Purdue Wine Grape Team Newsletter
Wine Competitions  give you the opportunity to have your wines objectively evaluated by wine professionals. (People just like your customers but who taste more regularly, are familiar with all grape varieties, can identify wine quality issues, and enjoy all types of wines styles.)  The overall assessment of your wines will give you an external quality benchmark against your competitors beyond your slightly biased "house taste".  Win trophies and you may find your wines flying off the shelf, media calling, distributors or the local community noticing.  As a winemaker, you will feel validated, you can document your accomplishments and receive public acknowledgement for your artisanal skills.

The Question:  With various competitions out there which ones should I enter?  

The Answer:  Enter as many wines as you can afford!  Wineries who consistently earn awards are succeeding the most in today's competitive market place!  

Reasons to Enter:
  • Establish or confirm your winery's reputation
  • Get professional feedback
  • Test the water with new blends
  • Receive awards for a new vintage
  • Create a media story
  • Increase sales and your bottom line

Things to Consider:
  • Who runs the competition (ad-based magazines vs independent wine scientists)
  • Your annual marketing budget
  • Which new wines to enter and promote

Which Competitions:
  • Local/regional vs national/international
  • Judges' qualifications and diversity
  • Knowledge of Midwestern wine styles and consumer preferences
  • Fee per entry and number of bottles to ship
  • Charitable cause (support of wine research) vs for-profit

If you or someone from your staff would like to learn how to taste like a professional or experience the INDY International Wine Competition please drop me a line!

Jill Blume

Christian Butzke

Jill Blume


Bruce Bordelon