It is only possible to make world-class wines if one is ready to accept feedback from a diverse international jury comprising of members with a wide tasting experience.
Each year, the organizers of VinAgora International Wine Competition pay special attention to satisfy this prerequisite. In compliance with international standards, at least half of the judges come from outside of Hungary, from close to 15 countries. Most of them are winemakers, but there are several professional writers, sommeliers, and critics as well.
Wines are evaluated in committees of 6-7 persons, under the presidency of the most experienced judge. General rules of the committees' work are:
- at most half of the members are allowed to be from the organizer country
- software-based, 100-point evaluation system
- final score of wines is the numeric average of members' scores (extreme outliers are trimmed)
- winemaker jury members cannot evaluate their own wines in case they have applied to the competition
- wine specialties (e.g. sparkling wines, botrytised wines, etc.) are scored by specialized committees
- every wine is served in a new, clean glass
- bites and water to clean the palate are constantly available
A fully objective wine evaluation does not exist but the VinAgora team makes maximum effort to minimize subjective elements during tasting.
Judges have only access to the following information about samples:
- store ID and rank in tasting series (do not identify the wine to the judge)
- category (e.g. still, dry, fortified, etc.)
Moreover, the following conditions are strictly regulated:
- maximum number of samples tasted in a day (45 dry, or 35 sweet wines)
- length of tasting series (15 at most, followed by a break)
- tasting order within series
- lighting of tasting room (natural, or similar white light)
- air temperature of tasting room
- temperature of wine samples
List of jury members
Wiengut Anselmann - Owner, winemaker
Born into a winemaker family in 1965, he has been surrounded by the world of viticulture and wine since birth. He graduated from Stuttgart University with a master's degree in agriculture and viticulture. In 2010, the German Agricultural Association was awarded the title of Wine Maker of the Year. The 125-hectare Anselmann estate is located in the southern part of the Rhineland-Palatinate, near the village of Edesheim. In 2010, the wine estate was awarded the 'Federal Prize of Honor' by the German Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Mendel University in Brno - Head of department
Leader of wine courses for the National oenology centre and the Wine academy in the Czech Republic. Training and selection of wine tasters in the Czech Republic according to the standard O.I.V. .Taster of several national and international wine competitions in the Czech Republic and abroad (Vino Ljubljana, VinAgora, Master Tasting AWC Vienna, Oenoforum, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, IceWine du Monde).
SC Wine Princess SRL - Owner
He graduated in 1984 from the Viticulture Department of the University of Horticulture, Cluj-Napoca. Since then he has been an engineer, then chief winemaker and CEO of the State Farm and Vineyard of Peach. In 1999 he established his own viticulture and wine business Wine Princess Kft. Since 2008 he has been the associate professor of the Department of Viticulture and Wine at the Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Faculty of Marosvásárhely. He has been a member of the Hungarian Wine Academy since 2004 and has been selected as the first Hungarian producer to be a member of the Pannon Bormíves Guild. In 2018 he was awarded the "Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary" by the Hungarian Wine Academy.
Borbély Családi Pincészet - Winemaker, owner
A second generation winemaker, he was raised to love and respect grapes and wine. With their wines, they have achieved great success at various national and internationally wine competitions. He is a member of the Vinum Vulcanum Badacsony Wine Knighthood and their winery is a member of the Badacsony Wine Association and the Tourist Association. Between 2012 and 2019 he was among the 5 nominees for the Wine Producer of the Year. Since 2013 he has been the chairman of the Badacsony Wine Region Mountain Community Council and a delegate of the wine region to the National Council of the Mountain Community. 2018 Farmer of the Year Award Young Farmer. From 2019, member of the National Wine Expert Committee.
Mondial des Vins Blancs Strasbourg - Konzultáns
Works at MONDIAL DES VINS BLANCS Strasbourg France, at the Congress Centre. She is also Judge-Expert at numerous international wine competitions under the Patronage of the OIV and VINOFED. Specialist oeno-events in Alsace. Member of the Association of Sommeliers in Alsace.
DA ROS Béatrice
ALESIA CONSULT EXPERIENCE OENOLOGY - Director general
Béatrice Da Ros is a French oenologist, a former President of the World Federation of Major International Wine and Spirits competitions (VINOFED). Former Chief executive officer of “L’Union des Oenologues de France” (French Oenologists Union), who participated in the creation of the international wine competitions organized by “EURL Œnologues de France” (Vinalies Internationales, Mondial du Rosé), while acting as a consultant providing tailored Oenology Experience, is still a member of the International Federation of Wine and Spirit Journalist and Writers (FIJEV) and an expert for the two OIV think tanks on Consumer Right & Information and Vitinicultural, training & education.
de FRUTOS Estela
INAVI - Consultant
Winemaker Agronomist, Uruguayan Wine Institute Advisor, Winemaker Consultant
MBK - charge d'affaires
He has been contributing to several journals and websites in Hungary and Latin America on various aspects of the wine world for more than two decades. He is Co-President of the Circle of Hungarian Wine Writers and a member of the FIJEV. He was guest professor for two semesters at the Institute of Wine and Pisco in Lima (2005-2006). He has been serving as wine judge of more than forty different international wine competitions held in countries of four continents. He is member of the Hungarian Wine Academy and the Board of the Hungarian Sommelier Association as well as honorary member of the Mexican Wine Academy and the Peruvian Sommelier Association.
