The hunt is on for Australia’s finest wines, with entries now open for the Royal Queensland Wine Awards (RQWA). An expert panel of 26 will critique the wines this July.

New this year is a Best Innovative Wine of Show trophy, aimed at maximising opportunities for small innovative wine producers. Chief Judge Tom Carson said it was a growing category in the industry.

“Consumers are really interested in winemaking at the cutting edge of the industry and how their wines are grown and made,” he said. “We wanted to ensure those producers making minimal intervention wines are able to be recognised through the RQWA.”

Australia’s first capital city wine show of the season has also lowered the stock-on-hand requirements for most competition classes to 150 dozen finished bottles, ensuring smaller producers can enter. The new Innovative Wines class has no stock-on-hand requirements. “This change is great for small batch producers and boutique wineries that want to have their wines assessed, and if they win an award it’s a big deal for their business,” Mr Carson said.

The wine judged Australia’s best will receive a $12,000 fellowship to further the winemaker’s knowledge of the national and international wine industry, with funds to be used for travel, training, and education. The wines, including the award-winners, will be showcased to consumers at the popular Grape Grazing by Night event at the Brisbane Showgrounds on Friday 14 July. Queensland’s premier wine-tasting event is attended by more than 900 people each year.

Entries for the RQWA must be in by Friday 2 June, with judging taking place from Monday 3 July and the winners to be announced on Friday 14 July before Grape Grazing by Night. To enter, visit

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