Welcome to the Canberra International Riesling Challenge

Lastest news

Lastest news

Congratulations to Dr Wolf Blass

Canberra International Riesling Challenge congratulates Wolf Blass on his being awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of South Australia. Details here.

Les Grands Concourse du Monde 2014 – Entries Open. See below

Boost sales with e-commerce

The Australia Post Regional Workshop — Growing Direct Wine Sales with E-Commerce — is on in Canberra next month.

The Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) is pleased to partner with Australia Post to present the workshop for the Canberra District wine industry.

Date: Monday, 10 February 2014.
Venue: Forrest Hotel & Apartments, 30 National Circuit, Forrest.
Time: 10.00am – 12.30pm.

Andrew McPhee, Head of Segment Strategy at Australia Post and a specialist in small business and online engagement, will lead the workshop.

The workshop will cover:
• The online boom and how to capitalise on it
• How to build and execute an effective marketing campaign in interactive form
• How to develop direct sales channels and why this is important.

Registration and more details are here.

Foundation sponsor


Les Grands Concourse du Monde 2014 – Entries Open

International wine competitions. April 12- 13. Strasbourg.
Riesling, Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer.
Flyer is here.
Entry form is here.

Full 2013 CIRC results catalogue published

The catalogue of all the results of the 14th annual Canberra International Riesling Challenge is HERE.

And the winner is . . .

The top award at the 14th challenge has been won by Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung from the Rheingau region of Germany with its Schützenhaus Trockenbeerenauslese 2011.

Rieslings from eight countries – Australia, New Zealand, USA, Germany, France, South Africa, the Czech Republic and Canada – were judged for trophies of excellence at this year’s Challenge, held at the historic Albert Hall in Canberra during the week.

Seven Judges and three Associate Judges have tasted 487 wines over the last three days to find the best wines across a number of categories.

At tonight’s (11 October 2013) Celebration of Riesling and Awards Presentation ceremony at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra wines from four countries were recognised for their excellence in Riesling production.

The Chair of the Riesling Challenge, Ken Helm, said this year’s event was the most successful of the 13 years due to the enormous support from the eight major Riesling-producing countries.

“The Challenge is continuing to grow through fantastic support from our sponsors, in particular our Foundation Sponsors and we look forward to their continuing support,” he said.

The two standout wines from the Southern Hemisphere in this year’s Challenge were Pikes Traditionale Riesling 2013 from the Clare Valley in South Australia and the Hunter’s Marlborough Riesling 2012 from New Zealand.

The full results are in the media release HERE.

Dr Edgar Riek OAM Honoured for Services to Wine Industry

Eminent Canberra District winemaker Dr Edgar Riek OAM has been honoured with presentation of a special ACT Government Centenary of Canberra Award for his outstanding contribution to the Canberra District Wine Industry over many years.

Deputy Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA presented Dr Riek with the Award at the launch of the 14th Canberra International Riesling Challenge (CIRC) at the Albert Hall on 8 October 2013.

With a distinguished scientific background, Dr Edgar Riek brought a sharp analytical mind to the district’s wine industry. He focused his energies on developing the Canberra District as a wine region, initiating the Canberra District Vignerons Association and the National Wine Show of Australia.

Dr Riek came to Canberra to work with CSIRO as an entomologist where he published notable papers and books before to taking up a second career in grapes and wine. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Horticultural Society in Canberra, publishing The Canberra Gardener, and the Canberra Wine and Food Club which has been operative since 1953.

CIRC Chair, Ken Helm, recalled that the Rieks bought a block of land on the east-facing slope above Lake George in 1970, where they had started growing a multitude of fruit trees, vegetables and flowers from which they bred and developed new varieties.

“Here, he planted his Lake George Vineyard in 1971 utilising his extensive knowledge of wine and horticultural matters,” Mr Helm said. “Edgar encouraged, and mentored many of the early vignerons and is recognised as one of the pioneers of the Canberra Wine District.”

More than just a wine show

Five hundred Rieslings from eight countries, International judges / presenters, academic
presentations, Master classes, the best Rieslings recognised and the biggest public Riesling
tasting in the Southern Hemisphere will all happen at the Hyatt Hotel and Albert Hall in Canberra
on 8 to 12 October 2013.

The 14th Canberra International Riesling Challenge will again promote, award and recognise
excellence in one of the oldest grape varieties and one of the first vines planted in Australia. The
CIRC is not just a wine show:

• Judging: Rieslings from France, Germany, USA, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Canada,
and South Africa will join Australian wines in three days of judging to find the best in each
region, country and the best of Show. German, French and Australian judges will smell, taste,
and ponder the merits of each wine before declaring the winners.

• Recognition: Canberra Centenary / ACT Government recognition of a Canberra
Winemaker’s contribution to the local Wine industry – 8 October at the Albert Hall at midday.

• Riesling-Matching Dinner: 9 October at the Hyatt Hotel – Award-winning Rieslings matched
with outstanding food. CIRC Judges will be sitting at the tables to answer questions and make
discuss Rieslings.

• Seminar on Riesling Excellence: 11 October at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra, hosted by
Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga / National Wine and Grape Industry Centre – a host of
leading Riesling academics will present findings on how to make the best wines.

