Argentina Wine Awards 2015: The best Argentine wines; to be chosen by women

awa_2015Wines of Argentina, the organisation responsible for the image of Vino Argentino around the world have announced the Argentina Wine Awards (AWA) 2015: «The Empowerment of Women in wine». This event, planned and designed to evaluate and reward the quality and progress of Argentina’s wine industry, has earned its place as the country’s most important event.

The ninth edition of the AWA will be held from 8 to 13 February 2015 in the province of Mendoza and will emphasise women’s empowerment and the role played by women in the industry. The purpose of this issue is to find out what the leading women in wine think about Argentine wines.

The 2015 edition will feature a luxury jury headed by Jancis Robinson MW (UK), Christy Canterbury MW (USA), Susan Kostrzewa (USA), Barbara Philip MW (Canada), Sara D’Amato (Canada), Annette Scarfe MW (Singapore / HK), Megumi Nishida (Japan), Felicity Carter (Germany), Essi Avellan MW (Finland), Cecilia Torres Salinas (Chile) and Suzana Barelli (Brazil). Pending formal confirmation from Shari Mogk Edwards (Canada)

This year, the competition has both an international and national jury and is made up of women, all related to the wine industry. The purpose is to recognise the role exerted by women in a traditionally male world, bringing their creativity and insight to the industry in all its aspects.

Today, women hold positions in all stages of the production of wine, such as winemakers, export managers, consumers and especially sommeliers, where the feminine sense of smell experiences aromas with more intensity and finds the names which identify them more naturally. These feminine skills combined on a jury that features the most important figures in the world of wine, will surely make the AWA 2015, an unforgettable experience.

Organised by Wines of Argentina and Wine Corporation Argentina (COVIAR), the Argentina Wine Awards (AWA) is an iconic event that allows local wineries to show the world what their wines can deliver by submitting their samples in a contest that takes place behind closed doors and has a jury of outstanding professionals in their field.

Also, in order to encourage the participation of wineries from all regions – Northern Argentina, Cuyo and Patagonia – for the second time, a special Trophy is to be awarded to each region.

About AWA

The criteria used for tasting is based on the classification of all samples by type, variety and price, performed in a blind tasting. It also takes into account many details to ensure that the participating brands are available for both the domestic and the external markets and are not simply tank / barrels samples, meaning that the brand exists, the wine is fractionated and labeled, and a minimum number of bottles exist.

To ensure transparency and impeccable organisation, the English consultancy firm Hunt & Coady take care of all the logistics of the event which takes place behind closed doors.

The jury varies with each edition and always seeks to provide a framework or theme for each event, strengthening different aspects of the target markets. However, the presence of 12 highly qualified specialists is always guaranteed with a general view of the global wine market, whether they be journalists, Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers, wine bloggers or Winemakers. In addition, the team of international tasting judges are accompanied by six leading experts from Argentina.

The points and reviews of the different leaders of the sector remain strong in the trade, and in markets like the US, they can determine how much of a product is sold.

As well as this, in some markets, such as the Canadian Liquor Boards, scores in these types of competitions, can go towards winning a tender, which also represents a clear commercial advantage.

About the AWA 2015 Jury

Jancis Robinson (UK) MW, according to Decanter magazine, is the most respected wine journalist in the world. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine industry to pass the  Master of Wine exam. On her website ( and every week in the Financial Times, she writes about the world of the wine industry. In 2003, she received an OBE from the Queen.

Christy Canterbury (USA) MW is a journalist, panelist and juror from New York. She writes for Decanter magazine,, Wine Enthusiast, among others. She was nominated for the 2014 Louis Roederer awards for best online journalist of the year.

Susan Kostrzewa (USA) is the executive editor of Wine Enthusiast and is on the panel of tasters. She is the author of numerous books on cooking, travel and wines such as Opus Vino, a selection of the best wine regions.

Barbara Philip (Canada) MW, is responsible for the selection of European wines to the British Columbia Liquor Distribution Branch (BCLDB). Along with her husband she is a wine consultant and works as a presenter, journalist and judge.

Sara D’Amato (Canada) is a consultant, sommelier, wine critic and senior partner in Sara is wine columnist for Chatelaine magazine and writes freelance for several publications.

Annette Scarfe (Singapore / HK) MW, works as an independent consultant advising major players in the Asian wine industry. In turn, she is also a judge in wine competitions in the UK, Hong Kong and France.

Megumi Nishida (Japan) freelance journalist for several magazines; Winart, Vinoteque, Wands, Cuisine kingdom, among others.

Essi Avellan (Finland) MW, is editor of Fine Champagne Magazine, the only magazine in the world dedicated to the world of champagne.

Felicity Carter (Germany) is the chief editor of Meininger’s Magazine, dedicated to the world of the international wine business. She has extensive experience as a wine judge all over the world.

Cecilia Torres Salinas (Chile) is the number one reference concerning the Chilean wine industry. She works as a winemaker in one of the most awarded wineries in Chile.

Suzana Barelli (Brazil) Journalist and Editor of Menu magazine

Shari Mogk Edwards (Canada) is head of the department of marketing and sales of wines and spirits from the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario), considered the retailer with the most buying power in the world for its network of outlets. She is responsible for carrying out the short and long-term strategies of the monopoly.

About WofA

Wines of Argentina is the entity responsible for the brand VINO ARGENTINO in the world. Since 1993, the organisation has been promoting the image of local wines abroad, and helping to guide the export strategy of Argentina by studying and analysing the changes that occur in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina among major wine exporting countries in the world and to contribute to the overall success of the wine industry, seeking to raise the positive perception in the trade of opinion leaders and consumers. Facebook: Wines of Argentina Twitter:WinesofArg

About the Argentina Wine Corporation (Corporación Vitivinícola Argentina):

The Argentina Wine Corporation manages and coordinates the actions necessary to meet the objectives of the ‘Plan Estratégico Argentina Vitivinícola 2020’ (Argentina Wine Strategic Plan 2020) taking on the challenge of transforming the wine sector and boosting, with a strategic vision, its strengths and opportunities in the global market of wine, of grape juice concentrate, of raisins and of table grapes. The Strategic Plan has been designed to create value through the organisation and integration of the actors in the chain, with a view to producing wines of higher quality and consistency in all segments and products. Facebook: Corporation Viticultural Argentina Twitter: @ Coviar1