The closure of the Victorian border, as well as uncertainty about other State and international borders, has persuaded the Sydney International Wine Competition to cancel the annual event for the first time in its 40 year history.
The likelihood that travel and freight will be severely disrupted for much of the rest of the year means that it will be impossible to guarantee arrival of both wines and judges, says co-convenor of the competition, Brett Ling.
“We were on track to accept entries from later this month, but the worsening situation in Victoria is likely to see access between states and internationally to New Zealand and beyond severely disrupted,” Brett says.
“We discussed the issue with freight forwarders and because of the fluidity of the situation, no guarantees could be made.
“Even worse, there was no way we could be certain that we could bring in our elite judging panel from interstate and overseas.
“It’s very disappointing to postpone this year’s competition because it has carried on throughout many tumultuous world and local events over the past 40 years, but the nature of the current pandemic means it is almost impossible to plan ahead.
“The case of Victoria highlights just how dramatic and changeable the situation can be.
“But we will be back in 2021 with the 41st Sydney International Competition. Hopefully with recent widespread rains across the various growing districts in Australia, and with the hospitality world gradually returning to ‘near normal’, the wine industry will be better placed in 2021 to ensure we have an outstanding level of entries.”