• Master Class of Rieslings from the World: 11 October at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra. Some
of the great German, French, and Australian Rieslings presented by leading experts from
each country.

• Awards Presentation: 11 October at the Hyatt Hotel where the best of the best will be

• The biggest public tasting of Riesling in the Southern Hemisphere: 12 October at the Albert
Hall, Canberra. All wines entered in the Challenge will be available to taste.

The media release is HERE.

Rare tasting chance while improving your wine skills

A few spots are left. Hurry
Wine buffs and those who just enjoy their wine but would like to know a little more have a rare chance to attends two events running with the 2013 Canberra International Riesling Challenge next month.

Keep the day clear: Friday October 11.

Wine experts from Australia and other leading riesling-producing countries will talk about wine while you taste.

There are two events. The Seminar on Riesling Excellence convened by Charles Sturt University at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra on Friday 11 October, 9am – 1pm.

And the Master Class on Friday 11 October at 2pm – 4pm at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra.

At the seminar five leading wine experts will dispel some myths and tell of the latest developments in wine-making and the wine industry. It will be a rare chance to get these insights.

Convenor: John Blackman – NWGIC/CSU Wagga Wagga
Chairman: Dr Leigh Schmidtke – NWGIC/CSU
• Prof Alain Deloire – NWGIC/CSU
“The concept of Terroir and the Australian Wine Industry: Perspectives”
• Prof Sakkie Pretorius DVC – Research, Macquarie University
(former AWRI Director)
“Flavour-active wine yeast”
• Prof Chris Steel – NWGIC/CSU
“What a lot of rot – The latest in bunch rot research”
• Brett McClen – Chief Viticulturist, Brown Brothers
“Riesling Viticultural experiences/observations and practices”
• Alexander Kohnen International Wine Institute Germany
Sparkling Riesling presentation / tasting”
Cost $60 per person

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The Master Class will be led by wine experts from four Riesling-producing countries:

• Ben Edwards – Journalist – President of Sommeliers Australia
• Alexander Kohnen – International Wine Institute Germany
• Valérie Dirringer – Cave Vinicole of Ingersheim – Jean Geiler- Alsace
• Don Young – White Wine Maker, Orlando Wines
They will provide special insight into what makes an excellent Riesling and how to get the
best from a tasting. Cost $85 per person
Special Price to attend both the Seminar and Master Class: $135.
For bookings email: info@rieslingchallenge.com

Gold medallists set for Hyatt wine list

Gold medal winners will be eligible for inclusion on the Hyatt Hotel Canberra Riesling Wine List – a first in Australia.

Contact details will be provided to the Hyatt Hotel Canberra who will approach wineries for price and availability of winning wines for inclusion in this exclusive list.

Public can taste

Members of the public will be able to taste this year’s entries and winning wines at the Public Tasting on Saturday, 12 October from 11.00am to 3.00pm.

The main winners in the 2012 Canberra International Riesling Challenge are HERE

Full results catalogue of the 2012 Canberra International Riesling Challenge can be downloaded in PDF.  Click here

2013 Challenge

2013 Challenge

A slideshow of Lannon Harley’s photos of the 2011 & 2012 shows is HERE.

Seminar, Master Class, Tasting

The Canberra International Riesling Challenge presents four rare chances to build your wine knowledge and enjoy tasting the world’s best Rieslings among Australia’s and the world’s leading Riesling experts. The flyer is HERE.

ONE: The Seminar on Riesling Excellence will be conducted by the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre at Charles Sturt University at the Hyatt hotel in Canberra 9am-1pm 11 October. Five leading wine experts will dispel some myths and tell of the latest developments in wine-making and the wine industry. Booking form HERE.

TWO: The Riesling Master Class will guide participants through a range of Rieslings from around the world and across many styles by members of the 2013 CIRC Judging Panel at the Hyatt Hotel in Canberra 2-4pm 11 October. Attendance is limited, so hurry. Booking form HERE.

For a discount if attending both events, the form is HERE.

THREE: Taste all the wines judged at the 2013 Canberra International Riesling challenge. Cost for public tasting $30, including souvenir Riedel tasting glass and full results catalogue from the 2013 Challenge. Entry payable at the door. 11am-3pm.

FOUR: The Awards Presentation ceremony and celebration of Riesling will be held at the Hyatt Hotel Canberra on Friday 11 October from 6.30pm. A limited number of tickets is available for this special event at $80.00 per person. For bookings email: info@rieslingchallenge.com

2013 Challenge details

The 14th Canberra International Riesling Challenge will be held from 7 to 12 October 2013 at the historic Albert Hall and Hyatt Hotel.

Media inquiries: Ken Helm AM, CIRC Chair 0418 619 186
CIRC Secretariat 02 6290 1505.

Details of classes for the 2013 challenge are HERE.

Conditions of entry are HERE. 

About the Challenge

About the Challenge

The Canberra International Riesling Challenge, attracting wines from Riesling producing countries around the world, is the most significant event of its type in the southern hemisphere.

Judging is conducted on a regional basis and is designed to promote and explore the regional differences that Riesling so well expresses.

The challenge uses the internationally recognised 100 point judging system which aligns the CIRC with other major international wine events.