Comunicati | 24 Agosto 2023 | Fabio Ciarla

International Judges and VIP Judge Announced 2023 Cathay Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition

Accolade Wines’ Group Premium Winemaker Joins as VIP International Wine Judge for 15th Anniversary

11 July 2023 (Hong Kong): As the Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HK IWSC) marks its 15th anniversary in 2023, top Australian winemaker Mr. Craig Stansborough, Group Premium Winemaker for Accolade Wines, has been announced as the 2023 VIP International Wine Judge. The 2023 competition will also see the participation of nine distinguished international wine and spirit judges, infusing a fresh and dynamic pan-Asian perspective into the tasting experience. 

Stansborough, the highly respected Group Premium Winemaker for Accolade Wines in Australia and New Zealand, brings over 35 years of winemaking experience. His talent, leadership, and unrelenting passion have created some of Australia’s most respected wines, including Meshach, The Holy Trinity, Shadrach, and Filsell. 

Named Barossa Winemaker of the year in 2014, Stansborough is a passionate ambassador for the Barossa Valley, having served on the Barossa Wine Show Committee for 10 years and been a part of the inaugural Barossa Technical Committee. Craig’s discerning palate has also earned him a role as a judge on various prestigious wine shows, including the Barossa Wine Show and the National Wine Show. As a vineyard owner and winemaker, he is committed to preserving a healthy environment for future generations. 

Mr. Craig Stansborough, Group Premium Winemaker at Accolade Wines, said, “Looking forward to tasting with other wine experts, discussing style direction across the globe, discovering unknown gems!” 

Nine distinguished judges from across Asia will also add a fresh, comprehensive regional outlook to the event this year. International judges include Kenichi Ohashi MW, President of Red Bridge Co Ltd., Japan; João Pires MS, the Director of Wine for Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s Macao properties; Terry Xu, Wine Educator at Shanghai Aroma Wines, China; Thomas Ling, Principal Partner at Entwine Consultancy, Malaysia; Thomas Ho, Founder of Le Somm Experience, Taiwan; Stephen Notman, Founder at WhiskyL! Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei; John Wei, Founder and Yeast Whisperer at Brewlander, Malaysia; David Wong, Executive Director – Food & Beverage Academy at Wynn Macau; Della Tang, Sommelier at Ensue, Shenzhen, China; and Gerald Lu, General Manager/Head Sommelier at Praelum Wine Bistro, Singapore.

Kenichi Ohashi MW, President of Red Bridge Co Ltd., widely regarded as the most distinguished wine professional in Japan, said, “I am excited to contribute to the HK IWSC Judging Panel, bringing my unique perspective as a Master of Wine from Japan. With a passion for food pairing, I am eager to collaborate with judges from diverse cultural backgrounds and hear their different ideas.” 

Debra Meiburg MW, Founding Director of the HK IWSC said, “To mark our 15th year, we are thrilled to welcome one of Australia’s top winemakers as VIP International Wine Judge. As the fourth largest winery group in the world, Accolade’s depth and breadth of experience is immense. As such, Craig Stansborough’s role as winemaker for the group’s premium brands brings an exceptional level of expertise and insight to our panel of judges.

“Along with Craig, we are extremely excited to welcome back our incredibly important contingent of pan-Asian judges – who were unfortunately absent during the Covid-19-era judging weeks of 2020, 2021 ans 2022. As a truly regional competition, the palates of Asia’s top wine and spirit professionals from diverse countries ensure the results reflect the region as a whole. Not to mention the excitement and fun of the many cross-cultural exchanges and opinions that the presence of these judges bring. I cannot wait for September!”

Considered the most significant competition in Asia, the HK IWSC is uniquely designed for the Asian market, featuring Asian judging panels, hotly contested Asian food and wine pairing award categories, and an “Asia’s Best” series of awards for the best wines produced in Asia.   

Asia’s top beverage professionals eagerly await the annual results, which are widely acknowledged as the go-to reference for selecting the finest wines and spirits for their customers. 

Entries for the 2023 HK IWSC close on 10 September. Judging week takes place from 19 to 22 September in Hong Kong. The results will be publicly released on 10 November. 
To enter the HK IWSC,  please enter online

About Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition

Now celebrating its 15th year, the Cathay HK IWSC remains the original and most prestigious wine and spirit competition in Asia. Directed by Debra Meiburg MW, the competition is regarded as the definitive Asian guide to the world’s finest wines and spirits. With a panel of 66 expert judges from around Asia, the HK IWSC results identify the best wines suited to Asian taste preferences from across the globe. 

Source: HKIWSC Marketing & Communication C.C.

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