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News - 15.08.17

Argentina Wine Awards: International specialists will select the best of Argentine viniculture.

From 4th to 8th September 2017 it will take place in Mendoza the 11th Edition of the Argentina Wine Awards, the most influential tasting competition in Latin America, organized by Wines of Argentina and COVIAR.

From 4th to 8th September 2017 it will take place in Mendoza the 11th Edition of the Argentina Wine Awards, the most influential tasting competition in Latin America, organized by Wines of Argentina and COVIAR.

This year´s concept “Breaking New Ground” seeks to reflect the innovations the industry is experiencing. In tune with this topic, this edition will include important changes in the format, such as the incorporation of the criterion "Region" to classify the samples and the reorganization of price categories. There will also be induction seminars on each region, prior to tasting, in order to improve understanding of the origin of each product.

For the first time in the history of the contest the Seminar and the Awards Cocktail will be held on the same day to recognize and celebrate the best of Argentine viticulture. Both events will take place at Bodega Salentein on September 8th. Tickets can be purchased electronically through Eventbrite or by email at

The seminar “Changing the Game: from varietals to regions” will address the new challenges facing the Argentine wine industry, furthering our knowledge on the combination of variety + region. It will start at 8.30 with a walk-around tasting of imported labels selected by international judges depending on the relationship between the origin of the wines and their success in the United States, UK and China. Afterwards, in different presentation panels the judges will explain the main characteristics of the markets they represent, while presenting the wines tasted at the beginning of the day.

Finally, from 14:00 onwards the Awards Cocktail will take place, at which the winning wines of the 11th edition of the Argentina Wine Awards will be announced. During the event, special recognition will also be given to "Personality of the Year 2017".

The international panel will be made up of specialists from the United States, UK and China, who will be joined by the well-known Argentine sommelier Paz Levinson. It is the second time that an Argentine personality takes part in the international jury. Local wine referents will also be involved in the tasting sessions.

As in previous editions, Wines of Argentina will include all +95 points winners in their promotional activities abroad to demonstrate the high quality of the wines of Argentina.

“Over the last 20 years Argentina has become a world viticulture benchmark. A whole new generation of agricultural engineers, enologists and wine producers is at the forefront of the Argentine wine industry due to the thorough study of the diversity of its terroirs. Argentina is taking the lead and breaking new ground when it comes to produce quality wines and the AWA honours this evolution”, said Alberto Arizu, President of Wines of Argentina.

International Judges

Emma Dawson - UK

She entered the wine world after a first career in film and media. But this changed after she took a chance move into supermarket world at the UK store Sainsbury's. Whilst there she completed her WSET diploma and joined their wine department. In her free time, she also started to run a new type of wine tasting event called the 'Naked Grape' for charity. From there, she moved to the premium supermarket Marks & Spencer and started to study on the Master of Wine Study Programme which she passed this year. In the seven years since she joined Marks & Spencer she has worked in several buying areas; across wine and spirits. Among her specialism is a focus on lesser known wine regions, bringing new wines to their range from; Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Georgia, Turkey, Bolivia, Japan, India and Brazil. She also buys South America, Burgundy, Bordeaux, Italy and Fine Wine for the company.

Jamie Goode - UK

London-based wine writer, lecturer, wine judge and book author. With a PhD in Plant Biology, he worked as a Science Editor before starting, one of the world’s most popular wine websites. He is columnist for UK national newspaper The Sunday Express, and writes regularly for a range of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, Meininger’s Wine Business International, Noble Rot, Wine & Spirits and Drinks International. He is in demand as a speaker/lecturer and also a wine judge, and as well as being one of the co-chairs for the International Wine Challenge, is overseas judge for the Top 10 Chenin Blanc competition in South Africa and Wine Align’s National Wine Awards of Canada. He has recently been a keynote speaker for the Cool Climate Wine Symposium, the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Celebration, the Australian Wine Technical Conference and Texsom.

Lucy Shaw - UK

Lucy Shaw is Managing Editor of the Drinks Business Magazine. Her special interest areas include Spain, Champagne, South America and the London on-trade. As passionate about food she is about wine, she edits the magazine’s Eat.Drink reports that take the temperature of London’s ever-evolving restaurant scene. Prior to the drinks business, Lucy spent three years as editorial assistant at Decanter magazine. In addition to her duties at db, she occasionally freelances for Marie Claire, Newsweek, GQ and online luxury lifestyle magazine The Arbuturian on food, wine and travel. Her other interests include film, photography, literature, music and art. She has been nominated for the Louis Roederer Emerging Wine Writer of the Year award four times. This year she was nominated for the Louis Roederer Food & Wine Writer of the Year award.

Rachel Brown - UK

Rachel Brown is International Training and Development Manager at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London. Predominately she supports the network of new and long-standing WSET providers throughout the Americas (excl USA) and manages the International Educator Training Program. Current projects include facilitating the Level 4 Diploma Program in Sao Paulo and arranging WSET presence at events and fairs across the region. Rachel landed rather accidentally in the wine world after completing a Modern Languages degree and spending a few years living in northern Italy and Chile. Italy is where she really fell in love with wine, and on her return she embarked on a career change. She completed her WSET Diploma whilst working at Majestic Wine Warehouse where she fulfilled various roles in her 7 years there. She now combines her initial career choice of teaching with her love of educating (particularly beginners) all about the wonders of wine, spirits and sake.

