2001 – The beginning of an odyssey

Tim & Helen 2004

After beginning as a Sangiovese Challenge in 1999 and an Australian Italian variety celebration in 2000, the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in it’s current form kicked off in 2001.  Here is a snapshot of what that first AAVWS entailed from the archive of event manager Helen Healy with observations from Inaugural Chief of Judges Tim White (both pictured)…

A very brief summary of the show:

167 entries – 165 judged as 2 were withdrawn – in 25 classes. Some classes with only 2-3 entries but most with 5-7 and a few ( Sangiovese, Chambourcin ) with 11-13.

Tim White was pleased with the number of entrants and the spread of entries from the large corporate to very small producers. The majority of wines were of good quality as evidenced by the number of medals, with some outstanding wines (several of the silver medal wines were very high silver), and of course there were a few sub-standard wines, but as this is a new show with new wine styles that was to be expected.

So a good show overall.

1 Gold
15 Silver
42 Bronze

Best red – McGuigan Wines Verdot (Silver)

Best White + Best Italian + Wine of show * – Yalumba Redbank Sunday Morning Pinot Gris (Gold)
(*Trip for 2 to VinItaly, Economy Class Airfares, 5 nights accommodation, and visit to VCR.)

Great awards dinner by Stefano with 4 great wines from Joe Grilli’s private cellar. Joe spoke about the wines and was most entertaining.


A promising start to what has now become a strong annual fixture of the Australian Wine Show calendar attracting over 700 entries from across Australia and New Zealand.

The countdown is now on to our 15th show in 2015…

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Changing the World

“The massive impact the AAVWS has had on wine production and consumption in Australia over the last 15 years is now flowing overseas as alternative varieties breathe new life into the UK market and add colour and excitement to the Australian offering.”