VINALMA s.r.o. - Director
Oenologist, wine consultant, wine merchant. Partner and commercial director of VINALMA, s.r.o., focused on import and distribution of fine wines and promotion and export of Slovakian wines Ambassador and jury member of many prestigious national and international wine competitions (e.g. Vinalies Internationales Paris, Mondial du Rosé Cannes, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Les Citadelles du Vin Bordeaux), panel president (Bacchus IWC Madrid, Premios Zarcillo IWC Burgos, Mondial des Pinots Sierre, Les Grands Concours des Vins du Monde Strasbourg, Sélections des Vins Canada Québec, Prague Wine Trophy, The Winemaker of the Year of the Czech Republic, Vino y Mujer and Premios Zarzillo Spain ) Director & chief oenologist of the Vino SAV (Wine of the Slovak Academy of Sciences wine selection) Director & Ambassador of the Danube Wine Challenge IWC
Cote Rocheuse - Executive director
He is a wine expert who strove to gain wine education in Europe and continues to work hard on this. He is currently Executive Director of Cote Rocheuse in the south of Russia and is steadfastly developing the company. He has judged in various prestigious international wine competitions, including the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), Vinitaly’s 5StarWines, Vinagora and the Russian Wines Competition, which he himself founded and organised for the first time in 2018 to showcase the quality of Russian wines. In November 2019, he was one of the winners of the prestigious, new international WSET/IWSC “Future 50” award, which recognises the next generation of top wine, spirit and sake professionals.
FERNANDEZ ESCUDERO José Antonio
Estación Enológica de Castilla y León - Director
Technical manager of the Enological Station of Castilla y León. Professor at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the Superior School of Agricultural Engineering of Palencia belonging to the University of Valladolid. Director of the International Wine Tasting Premios Zarcillo. Member of the Group of Experts on Methods of Analysis in the O.I.V. Member of the Interministerial Committee for the Review of Wine and Derivatives Analysis Methods.
CERVIM - President
He is responsible of the "Mondial des Vins Extrêmes" International Wine Competition. Taster in different international contests as: Berliner Wine Trophy, IWCB di Bucharest, Mondial des Pinots, Bacchus, Vins du Valais, Portugal Wine Trophy, International Wine City Challenge and Mondial des Bruxelles.
Granium s.r.o. - winemaker and marketing consultant
Wine and wine marketing consultant, wine journalist. He runs his own estate in Garamkövesd in the Highlands. Secretary-General of the Association of Hungarian Winemakers Abroad, President of the Slovakian Association of Hungarian Winemakers, responsible for the development of the wine regions of the Carpathian Basin. He is an invited wine judge and writer of many international wine competitions, and is a hobbyist in his profession.
Holdvölgy Borászat - Chief winemaker
He has been leading the Moon Valley Winery for seven years as a leading winemaker. During this time, they have achieved tremendous success every year in international competitions and in the expansion of the world's top restaurants. Their aim is to continuously improve the quality of the wines and to refine the style. He is convinced that this kind of precise and persistent professional work will put the Tokaj wine region back in its place on the world map of wine.
GURUCHARRI JAQUE Fernando Cayetano
UNION ESPAÑOLA DE CATADORES - President
President of the Spanish Union of Tasters, which since 1985 has been dedicated to promoting the culture and knowledge of wine and food through its organoleptic qualities, and organizer, among others, of the National Competition for Young Wines (Premios Bacos) , International Wine Competition Vinos Bacchus developed under the patronage of the OIV and VINOFED, itinerant competition "Albariños al Mundo" and Best of Spain Wine Challenge competition organized each year in Ireland.
VINOFED - Vice-President
Son of a winegrower, enologist. Since 1991 public servant of the federal ministry of food and agriculture. Since 2006 activity within the Berlin Wine Trophy, Portugal Wine Trophy, Asia Wine Trophy. Since 2016 Vice-President of Vinofed.
Posestvo Klenar - Owner
Main enologist in different cellars. Now owner Posestvo Klenar and consultant in Kutjevo d.d. and Dakovo winery. Slovenian representive in UIOE.
Törley Pezsgőpincészet - Chief winemaker
He has been working at Törley Sparkling Winery since 2000, and since 2016 as Chief Technology Officer.
Thummerer Pince - Chief winemaker
He began his studies in winemaking in 1992, to the delight of his winemaker mother. From 1996 to 2001 he obtained a MSc degree from the then University of Horticulture and Food. From 2001 he started his career at Hungarovin, now called Törley Sparkling Wine Ltd., as a red wine technologist. Since 2004 he has been working as the chief winemaker at Thummerer Cellar. The past 27 years have confirmed that you have chosen a good career and will continue to encourage learning, openness and quality wine.
