By James Atkinson

Big wine companies should stop supporting “pseudo-national” wine shows that do nothing but bleed money from the industry, according to Sydney Royal Wine Show chairman of Judges, Iain Riggs.

Speaking at the WCA Trophy Winners Lunch on Friday, Riggs said the Australian wine show system is rightly structured around the Royal Agricultural Society shows in each state capital city.

“These wine shows are the best there is. We don’t need that second tier of pseudo-nationals,” he said.

Riggs later told TheShout he was referring largely to the regional wine shows that accept entries from across the country, rather than focusing purely on benchmarking the wines of their own region.

“A lot of these wine shows just bleed money out of our wine industry. I don’t know about you but the last time I looked, I didn’t think the wine industry was so flush with money that we could support all these wine shows,” he said on Friday.

Riggs said the big wine companies should reconsider their support of these wine shows in “far flung regional places”, which were appealing due to their cheaper entry fees and a lower volume of entries.

“There are some big companies here – I won’t name them – who support those shows very heavily and load them up and they get a bit of silverware at the end of it,” he said.

“Obviously the big companies have that money to throw around, but I would not have thought so.”

Riggs said it was time to “get rid” of some of these unneeded wine shows and work towards a hierarchical system, with each RAS show open to medal-winning wines nationally as well any wines from its home state.

“Support the RAS in each capital city, because those wine shows are some of the best in the world,” he said.

The Shout Team

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1 Comment

  1. Wholeheartedly agree that we should get rid of a few wine shows. The major, or capital city wine shows just replicate each other, and are so prohibitively expensive and loaded towards the majors that the small artisan wineries just can’t afford to enter. Maybe the capital city shows would get some credibility if they dropped nonsense trophy awards for things like “Most Successful Exhibitor” Unless, of course they want to relate the award of medals back to a % of the exhibitors overall range. Small shows are good if we consider that the major aim of the show system is to provide feedback from skilled judges to produces first, and a marketing exercise second.

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