Regulation

Regulations for the Thessaloniki International Wine & Spirits Competition

Article 1: Introduction & Objectives

Greece, a wine-producing country since ancient times, appears in the modern wine-producing world with interesting characteristics. The plethora of noble indigenous grape varieties, the foreign varieties and the great number of soil-climate combinations create many different ecosystems (terroirs) and contribute to the production of a wide range of wines and spirits, each one with a distinct character. In addition, over the last decades there has been a remarkable rise of the technical and scientific level of the Greek vitivinicultural sector, affecting positively the quality of its products. The Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard, together with the organization of the «Thessaloniki International Wine & Spirits Competition», aims to
– present the richness of the Greek and international wine and spirits production to both public and trade people,
– make known the Greek grape varieties and
– contribute to the promotion of wine and spirits as cultural products.

Article 2: Organizing Committee

The members of the Organizing Committee are at least five (5) and they are representatives of the boards of vitivinicultural sector.
The Chairman of the Organizing Committee is a representative of the organizer
The President of the Competition is selected by the organizer
The Organizing Committee, in cooperation with the President of the Competition, selects the judges of the competition (Greeks and foreigners) on the basis of their recognized test ability.
The Thessaloniki International Wine and Spirits Competition is held under the auspices of the following boards:
- National Inter-professional Organization of Vine and Wine
- Greek Wine Federation
- Central Union of Vine and Wine Producing Cooperatives Organizations of Greece
- Greek Federation of Spirits Producers
- Pan-Hellenic Union of Registered Oenologists
- Greek Oenologists’ Union
- Greek Sommeliers’ Union
- Hellenic Association of Journalists and Writers of Wines and Spirits
- Municipality of Thessaloniki

Article 3: Products permitted to compete

Wines

The wine competition is open to all wines produced in conformity with the regulations of their country of origin, packaged in glass bottles of up to 2 liters (PDO, PGI, varietal, special wines e.t.c.). Boxed wines (Bag-In-Box) may participate in the competition and receive a final rating but they are excluded from the awards.

Spirits:

The spirits competition is open to all spirituous beverages of vitivinicultural origin produced in conformity with the regulations of their country of origin.

Experimental samples (wines and spirits)

Moreover, experimental wines and spirits can be tested and evaluated by juries. However, their rating is notified only to their producers and they are excluded from the awards.
All products, apart from experimental samples, must be destined for sale and must be from a homogeneous batch of at least 1000 litres. On an exceptional basis, a reduced volume, of at least 100 litres, may be admitted upon justification of a particularly low production.

Article 4: Registration procedure

Application must be submitted on line through our website www.tiwc.gr or on the Registration Forms (original or photocopy) that can be filled out by the bottler, the distributor or the importer.

Article 5: Shipping Instructions

The organizers refuse all responsibility in case of late arrival of samples, total or partial loss during transport, physical, chemical and sensory alterations of samples due to temperature variations that may occur during transport.
All charges of shipping, customs and taxes are in the responsibility of the participants who must settle the cost directly with the transport agents. Products not complying with this procedure will be disqualified from taking part in the competition without refund of the registration fee. Refused samples will not be returned to the sender.

Article 6: Organization of the wine-tastings

The wine tastings are held with the participation of:

a. The Organiser

Mission of the Organiser is to ensure correct preparations, examination of samples and secretarial support during the competition. In addition, the Organiser selects the group of winegrowers who handle the serving of wines / spirits.

b. The President of the Competition

In order to support the President’s assignment, the Organizing Committee of the Competition selects a group of people, preferably representatives of independent boards, who supports the work of the President and their number depends on the number of the wines and spirits participating in the competition. The President is responsible for controlling the proper implementation of the competition procedures and the general functioning of the juries. Specifically:
  • Ensures the absolute anonymity of wines and spirits tested by the judges and the secrecy of the results until the end of the competition.
  • Before commencement of the judges session, he checks the organization of the tasting test and in particular the order of presentation and the tasting code of the samples.
  • Controls bottle opening, temperature, identity and anonymous presentation to judges.
  • Controls the correct execution of the serving.
  • Controls the proper functioning of the Secretariat of the Competition.
  • Allows the tasting of the second bottle of a sample when the chairman of the jury deems it necessary.

