The NZ Organic Wine Awards are a young award, and with new, comes questions! Below are some of the common questions, and answers.
How are the awards judged? The Awards are blind tasted by a large, varied consumer based judging panel. The panel varies from year to year, with around 5 constant judges and 10-15 guest judges, picked using a criterion to reflect our target market. All judges are 100% independent and have no business interest in any competing vineyard. All judging is voluntary. This varies greatly from the traditional wine award judging model, especially as our panel features no winemakers. We are not advocating that this method is ‘better’, although it does leave our independence beyond question.
Why don’t you use professional judges? Simply put, we want our judges to accurately reflect our target audience. Our goal is to increase market share of organic wine in NZ, our best way to achieve this is to attract mainstream wine purchasers to organics.
We used professional judges for the first 4 years of operation and compared results with our community based panels. Results were fairly consistent with one or two anomalies. Professional judges provide a fantastic service, bringing huge amounts of knowledge, and their services definitely have a place in wine shows. However given that other awards exist within this space, our community panel utilisation gives us a point of difference both to the public and partaking wineries.
We don’t enter wine shows, why should we enter this? A large percentage (nearly 60%) of our entries are from wineries who detail the NZ Organic Wine Awards as the only wine show that they partake. The reasoning for this includes the belief that organic wine does not perform well against traditional judging criteria, not producing enough volume to enter, unable to fulfill quota demands if they win, the cost of entry through to a general dislike for the wine award structure and judging processes.
The NZ Organic Wine Awards are here to support and promote the organic wine sector in NZ, and help consumers make a positive, well informed, buying decision on what could be their first venture into ‘organic’ wine. Many wineries comment that they have experienced sales growth, or new distribution channels as a direct result of the awards.
The low cost (only samples + postage) of entry makes the awards a low-risk opportunity, whilst furthering the credibility of the sector.
How are wines awarded? Wines are judged by our panel, and issued a point score, the the highest and lowest of these scores are discarded, with the remainder of the scores being averaged. Based on points thresholds the wine will then be issued a corresponding medal (if applicable).
What is the cost of entry? The NZ Organic Wine Awards act as a non-profit. We do not ask for an ‘entry’ or ‘admin’ fee, and do not charge for medal artwork, or stickers (see below). All admin staff, and judges are like minded individuals who donate their time to the awards on a voluntary basis.
What if one of our wines wins a medal? If your vineyard is awarded a medal, you will receive an email to confirm the achievement. Your vineyard may use the award title “**Gold/Silver/Bronze** Medal – 2021 NZ Organic Wine Awards” in marketing material. You will also receive digital print ready media to print your own stickers, alternatively we will arrange a ‘group buy price’ with a NZ based printer for you to purchase directly. This price will be the cost price, the NZ Organic Wine Awards does not charge a premium or admin fee on stickers.
Our vineyards are in conversion, can I still enter? Yes, providing that 100% of the grapes used are from a vineyard certified as ‘In-Conversion’ or ‘Re-conversion’with one of the certification agencies.
How do I enter? Please use the on-line entry form – Click Here
When are entries due? We urge vineyards to submit entries as soon as possible, in order to help us gauge judging requirements. However samples must be received by 26th March.
Why are there so many data points on your entry form? We are trying to use the data we collect from wineries during the entry process and subsequent judging to identify trends that could help aid the growth or organic wine sales in New Zealand. Completing these data points is optional, and all data collected will be presented and shared with wineries partaking in the awards. Currently no other organisation is collating this amount of data across such a range of Organic Wineries in NZ.
I have more questions? Please use the contact page, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!