The Feminalise World Wine Competition based in Beaune, France is now in its 11th year.
It is acknowledged as the biggest wine competition in the world where only women are judging wines from various styles, countries, and vintages.
Feminalise Awards are about acknowledging and respecting females’ skills and opinions in judging wines. They highlight how well a large panel of skillful female judges can taste wines and guide consumers in their buying decision.
This is much more than just a competition, this is above all about the wines themselves but also about a life philosophy, open-mindedness and freedom.
The Feminalise Awards include Gold, Silver and Bronze medals.
Feminalise, as the name suggests, is about women…
At the competition, women judges taste wines made by both women AND men, all wines in fact, from France and from all around the world.
This entire female jury is composed mainly by wines professionals (80%) working in the industry: winemakers, enologists, sommeliers, wine merchants, educators, journalists… or seasoned consumers with solid experience in wine tastings.
In 2016, the jury counted with around 700 judges of 18 different nationalities. They had to taste and judge more than 3800 wines that entered the competition. A real opportunity to voice out!
Indeed, as Ludivine Griveau, Estate Manager of Hospices de Beaune and 2016 honorary president of the Feminalise jury expresses it:
“Yes, women’s opinion is important. Yes, we know about wine. Yes, we do know how to taste it and make it.”
Vanessa Hung, Feminalise Wine Taster and Wine journalist in Hong Kong says:
“How exciting to be surrounded by so many female wine professionals and to see them making their presences and most importantly to simply know that they find pleasure in recognizing and appreciating the quality of wines”.
ORIGINS & EXPERTISE FROM FRANCE
The Feminalise Awards all started from the astute observations of a man… Ironically enough…
In major wine-consuming countries, 70% of wine purchases are made by women.
So 10 years ago, Didier Martin, a Burgundy wine professional who used to organize wine competitions, had noticed that this very strong male universe was starting to evolve. He realized the importance of females’ opinion.
It was mere observation: when a couple was coming to the estate to buy wine, the women most of the times, made key decisions…
“At first, nobody believed in Feminalise, but now look! It has been 10 years and the wine industry is changing so fast!” says Didier Martin.
A UNIQUE WINE JUDGING SYSTEM
The blind tastings at Feminalise are organized quite differently from your usual wine tasting competition.
During his first experience as a wine competition organizer thirty years ago, Feminalise founder Didier Martin had noticed that when five judges are gathered around a table to taste the wines (which is how most wine competitions go) they spend most of their time chatting and influencing one another. Martin realized that in order to have the fairest judgment, one must not be swayed by the other judges.
“Respect the wines, no chatting while tasting”
At Feminalise competition then, each wine is tasted by at least 3 women judges seated at places far apart from each other. No influence nor comments are possible between them.
For each wine, there is a tasting sheet with 39 control points divided by:
- visual observation
- nose examination
- palate evaluation.
WHO’S BEHIND FEMINALISE?
Feminalise is about friendliness and professionalism. Like many wine producers themselves: the competition is a family business!
Didier Martin and his family are running the competition along with some specialized professionals such as Nathalie for accountancy & customer relations, along with Stephanie for international relations, communication and marketing.
Feminalise is also working with a few agents such as Rosy, Claudia, Tomoko, Master Tomoda etc… they all are specialists such as winemakers, wine consultants, sommelier, and even one Champagne ambassadress!
They also know how to unite people when it comes to organizing the event. During 3 months before the competition, a team of 6 people handles with care every wine producer that enters his/her wines, checking the registration files and organizing the bottles.
The day of the event, a team of 60 people helps making the tasting a success.
Some people still think that women only buy and like sweet, white wines… Wrong!
Of course some do, as some men do too.
But you will discover that clichés don’t always come true.
Half of the awarded wines in 2016 are red. Female judges gave gold medals to reds from Württemberg, Madiran, Gascony, Languedoc, Tuscany, Burgundy, and beyond… such a variety!
Have a look at the results and see for yourself. Find all the awarded wines by region and color Feminalise Award Winning Wines or click on the image below:
Only 1/3 of the wines are selected and receive an award.
Furthermore, Feminalise is an official Competition under the law of a recognized French authority, the DGCCRF which combats Fraud.
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WINE?
It is very simple:
- go to feminalise.com
- choose your language
- access your producer account or create one if you haven’t got one: go here
You will then be guided to your account where you will be able to register your wines on line and manage your contact details and check your rewarded wines.
You can also choose to fill in the digital registration file (pdf) and send it by email to [email protected]m
Wine sample registrations open in December 2016 for Feminalise 2017.
If needed, the Feminalise team is always ready to help, feel free to contact them.
HOW TO REGISTER AS A TASTER?
Well, first… you need to be a woman… and to know how to taste!
Either you are a professional from the wine industry, or you are a seasoned oenophile. If it is the case you must fulfill at least one of our 3 selective criteria to ensure you are fit and experienced enough for tasting at the competition.
To register, you wait for the end of the year 2016 and you set up your new Taster’s account here.
IN THE END
Please do note that at Feminalise, they love men too! Feminalise is meant to work against prejudices allowing women to express their professionalism without anyone doubting their abilities.
To conclude on Ludivine Griveau’s note:
“This competition plays a certain role in the wine industry, a world which should stay a world of pleasure […] the pleasure of tasting is precisely a very strong component of happiness. It is such a priviledge (to be here at Feminalise)!”
Hooray to men, women, pleasure, and to wine!