10 July 2023 A guide to this year's wine writing competition (WWC23), plus a survey of all our writing competitions past.*
Now that we are into the second week of publishing the best entries to our 2023 wine writing competition, we offer this guide to them. Links to those published most recently are at the top of the list and we will continue adding to the list as more are published.
In the process of doing so, we have become a bit nostalgic, looking back on our past writing competitions. Our very first was in 2012 when we invited people to submit restaurant reviews while Nick was in hospital and off duty. The winner, Henry Jeffreys, went on to become a professional drinks writer.
But WWC23 is our seventh wine writing competition. When we initiated our first competition in 2016, we never expected it would become a major annual event for wine lovers around the world to which both seasoned professional wine writers and amateur wine enthusiasts would contribute. Our original wine writing competition was inspired by the departure of our revered columnist Alex Hunt MW. Rather than having a precise theme, this competition was aimed at uncovering new wine writing talent and entrants were invited to submit pieces on a wide range of topics. We were absolutely astonished that 180 people took the time to enter, and of those we chose to publish our 53 favourites (which can be found here).
Given peoples' obvious enthusiasm for this sort of competition, we decided to make it an annual event. For our 2018 wine writing competition, we asked people to write about the seminal wine or wine experience that sparked their enthusiasm for the subject (and beverage). We received nearly 200 entries, and the 108 entries that we published were so impressive that we decided to compile them in an e-book, My First Crush. In 2019, we asked entrants to write a guide to a particular place, a bit like our frequently revised guide to London for wine lovers. We received more than 80 entries on locales ranging from Addis Ababa (by Arnica Rowan, who has gone on to make many more contributions to JancisRobinson.com) to Miami (the winning entry).
The onset of COVID-19 in 2020 resulted in a radical shift in perspective for everyone and made us all think about how we could build a better future. Sustainability was and remains a particular concern, both for the wine industry and broader society, so we asked people to write about sustainability heroes, producers who were making a particular effort to emphasise sustainable practices. Despite all the ongoing upheaval, 85 entrants were kind enough to take the time to enter the competition. Of those, 75 were published on our website (our WWC20 guide can be found here), and we were so impressed with the entries that we chose not one but two winners, Pascal Brooks' submission on Brooks Wines in Oregon and a co-authored essay on Napa Valley's Spottswoode by MWs Ashley Hausman and Martin Reyes.
Our 2021 wine writing competition took a different approach to the future of wine by looking to the past, specifically at old vines. We received 136 amazing submissions on old vineyards and old vines around the world (the published entries can be found here, and those interested in the subject may also wish to check out this guide to our old-vines coverage). Last year's competition, on regeneration, approached the themes of sustainability and the future of wine from a perspective informed by our collective post-pandemic recovery. This was a difficult subject requiring considerable research but we still received 64 entries on regenerative viticulture and regeneration in a broader sense. Those we published can be read here.
For this year's competition, we wanted to choose a less challenging, more accessible theme. The world of wine is full of amazing, talented, admirable people, many of whom never receive the recognition they deserve, so this inspired us to invite entrants to write about their favourite wine people. Reading the entries has been a remarkable experience. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we have.
Published 2023 competition entries
Ed Paladino, by Ocean Yap Powell 30 August 2023
Benjamin Perus, by Sami-Jo Adelman 29 August 2023
Paul Zink, by Sean Magruder 28 August 2023
Jeanie Falconer, by Aiden Carroll 26 August 2023
Georges Dos Santos, by Jez Fielder 25 August 2023
Madeline Triffon MS, by Rebecca Miles-Steiner 24 August 2023
Uncle Dieter, by Joanne Gibson 23 August 2023
Mick Nippard, by Emily Sivey 22 August 2023
Sarah Avery, by Richard Avery 21 August 2023
Federico Moccia, by Yasmine Taherbeigi 19 August 2023
Hanneli Smit, by Cerina van Niekerk 19 August 2023
Anna Malgam, by Paul Shanley 18 August 2023
Paramdeep Ghumman, by Nimmi Malhotra 17 August 2023
Montesquieu, by Charlie Leary 16 August 2023
Oz Clarke, by Iain Moss 15 August 2023
Bill Jensen, by Janice Carnevale and Elizabeth Duncan 14 August 2023
Ntsiki Biyela, by Sedale McCall 12 August 2023
Jász Laci, by Athena Bochanis 11 August 2023
Teresa Caeiro, by Alastair Leithead 10 August 2023
Dale E Woolley, by Regina Janes 9 August 2023
Samantha O'Keefe, by Dinah Longden 8 August 2023
Michael Broadbent MW, by Charlie Foley 7 August 2023
Auntie Yinka, by Farrah Berrou 5 August 2023
Garry Crittenden, by Paul Sellars 5 August 2023
Viviana Malafarina, by Anna Spooner 4 August 2023
Daniele Piccinin, by Mike Hopkins 3 August 2023
Shu Komatsu, by Hikaru Takahashi 2 August 2023
Alain Almes, by Robert Stanier 1 August 2023
Jack Chaput, by Janet Harrison 31 July 2023
John Larkin, by Anna Larkin 28 July 2023
Maureen Joubert, by Emile Joubert 27 July 2023
Mirko Pastorelli, by Lisa Cardelli 26 July 2023
Sophie Evans, by Emily Campeau 25 July 2023
David Berkley, by Eric Brooks 24 July 2023
Justin Trabue, by Claire Mumford 21 July 2023
Edward Neather, by Andrew Neather 20 July 2023
Rob Reynolds, by Erica Landis 19 July 2023
Wendy Outhwaite, by Bronwen Batey 18 July 2023
Mathieu Roland-Billecart, by Allison Burton-Parker 17 July 2023
Elena Pacheco, by Karin Rockstad 14 July 2023
Leo Erazo, by Jimmy Boldt 13 July 2023
Claudia Cigliuti, by Barbara Fitzgerald 12 July 2023
Fabrice Parisot, by Nathalie Spielmann 11 July 2023
Chris Tyrrell, by Kelly Liang 10 July 2023
The Wine Student, by Melanie Webber 7 July 2023
Zoë Evans, by Melissa Evans 6 July 2023
Pál Juhász, by Gergely Ripka 5 July 2023
Chris Gaither, by Rebecca Fineman 4 July 2023
Other articles about this year's competition
WWC23 – who won? 12 September 2023
WWC23 – image shortlist 31 August 2023
WWC23 – article shortlist 31 August 2023
WWC23 – update 12 June 2023
WWC23 – call for submissions 28 March 2023
*Julian Leidy, our summer intern and chief wrangler of our WWC23 submissions, researched and wrote the larger part of this article.