Associação Brasileira de Enologia - Director
Winemaker and post graduated in Viticulture. Director of Brazilian Association of Winemakers and Winemaker at Vinhos Larentis Ltda.
Chateau Ksara - Oenologist, export director
Marketing and Export Director at Chateau Ksara, oldest and largest winery in Lebanon with 38% of the Lebanese production. Member of the UVL (Union Vinicole du Liban) technical Committee. Oenology Instructor at La Sagesse University Beirut (run by Lausanne University) Oenology Instructor at Notre Dame University.
Azienda agraria cantonale di mezzana - Director
DAVINUS s.r.o. - CEO
CEO and owner of many awards-winning company DAVINUS. international wine judge at dozens of prestigious foreign and domestic wine competitions and chairman of the international juries of various competitions in Europe and the USA: Les Grands Concours Strasbourg (2016, 2018, 2019), Finger Lakes International Wine Competition USA (2018), Bacchus Madrid (2019) and competitions under OIV patronage in Israel, France, Spain, Canada, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Switzerland. Chairman of the committee of the Czech Republic’s national wine competition, The Wine Salon of the Czech Republic) since 2012.
VINOFED - President
Dr.Ing. Agronomist Director of viticulture-oenology research 1993-2008 Former President Vinea Former OIV Vice-President President Vinofed
NYÚLNÉ Dr PÜHRA Beáta
Nyakas Pince - Wine manager
She has been working for Nyakashegy Kft since 2000 (now Nyakas Pince Zrt.), Now she is a wine manager. In 2018, she graduated from the SZIE ÉTK with the degree of Pálinka Master Engineer. This year, she was elected a full member of the Hungarian Wine Academy and was appointed Associate Professor at Szent István University.
Wine Consulting, Osorio Wines; JGR Cork - General Manager
VINARIUM INTERNATIONAL WINE CONTEST BUCHAREST - President
President of VINARIUM International Wine Contest Bucharest. PhD., Wine Scientist. FIJEV Member, author, editor. TV show producer.
Cantine Torrevento - Technical director
Winemaker National Delegate of the Italian Union of Oenologists at UIOE. Member of Italian VIN Academy.
OENOLOGUE DE FRANCE - rector
President of enologist of France during 9 years. General secretary of the INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF enologist. General Manager of Ormarine's Group. President of the tasting Group at the Institution National des Appellations d'Origine.
CDV - President
Oenologist who makes wines and distils Cognac in the Cognac area. Member of CDV for 20 years where he has been the technical manager and now the president.
Csányi Pincészet - CEO
CEO of Csányi Winery since 2016. Professional lecturer and consultant for VinCe Magazine. Deputy Chairman of the National Committee of Wine Experts. He is a lecturer at CEWI.
VINISEERA Ltd. - Professional engineer
Among the many innovative and applied research results of the winery, it considers the results of organoleptic criticism to be the most useful information for consumers and the training of future wine lovers. He has been a long-time member of the VinAgora Wine Competition.
Certified engineer-winemaker.1964, working in the wine industry at Tokaj-Hegyalja, in all fields of wine technology in different positions. The chief winemaker-engineer at the Tokaj Trading House was his last official position.
Takler Wine Estate - Managing Director
He has been involved in the family farm since childhood. He is currently responsible for marketing and public relations at Takler Wine Estate, and is vice president of the Hungarian Wine Academy and vice president of the Szekszárd Wine Region Council for the success of Hungarian wine.
LABORATORY OF ANALYSIS - enologist, chemist
Graduated from the chemistry department of the University of Athens, having specialized in enology and environmental chemistry. She runs her own laboratory in the centre of Athens where she provides services as an enology advisor and a chemist. International wine judge. She is member of the International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers (FIJEV). As author, has published the books : “Enology’s Principles-The Art Of Sommelier”, Historical wine novel ( awarded: OIV 2015), “Wine treasure of Santorini”, “Bizarre wines of the world”, and “The faces of Greek wine” monograph on the faces of Greek wine.
Catad’Or - President, CEO
He is president and CEO of Catad’Or, Mr. Ugarte has a diploma in wines from the Catholic University of Chile and a recognized expert and international advisor in wine marketing. He currently advises the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture. Jury in international competitions as Vinalies Paris, Citadelle du Vin, Bordeaux, SMV Canada, Quebec, among others. Co-author of the Latinamerican Wine Guide with Alistair Cooper MW.
Vesztergombi Pince - winemaker, owner
Member of the Hungarian Wine Academy Member of the Pannon Wine Guild Member of the the National Wine Expert Committee
VINEA Technical director
As technical director, she is incharge of all the enologists parts of their wine competitions: Mondial du Merlot et assemblages, Mondial des Pinots, Grand Prix du Vin Suisse, and she is also involved in searching wine judges and communication before, during and after the competition.