c. The Juries

Tasting is performed by International Juries whose number depends on the number of the wines and spirits participating in the competition. Each judging panel will consist of five (5) members. One of the five (5) judges is selected by the President, in association with the organizing committee, as panel chair.
The samples are grouped and tasted by category. For each wine category, the dry wines are tasted before the sweet wines and the younger wines before the aged wines, always in decreasing order of harvest year. In addition, spirits without natural herbs and aromatic plants are tasted first and the younger spirits before the aged spirits, always in decreasing order of harvest year.
The whole process is carried out according to the following standards:

a) Conditions during tasting

On the first day and before the start of the competitive procedure, the tasters were informed about the tasting procedure.
The Juries meet in a quiet room, with proper lighting and good ventilation in which the ambient temperature is maintained, as far as possible, between 18° and 22° C. Smoking and the presence of any person other than the organisers of the competition is forbidden.
Each judge is given a fixed serial number. In the judges’ seats there is a bottle of water, small slices of bread and a spittoon.
In a second room, adjacent but outside the judges' field of view, the bottles are de-bottled and served in glasses. Subsequently, all samples of the same series are served in the tasting glasses in the sample storage room and then transferred to the tasting room and all of them are placed in front of each judge. Each glass bears the unique code number of each participating product and thus maintains the anonymity of the samples throughout the tasting. Sessions include tasting up to 75 samples per day per jury. Indicatively: three (3) flights in the morning and two (2) flights in the afternoon.

b) Samples rating

Judges are presented with all the samples of the series to be evaluated together with the respective duplicate tasting sheet for each wine. Judges test the samples on their own, without any interaction with other judges, in any order and as many times as they wish. It is recommended that each sample will be tasted at least three (3) times - one to write a tasting note, one to confirm the tasting note and classify wine in a general category (gold, silver, bronze, non-medal, with a defect) and a last one to finalise the score. The score scale is from 0 to 100 and the rating unit is the integer 1 (eg, 90, 91, 92 and so on without decimals). After tasting a flight, the judges meet in a different room. There is a discussion among the members of each jury on the scores of each sample in order to reach a unanimous conclusion for each sample.
When the meeting is over and in case of disagreement between the judges, the panel chair will ask judges to re-taste the wine in question. In case the panel fails to reach a consensus and if the sample is wine, it will be tested by another jury. If the new jury decides unanimously, this second jury’s score is given to the sample. If the second panel doesn’t reach an unanimous decision, then the final score is based on the average scores of the judges of the two panels. In the case of spirits, the final score is based on the average scores of the judges of the specific jury that tastes spirits. The final score is also recorded on the tasting sheet of each judge. One copy is given to the judge and one is given to the panel chair who collects them, binds them together and hands them to the competition secretariat.
On the afternoon of the last day and for each category, samples which earned a gold medal score or the first 15 samples by category if there are more than 15 samples that have been awarded a gold medal in one category (sparkling and semi-sparkling wines, white wines, rosé wines, red wines, dessert wines, retsina), will be tasted by all judges. In case there are no wines with a gold medal score in a category, the silver medal scores are tested. The wine selected by most judges will receive the distinction of the best category wine.
The best wines for each category, provided they were rated highly enough to be awarded a gold medal, are re-tasted by all judges and the wine selected by most judges will be awarded the best wine of the competition.
The best spirit of the competition is the one that will attain the highest score. A second tasting will be held only in the event of equal votes in the highest score and will be performed by the spirits’ judging panel.

c) Breaks

After each flight session, a break of at least 15 minutes is scheduled during which food, juice and coffee are offered to the judges.

Article 8: Wine/Spirits Tasting Rating Procedure

The judges enter their evaluation electronically (using PC, tablet or mobile phone).

Article 9: Medals, special awards

Α. Medals

The samples (wine/spirits), according to their final rating, receive the following awards:
• Gold Medal: 91 - 100
• Silver Medal: 88 - 90
• Bronze Medal: 85 - 87

The Organizing Committee, in co-operation with the President of the Competition, reserves the right to limit the number of prize-winning products by increasing the base of their respective categories.

