That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

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That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Daniel Rogov » Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:32 am

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.

Best
Rogov


P.S. Those curious enough to read discussions about earlier Terravino events on the "old" forum site can find those at
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15580
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15551
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=15521
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=14633
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=11452
http://stratsplace.zeroforum.com/zerothread?id=13384
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Re: That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Doug Z » Tue Sep 23, 2008 7:00 am

"King Salomon"


u know it still really bothers me that people here pronounce the fish "salmon"...as sa-la-mon.

annoys the hell out of me. when asking for some fish in the super, i always say....saaaa-mon. to make sure i dont get any king salomon fish. whatever that is. maybe its only available at the king salomon hotel.
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Re: That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Daniel Rogov » Fri Sep 26, 2008 2:11 pm

More than a few people have asked me in private communications why I will not be visiting TerraVino. Quite simple:


1. When I attend professional exhibitions (which this is not) it is in order to spend two, three or up to seven days tasting 100 or more wines daily and talking with people with whom I would not normally have the opportunity. I feel no great need to speak with the foreign judges who will be attending and will have more than ample opptunity to talk in far more private circumstance and at far greater length with the various winemakers who will be there .

2. My feelings about wine competitions in general are well known. Those not familiar with those feelings will find them summed up at http://www.stratsplace.com/rogov/intern ... _comp.html

3. Spending two or more days in Eilat in order to attend an award banquet is neither my idea of pleasure nor of professional need. That I will have the results within a few hours after the banquet is quite adequate.

4. As much as I could easily receive an invitation to attend, I do not accept "freebies" of that kind. If I felt that it was necessary to attend for professional reasons my newspaper would cover my expenses.

Best
Rogov
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Re: That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:01 am

A series of post-Terravino events has been announced, those open to the paying public. As is becoming rapidly evident, wine competitions and their related "events" are becoming a booming little industry. For details see the post at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=19487

I did receive a most courteous nvitation to attend but will not be doing so for the reasons stated in the post above this one. I have, however, been promised to receive the results immediately after they have been announced and will post them here.

Best
Rogov
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Re: That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Gary J » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:02 pm

Those who may be following my blog know that I have been visiting Israel from NY and have spent considerable time at wineries. Many of these wineries have been submitting their wines to Terravino for the upcoming "competition".

Apparently, each wine submitted requires a 500NIS submission fee. When I questioned this "fee" I was told by the winemakers that a fee is required at other competitions as well such as VinItaly and the NY Finger Lakes competition.

I take issue with a fee being charged. Does this not encourage the competition to hand out endless medals so that the wineries will be happy with their awards and return the next year? Is this not like BUYING an award?

I understand that there are expenses involved in putting on such a competition, but go get a corporate sponsor! Don't charge the same wineries you are supposedly there to impartially judge and help out. Parker did NOT charge when he did his review of Israeli wines. And we wonder why he is so well respected....
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Re: That Time of Year – Terravino Comes Once Again

Postby Daniel Rogov » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:39 am

Gary, Hi.....

I agree with much of what you say about competitions. My own feelings about such events are fairly well known. I would remind us both however that wine competitions are not done to promote wine. Wine competitions are business pure and simple and in business profit is the proverbial name of the game. Keep in mind as well that when one wins a medal one then has to pay the organizers for those little platinum, gold or bronze stick-on medallions for their wine bottles.

I have long felt that organizing wine competitions is a far easier way to make a buck than owning a winery or wine store. But no, I shall never enter that business! I think I would prefer to sell shoes. ....Or, for that matter, toilet paper. But that, of course, is just one critic's opinion.

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Rogov
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