New COVID-safe measures to judge the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV) remains optimistic that judging of the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (RMWA) will proceed in November at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

First held in 1884, the RMWA is one of Australia’s oldest and most respected wine shows recognising and rewarding excellence in Australian winemaking.

The show is overseen by a committee of highly respected wine industry representatives who work closely with RASV to maintain the program’s relevance and to develop its future direction.

Due to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 impacting how events can be conducted, the RASV together with the RMWA Committee are taking a proactive approach to ensuring the Awards can be held in 2021.

Committed to providing every opportunity for judging of the 2021 Awards to proceed, the RASV and the RMWA Committee are implementing a range of COVID-safe measures to ensure the health and safety of all involved in judging this year.

These COVID-safe measures include but are not limited to:
● appointing only Victorian-based judges;
● implementing a stringent COVID Safe event plan, including adherence to
    density quotas;
● for all judges, stewards and officials involved with the judging to be fully
    COVID-19 vaccinated;
● judging rescheduled from October to November to provide additional time for
    all judges and stewards to be fully vaccinated should they wish to be involved;
● requiring judges to undergo a COVID-19 test in the three days prior to
    commencing their appointment;

● following the ASVO Wine Show Best Practice Recommendations Addendum 1
    (2020): Hygiene requirements during judging; and
● facilitating rapid-antigen testing each morning of judging for all personnel
    involved in judging.

In recognising the many planning and logistical challenges currently facing wine shows throughout Australia, Chair of the RMWA Committee, Samantha (Sam) Isherwood, remained optimistic that judging could be undertaken in 2021.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards Committee have been proactive in our approach to implementing stringent COVID Safe measures that will best assist the delivery of the Awards,” said Sam.

“We are committed to ensuring the 2021 Royal Melbourne Wine Awards are a tremendous success and after much discussion and careful consideration, we are confident that the various COVID safe measures we plan to put in place give us the best opportunity to achieve this,” said Sam.

As the Chair of Judges, Matt Harrop is keen for the 2021 RMWA to lead the way in introducing COVID Safe measures to ensure capital city wine shows can proceed.

“The Royal Melbourne Wine Awards are highly valued and respected by the Australian wine industry because they continue to adapt and introduce new ways to celebrate and recognise wine whilst providing a platform to improve quality and inspire innovation. It is important that we do our best to ensure that we can judge the Awards and provide the opportunity to celebrate excellence in winemaking again this year,” said Matt.

“Based on the feedback from industry representatives that have been offered the opportunity to judge or steward at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards this year, they are very appreciative that we are planning to implement stringent COVID-safe measures, including the requirement to be fully vaccinated for the health and safety of all involved,” concluded Matt.

Judging of the 2021 RMWA will take place over five days from Monday, 15 November to Friday, 19 November in the world-class and expansive facilities at Melbourne Showgrounds, subject to COVID restrictions permitting.

Entries for the 2021 Melbourne Royal Wine Awards will remain open until Friday, 8 October. For more information or to enter online visit the website.

Stay up to date with the latest developments and engage with RMWA on Facebook via the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria and Instagram: Instagram @RASofVic

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