including the venue will be released soon. Mark your diaries!

We are delighted to introduce you to our 2023 panel, led by the WA Good Food Guide Director of Drinks, Mike Bennie.

Mike Bennie (lead judge) – delicious magazine, James Halliday Wine Companion, P&V Merchants, et al
Nick Ryan – The Australian, GQ, Adelaide’s Sunday Mail, et al
Erin Larkin – Wine Advocate, et al
Emma Farrelly – State Buildings Drinks Director, wine show judge, sommelier
Steve Pannell – Winemaker SC Pannell (McLaren Vale), senior figure in wine shows of Australia
Nina Throsby, 2022 WAGFG Sommelier of the Year – Kailis Hospitality Group, Perth

Jukes’ visit to WA for our awards night will be his first trip to Western Australia in 15 years. A passionate advocate of the state and our producers, Jukes has worked in all sectors of the wine business for more than 35 years. He has presented a wine series on Channel 4 and contributed to the BBC for four years on a weekly wine-themed radio show. He has written a highly acclaimed weekly article for MoneyWeek since 2006 and was the weekly wine columnist for The Daily Mail for more than two decades. In 2002, Matthew was honoured with the title ‘International Wine Communicator of the Year’ at a ceremony in Verona. In addition, he has penned 14 wine books, selling over 1 million copies. Nowadays, he concentrates on five annual reports: Bordeaux En Primeur, Burgundy En Primeur, Piemonte, The Finest Fifty and 100 Best Australian Wines, all published on his website. His expertise in Australian wine led to him being made Honorary Australian of the Year, in 2012, by the Australia Day Foundation. He joins an eminent list of Honorary Australians, including Lord Carrington, Baroness Greenfield and Sir David Attenborough. Matthew is one of the UK’s most keenly followed wine journalists.

We at WA Good Food Guide are committed to supporting the WA wine industry and understand the incredible amount of work, resilience, diversity and tenacity that goes into producing wine. It is our goal through this newly developed program, to give you a platform that showcases the successful wines to a consumer market through the marketing program that we develop and launch around the awards. This is designed to generate exposure for your vineyards and inevitably convert into commercial success – we are going beyond a trade focus and extending our program into the consumer landscape as a further relevance and cut through.

Key dates
1 May – Awards night announcement and entry criteria released
1 June – Entries open
1 July – Awards night tickets on sale
1 August – Three-week delivery window for entries
End of August – Panel judging
Early September – Finalists notified
Monday 9 October – Awards Night

Thank you, and if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to email our Director Georgia Moore here.

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