Terravino 2008, the third annual edition of the Israeli qua Mediterranean qua International wine competition is scheduled to take place in Eilat during November For those who may have forgotten, the 2006 and 2007 events were discussed in detail on the old forum (see links below). As some may recall, I reacted to the earlier competitions with far less than enthusiasm, writing then that I found the number of medals awarded outrageous; that many of the medals went to wines that although drinkable were certainly not worth of medals or prizes. In my most sarcastic moment I wrote that so many prizes were awarded that I was surprised that one was not given to the winery with the cutest dog on the premises.
The competition itself is scheduled to be held at Eilat's King Solomon Hotel between the 8th and 13th of November. A quick glance at the list of judges that have so far accepted invitations to participate indicates that the panel will, as it has in the past, consist of a small group of colleagues who travel the world over to take part in the competitions organized by Raoul Castellani as well as winemakers and other judges from Israel. With regard to the foreign judges, some of whom may indeed be qualified for such events, I still have the same problem as in the past of wondering about a group of wine professionals that earn a good deal of their travel abroad by serving as judges in competitions that do not always have great significance. As in previous years, the person in charge of the general organization and coordination of the event will be Chaim Gan of Ish HaAnavim. One major change this year
. Together with and following the competition members of the general public are invited to participate in a series of tastings, seminars and meetings with the judges and others. Those will take place from 12-15 November. Participation for a couple in these events will cost between NIS 2356 and 2816 (~US$ 670-820), that including two nights at one of three Isrotel hotels, the price depending on the choice of which of the three of these one chooses. These prices do not
include air fare. The full schedule of events and reservations can be made by entering the Isrotel site at http://www.isrotel.co.il
Information about the competition itself can be found in English at the Terravino site at http://www.mediterraneaniwc.com/index_en.htm
or in Hebrew at http://www.mediterraneaniwc.com/
My problems with wine competitions in general are well known, and my reactions to the 2006 and 2007 editions of Terravino were no secret. Despite that, I shall wait to see how the 2008 edition goes and only then pass final judgement. I will say that whatever optimism I may have regarding efficiency is just a wee bit dimmed by the reality that on their internet site the name of the hotel is mis-spelled as "King Salomon".
In case anyone is wondering, I will not travel to Eilat for either the competition or the additional events. Nor shall I be posting this on the Offline/Events side of the forum as those posts are reserved for events that I can recommend with at least some enthusiasm. I shall, however, wait for the results and will report on those once received.
Do please note that although based on professional judgement, my point of view is entirely my own and should those organizing the competition or any others want to respond to what I have said here, they will be most welcome to do so.
P.S. Those curious enough to read discussions about earlier Terravino events on the "old" forum site can find those athttp://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15580 http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15551 http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15521http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=14633http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=11452 http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=13384