The Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology is a professional association for winemakers, viticulturists and those involved in research and education in the wine industry.

In 2001, a Seminar “Who’s Running the Show” – Future Directions for the Australian Wine Show system, was held by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology. This debated the strengths, weaknesses and way ahead for Australian wine shows and was the first step in decades towards refinement and improvement of the wine show system.

Since then the ASVO’s Wine Show Committee (WSC), chaired by Nick Bulleid, and now Samantha Connew, has comprehensively reviewed wine show practices.  An industry based reference group was also established to act as a sounding board for all proposals.

Five recommendations have been made covering the areas of:

  • Wine show standards
  • Judge impartiality
  • Trophy judging methodology
  • Audit protocols
  • Use of medals

Details of these recommendations can be obtained by referring to the ASVO website.

The intention of the recommendations is to maintain confidence in the system, ensure the prosperity of the Australian wine shows, establish a standard approach to conducting wine shows and to continue to promote and improve the Australian wine industry as a whole.

Recent activity by the WSC has centred on establishing a network of auditors in all states which shows can call on to provide consistent, objective auditing of entries and awards, thereby guaranteeing their integrity.  This network, and the operating procedures that auditors will use, are now complete.  The ASVO has already recommended auditors for several capital city and regional shows.

The WSC’s recommendations form a synergy with the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia’s Code of Practice on Use of Medals and the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation’s custodianship of wine shows approved for display on packaging for the European Union. The recommendations have also been well received by many wine shows that have themselves contributed greatly to the whole process.