Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge

This competition for Georgia wineries is Co-Directed by Jane Garvey and Douglas Mabry, with Parks Redwine presiding as Chief of Judges.

This year's competition was held on August 6th and 7th, 2017, again at the Michael Leven School of Culinary Sustainability & Hospitality, Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA.

Competition Details

The Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge recognizes the excellence of Georgia-produced wines as well as other wines produced by Georgia wineries using grapes and fruits grown in other states.


The "NOT 100% Georgia grown" entries MAY list Georgia as an appellation on their label as Federal law allows 25% of the grapes or fruit to come from outside the state and still be labelled Georgia. Even wines with NO fruit grown in Georgia may be an eligible entry IF the wine is "produced" (i.e., fermented) in Georgia. It may also be "produced" by one Georgia winery and "vinted" by a different Georgia winery.

A wine whose label says "Made and Bottled" infers that at least 10% of the wine is made by the winery or company listed. If the label says "Vinted and Bottled," the winery on the label may have had little to do with the making of the wine in that bottle.

Technically, a wine "vinted and bottled" by an out-of-state (non-Georgia) winery COULD be eligible for entry IF the wine was actually 100% fermented by a Georgia winery. A wine "Produced and Bottled" would have to be 100% fermented by a Georgia winery. Thus, if a wine so labeled is NOT from a Georgia winery, that wine may NOT be entered in the competition.

PLEASE NOTE: The 2017 categories now include meads and ciders, both rapidly growing products that some Georgia wineries offer in their portfolios.

Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge 2017 Banquet

GTWC 2017 Gala Superlative Awards can be found here.
Presented by Georgia Wine Producers, Inc.
The third annual Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge Reception and Awards Dinner will honor the recipients of Superlative Awards and Best of Category awards from the 2017 Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge.

When: Monday, October 23, 2017
Time: Reception 6:00 p.m., Dinner 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Where: The University of Georgia Center For Continuing Education & Hotel
1197 South Lumpkin Street
Athens, GA 30602-3603
Reservations: (706) 542-2134 or 800-884-1381
Group Code: 89214

Come celebrate the growth of the Georgia wine industry from north to south and enjoy the best Georgia wines at a reception and a following exceptional gala dinner. Many of the winners are newcomers to the Georgia wine scene while others have won awards both here and at competitions from New York to California.

Georgia grows a wide variety of wine grapes, including Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner, Viognier, Petit Manseng, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Sangiovese among Vitis vinifera and hybrids such as Blanc du Bois, Chardonel, Traminette, Vidal Blanc, Lenoir, Lomanto and Norton (Cynthiana). You may also experience the best Muscadine wines as well as honey wines (mead) and hard ciders.

Guests also will be able to meet many of Georgia's winemakers and know who is making the wines they're enjoying.

Cost for the dinner is $95 per person, inclusive, and $180 per couple, and $650 to reserve a whole table for 8. Children ages 3-12 are just $35, young adults ages 13-20 are $50, and infants 0-2 are free. If you are a producer that entered this year's competition, your tickets are $80. To register for the gala, please fill out this short registration form. To pay for the dinner, please click here **link disabled until price system changes**. To get a room at the conference center hotel, go to the web site and click on "Reservations" at the top of the page. Enter the Group Code 89214, navigate to October, then select the dates 23 and 24 on the calendar. Select your room, agree to the terms, and click continue. Then, fill in personal contact and credit card information. An e-mail confirmation follows. If you plan on staying at the hotel, please make your reservation by September 23rd! This is their deadline to us. We can work out meal tickets closer to the event if needed, with the payment system still being adjusted.

The awards will be presented at an awards banquet on Monday, October 23, 2017, at the Georgia Center in Athens, GA. Gold medal winning wines should be poured at the October 23rd reception by a representative of the winery, so be sure to check for your awards on this web site and plan to attend. Gold Medal winners will need to furnish a half case of wine for promotional purposes at the banquet.

The superlative awards, honored by a handcrafted artist-designed piece, are named for significant individuals in Georgia viticulture history and will be announced at the gala dinner. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards will be announced shortly after the competition's conclusion on this web site, and Georgia-grown and -produced winners will receive medals. Wines made from out-of-state-grown grapes will receive certificates and will compete for one top award.

The overall top award, the Oglethorpe Trophy, is decided among the top winners in Vinifera, Hybrid, Dessert, Sparkling, Fruit and Muscadine, all competing for this trophy, which recognizes the best 100% Georgia-grown and -made wine. Only wines made in Georgia from grapes or fruit grown in Georgia may compete for these superlative awards. Each also wins a significant trophy. A separate top award trophy will recognize the best wine made in Georgia from grapes grown out of state or a blend of Georgia-grown and out-of-state-grown grapes and other fruits.

Requirements for participating wineries

  1. Wineries must be licensed and bonded in Georgia and must be commercially viable. Home winemaking operations or products are not eligible.

  2. Wines to be judged must be sent to the Atlanta Improvement Company, 1401 Dutch Valley Place NE, Atlanta, GA, 30324. The Atlanta Improvement Company is a licensed and bonded wine importer and broker with a licensed and bonded warehouse facility. AIC's owner, Parks Redwine, will serve as the competition's chief of judges.

  3. Participating wineries must enter at least two entries, and each entry requires three 750mL bottles, or four 375mL or smaller bottles.
    There is no limit on the number of entries you wish to enter, so long as it is at least two.

  4. Paperwork and winery reception deadline is Wednesday, August 2, 2017, by the end of business day.

Fees & Forms

To cover correspondence, medals, certificates and judging materials/facility fee, we must charge a nominal entry fee.
$40 USD per entry. Payment must accompany the wines as a check or be prepaid via PayPal.
If paying by check, please make it payable to the Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge.
All wines must be entered online. Forms are on the competition web site,

To enter your wines into the 2017 Georgia Trustees Wine Challenge please click here, or click on the entry form button in the site's menu.

Important Information

Entry into the competition for wine requires 3x 750ml, or 4x 375ml (or smaller) bottles.
Please send your wines to GTWC, c/o Atlanta Improvement Co., 1401 Dutch Valley Place N.E., Atlanta, GA 30324-5301

This site last modified 10/24/2017