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Over 6000 Wines Vie for Medals at MundusVini 2012

Posted: Friday, 31 August 2012 11:20

Over 6000 Wines Vie for Medals at MundusVini 2012

August 31 : The 12th edition of Mundus Vini Awards 2012 began last week in Neustadt with over 6000 wines entered from 42 countries/regions, hoping to win a Great Gold, Gold or Silver medal with Italy continuing to lead in terms of highest samples, followed by Germany and Spain, writes Subhash Arora who has been invited to represent India as a judge for the sixth consecutive year.

Click For Large ViewThe number of samples (6019) remains more or less the same as last year (6028). Although Italy has submitted fewer samples (1257) compared to last year’s 1300, it maintains a clear lead over the home country Germany which at 1078 wines, is also slightly lower than last year’s 1120. Germany is a very important market for Italy, and hence the maximum presence. According to German experts the Mundus Vini award plays an important role in selling wine in Germany.

One reason the number might have dropped marginally is also because a few wines were rejected due to the unethical means employed by some of the entrants, as Christoph Meininger, co-owner of the competition explained to over 132 members of the International jury representing 23 panels. About half of the samples submitted were tasted during the first phase on 24-26 August. Balance samples are being tasted during this weekend. The competition is held annually at the fixed venue, Saalbau in Neustadt on the Weinstrasse (Wine Street) over two weekends spread over the last two week-ends of August.

More judges and more women tasters have been in the current edition than before, as Prof Dr. Ulrich Fischer, one of the directors of the competition explained to the jury members at the start of the competition last Friday. While Germany has the highest number in the jury with a 100 judges, 25 have been invited from France whereas Italy (14) is fourth. India has a sole representative in Subhash Arora who, making his sixth consecutive annual appearance, has been the first Indian to be invited since the competition started in 2001 and has been a regular visitor since 2007.

Click For Large ViewWines entered  get the much coveted Great Gold if they score 95 points out of a possible 100 or Gold with 90 and above. Silver medal is relatively easier to win with only 85 points required. Judging and scoring is done under the provisions of OIV under whose aegis the competition is held. In fact it is world’s largest blind competition organised following OIV rules. Occasional discussions are allowed only after the marks have been submitted by each judge to the panel president.

Ukraine, a small producer belonging to the erstwhile USSR, has entered wines for the first time. Ievgeniia Rodionova, a Director at the Publishing House N in Kiev, who motivated a couple of producers to debut for her country with samples, has been a fellow judge for several years. ‘Not only do we want Ukraine to be known as a wine producer, we want the quality to be judged by international tasters to know where we stand,’ she says, adding that Ukraine has been exporting small quantities to Germany as well. Another small producer, Thailand, has already been sending samples for the same reason.

Missing from the tasting line-up are China and India, two of the BRIC countries. Interestingly, India has been taking part in Pro-Wein under the aegis of Indian Grape Processing Board. Logically, if the IGPB feels the Show is useful for Indian wines, it needs to understand the importance of partaking in such a competition - even if it means subsidizing 50% of the cost and the extra burden of organising, consolidating and shipping the samples on behalf of member wineries. It spends hundreds of thousands of rupees in participating in such Shows in Hong Kong, Germany and London - it can surely budget small amounts to encourage participation in wine competitions like MundusVini in Germany, HKIWSC in Hong Kong and IWSC or IWC or Decanter in London. Competitions like Concours Mondial de Bruxelles are also there for wider European markets.

Click For Large ViewThe importance of MundusVini may be judged from a passing concluding remark on the last day by Christoph Meininger. Pro-Wein is planning to go soon to Shanghai and test market a Show in china by holding a wine fair in a hotel. Mundus Vini has been asked to send 300 of the award winning wines to China. This is a feather in the cap and recognition of the quality of the competition.

And talking about the first time entrant Ukraine - a couple of their wines ended up at our table. The judges are not allowed to comment on the results but suffice it to say they may have a pleasant surprise in store. Knowing the progress made by some of the Indian wines during the last few years, they might have won a few medals had they entered the competition. Who knows, one of the Indian award winning wines might have then also made it to China - via Germany!!

Subhash Arora


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