Peter Granoff - USA

In 1991 Peter Granoff was the 15th American to earn the coveted title Master Sommelier, and is one of the 18 Americans to date that have earned the Krug Champagne Cup by passing all three parts of the exam on the first attempt. He is active today as an examiner and lecturer for the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory, Advanced and Masters level programs, and is currently serving a 3 year term on the Master Sommeliers Americas Board of Directors. He is active as a speaker, panelist, judge, and educator in numerous wine consumer and wine industry settings, and has presented at professional wine and e-commerce conferences at American universities such as Harvard, Wharton, Rhodes, and UC Berkeley, and as far away as Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Since 2003 Peter has been co-proprietor of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar in San Francisco’s acclaimed Ferry Building Marketplace. In January of 2008 Peter and his current business partners opened Oxbow Cheese & Wine Merchant

Eric Zillier - USA

Eric Zillier first became passionate about wine working in restaurants while studying at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After a year in France, his dream of becoming a diplomat faded, as his interest in wine grew. After graduating with a degree in French and International Relations, Eric decided to focus on wine. He moved to New York where he spent over fifteen years as a sommelier at some of New York's finest restaurants. From 1998-2005, Eric served as sommelier at Veritas, which became a global wine destination restaurant and Wine Spectator Grand Award winner, featuring an international selection of ultra-rare treasures. In 2005, he started the wine program at Michelin two-star Alto, in midtown, where earned the Grand Award. Most recently, Mr. Zillier served as the wine director at one of New York's most popular restaurants, Gotham Bar & Grill. After twenty years of working in restaurants, Eric decided to take on a new, but related challenge- wine technology. Eric currently works at SevenFifty Technologies, a platform that better connects the three tiers of the U.S. wholesale alcohol community.

Adam Teeter – USA

Adam Teeter is the co-founder and CEO of VinePair, the United States' leading online publication about wine, beer and spirits. Adam founded VinePair 3 years ago with Josh Malin with the goal of creating an aspirational lifestyle publication for the next generation of consumers. Prior to founding VinePair, Adam founded Vivo in Vino, a music series that paired cutting-edge bands, such as The Antlers and Freelance Whales, with accessible wine makers, such as Mouton Noir and Brooklyn Oenology, in an intimate setting. He also created and wrote Juiced, a television show about wine and culture that was optioned by Herzog TV. When not working on entrepreneurial ventures, Adam loves to drink wine with friends and is the winner of the Left Bank Bordeaux Cup American Wine-Tasting Championship. He holds an MBA from NYU Stern and a BA in Journalism from Emory University.

Dorian Tang - CHINA

Master of Wine Stage 2 student, WSET Diploma holder, joined ASC Fine Wines in 2002 as a wine educator. She has a long history in the wine industry having previously worked as a Sommelier in the US for more than five years. She holds a master degree of Industrial Economics from the Administration Department of Chinese Academy of Social Science, but her great interest in wines soon lead her to join China’s leading distributor of Fine Wine, ASC. Dorian has successfully become one of the few people in Asia to qualify as a recommended tutor for Burgundy Wine School (BIVB), approved tutor of WSET, and few others. She´s a Bordeaux Wine School (CIVB) tutor, A+ Australian tutor, New Zealand Wine School tutor and Rioja Wine School tutor.

Jicheng Zhan - CHINA

Dr. Zhan Jicheng is the professor of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering department, China Agricultural University, where he got his PhD degree. His research expertise and interest is Viticulture and Enology. Now his research is focused on wine flavor profiled with analytical chemistry techniques and metabolic pathways. He is also interested in the exploitation of indigenous wine yeasts. He has published more than 80 articles in the forms of international peer-reviewed journals. Dr. Zhan is also the Chief Editor of Wine in China Journal which has established since 2007 and has been one of the most important wine journals of China. He has conducted several research projects and gives conferences and seminars concerning the promotion of wine and wine appreciation in China.

Shengan Karla Wang - CHINA

Karla Wang, or "Lady Penguin", graduated from Brown University and Le Cordon Bleu Wine and Management. She is the producer of China's 50-million-view wine show "Lady Penguin's Wine Daily", the founder of China's largest paid wine membership "Penguin Society", and the guest taster for France's leading wine guide Bettane & Desseauve in China. This year this guide launches the first guide in Mandarin of the 1.000 best wines sales in China.

Li Hang - CHINA

Li Hang is president of China Sommelier Academy since late 2015. Previously he worked as wine director of Shi Shang Wine Culture Company and was head sommelier of Arrowfield Winery. He has been awarded Wine and Spirits Education Trust Level 3 and certified sommelier by the court of master sommelier. He graduated from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management at UAE, Shan Dong College of Tourism and Hospitality. After working as a Senior Wine Sommelier at Emirates Palace of Abu Dhabi in UAE, he became a wine tutor of Ease Scent Wine Education. He was Arrow Field Winery’s Ambassador for China and Wine Director of Shi Shang Wine Culture Co. Li Hang is also a wine writer and a food tasting judge. As an events trainer and organizer, he was the wine glass designer for the G20 opening banquet in Hangzhou, China.

Paz Levinson – ARG

Paz Levinson works between Argentina and France as a sommelier, consultant and wine educator. She is also a wine writer for several publications. She worked at the three-star Michelin restaurant of Le Bristol Hotel together with Marco Pelletier and she is currently head Sommelier at La Ferme Saint Simon in Paris. Levinson started her wine carreer in Argentina, where she worked as head sommelier in a series of top restaurants, including Restó and Nectarine. She was a part-time educator at Wine and Spirits Argentine Center (CAVE) for 5 years, where she obtained her Professional Sommelier diploma in 2006. At the same time, she completed a BA degree in Literature and she recently became the first Argentine to get the Advanced Sommelier Certificate given by the Court of Master Sommeliers. She won the title of Best Sommelier of the Americas (A.S.I. & APAS) in 2015. Levinson was also chosen twice as the Best Sommelier in Argentina (2010 and 2014) by the Argentine Sommeliers Association.