Grape Wall Q&A: Decanter’s Sarah Kemp talks about Asia Wine Awards

Decanter's Sarah Kemp

By Jim Boyce

Decanter announced today that it will launch a new competition, the Asia Wine Awards, on May 29 during Vinexpo Asia-Pacific. I asked Sarah Kemp, publishing director of Decanter, a few quick questions about the contest via email. Here they are (my highlights):

Boyce: There is nothing stopping a winery from entering the same wine in both the Decanter World Wine Awards and the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, correct?

Kemp: Correct. We will not be surprised if there are different medals given for the same wine. The panel we are assembling in Asia will be the best Asian palates, and therefore will reflect the Asian preference. In this way we can be relevant to Asian consumers.

Boyce: Why organize the awards now and how do they fit with other competitions in the region, such as the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition, the WSA Wine Challenge and events by the International Wine Challenge?

Kemp: I don’t know if we do [fit]! Decanter is an internationally recognised brand trusted by consumers and trade alike. Our aim is to take all our expertise and create a competition which will help guide Asian consumers to chose wines with confidence. The difference with Decanter is that we will be working to ensure the results reach the person who matters, the end consumer. Our expertise is in reaching consumers and we have spent many years researching the market to understand how best to reach Asian consumers, especially in China. Look out for further announcements from Decanter shortly.

Boyce: The press release states, “Each wine will be judged within its region of origin so that an expression of terroir is taken into account.” How will “region of origin” / “terroir” be decided for wines from, say, China?

Kemp: We will judge the wines from China in the same way we judge the wines from other countries. For example we will put the Ningxia wines in flights together by vintage, the same with the other provinces.

For more on the Asian Wine Awards, see my previous post. See also this recent talk with Kemp in Beijing.

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