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New Argentina awards

Published:  23 July, 2008

The inaugural Argentina Wine Awards (AWA) are to take place in two months' time in Mendoza. The event will comprise a blind tasting, which will last for three days, followed by a seminar and then an awards ceremony.

Just under 500 wines will be tasted in a double-blind' format, and will be categorised by price (above and below 10) and by grape variety. The 12-strong judging panel, which includes Jancis Robinson MW, Oz Clarke and Robert Joseph, will award bronze, silver and gold medals, with all gold-medal-winning wines retasted, and trophies awarded accordingly.

The seminar will be titled Successful Wines and Successful Wine Styles in the UK', and will feature a tasting and presentation of wines chosen by the judges, as well as a question-and-answer session. The seminar will take place on 22 February, with the awards dinner held that evening.

James Forbes, Wines of Argentina's UK director, said: In theory, Argentina seems to have everything the UK buyer could want; in practice, it can be difficult for buyers ... to get

to grips with Argentina as a source of good wine. What the AWA will do is cut through all that by clearly pinpointing the best wines, the best wineries, the best areas and the best

grape varieties.'