Β. Best sample per Category

The best wines of each category are re- tasted by all judges and award the distinction of the best wine of each category:
• best white wine (category 1)
• best rosé wine (category 2)
• best red wine (category 3)
• best dessert wine (category 4)
• best sparkling wine (category 5)
• best ‘retsina’ wine (category 6)

For the award of the above distinctions it is necessary to participate in the competition at least five (5) samples of the same category
The highest grade spirit receives the distinction:
• The best spirit of the competition

C. Competition’s best wine

The best wines of each category, once they have earned a gold medal, are re- tasted by all judges and awarded:
• The best wine of the competition

D. Special awards

The organizer has the right to introduce special awards for some categories of wine or spirits. This can be done if at least 5 samples are included in the category and their score corresponds at least to a bronze medal.

Article 10: Documentation of awards

A documentary proof or Diploma, edited by the Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard, accompanies the medals conferred. The Diploma indicates the exact identity of the award-winning product.
The organizers of the Competition, wishing to promote and enhance the renown of the winning products, publicize the official Prize-winners list on local and foreign media as well as on the website (www.tiwc.gr) and social media of the Competition. In addition, the Wine Producers Association of the Northern Greece Vineyard reserves the reproduction and distribution rights of the stickers depicting the medals. In any case, the award-winners wishing to present, in any form, on their wine label the distinction obtained must apply for this right of use. Counterfeiting is strictly forbidden.

Article 11: General Rules and Legal Provisions

The Organizing Committee store a bottle of each award winning wine/spirit for a year and reserves the right to have awarded samples analysed by approved laboratories, whenever considered necessary, during this said one-year period. In addition, awarded wines/spirits may be analysed in comparison with the same wines/spirits commercially available, in order to verify their identity.
The Signatories are legally responsible for any information given on the registration form. The Organizing Committee reserves the right to verify this information by any legal means, especially as regards the conformity of the control sample retained with the marketed product. The results of the competition are definitive and binding. In order to maintain the confidential character of the results, only the list of the winning wines and spirits will be published.
Each Signatory will be informed about the results and the comments of the tasters for every product that has been entered in the competition. The judges are informed, after the competition is completed, the identity of only the winning wines / spirits they have evaluated. Participation in the “Thessaloniki International Wine & Spirits Competition” presumes the acceptance of all the clauses of the present regulation.

Article 12: Program of the Competition

The competition will take place in Thessaloniki. However, it may also take place in another city, following a decision by the organizer. Tasting sessions last for three days and the announcement of the results will be officially publicised during an awards ceremony.

Article 13: Categories

1. White still wine (Dry-Medium dry-Medium-Orange Wine)
1.a White still wine / Dry
Wines containing not more than 4,5 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)
1.b White still wine / Medium dry-Medium
Wines containing between 4.6 g/L to 45 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)
1.c White still wine / Orange Wine

2. Rosé still wine (Dry-Medium dry- Medium)
2.a Rosé still wine / Dry
Wines containing not more than 4,5 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)
2.b Rosé still wine / Medium dry-Medium
Wines containing between 4.6 g/L to 45 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)

3. Red still wine (Dry-Medium dry- Medium)
3.a Red still wine / Dry
Wines containing not more than 4,5 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)
3.b Red still wine / Medium dry-Medium
Wines containing between 4.6 g/L to 45 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)

4. Dessert wine (still, sweet)
Wines containing more than 45 g/L of sugar and have carbon dioxide overpressure under 0.5 bar (20°C)
4.a Naturally sweet wine
4.b Liqueur wines

5. Sparkling wine (Pearl - Sparkling)
5.a Pearl wines
These wines may have a carbon dioxide overpressure from 0.5 to 2.5 bar (20°C)
5.b Sparkling wines
These wines may have a carbon dioxide overpressure above 2.5 bar (20°C)

6. ‘Retsina’ wines
7. Spirituous beverages of vitivinicultural origin
7.a Grape Marc Spirits
7.b Wine Spirits
7.c Brandy/Weinbrand
7.d Grape Spirits
7.e Raisin Spirits
7.f Wine Lees Spirits

REMARK: The organizers reserve the right to cancel any subcategory if there are not sufficient entries. They even reserve the right to create new categories according to the competition needs.