February 8-9, 2019
Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort

2019 Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival International Wine Competition

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival International Competition!

A big thank you to the Hilton Head Beach & Tennis Resort for hosting us and all of the participants!

The judges enjoyed tasting your wines from all over the world!

Best in Show Bubbles – NV Campo Viejo Brut Cava

Best in Show Rose – 2018 Hahn Estate Rose

Best in Show Red – 2016 Rombauer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

Best in Show Alternative Red – 2017 Isabella Bobal

Best in Show White – 2016 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay

Best in Show Alternative White – 2017 Luxana Viognier

Entry Guidelines for 2019

Table, Sparkling, Fortified, Fruit and Specialty wines produced in any wine producing region in the world that meet the applicable federal legal requirements for sale in the United States are eligible for entry.

Each entry must be listed on the Official Hilton Head International Wine Judging Competition entry form, either directly online or downloaded from the website. If submitting via downloaded paper form, please complete the entire form and sign at the bottom to certify that the statements on the form are correct. Failure to complete the form properly may result in disqualification.

An official entry must consist of three (3) bottles, each bottle no more than 1000 ml. in volume. For containers larger than 1000 ml. in volume, an official entry may consist of two (2) units.

Please specify on the entry form how many gallons were produced. A minimum of 120 gallons in required. This rule is to ensure that the wines in the competition were produced for consumers.

By entering the competition, a winery agrees to donate up to 6 bottles of each gold medal winning wine for the Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival Silent Auction and Grand Tasting to be held in March. Proceeds of the event go to the John and Valerie Curry Scholarship Fund.

Registration Fees

$45 for online entries, $55 for offline entries received before January 16, 2019.

$55 for online entries, $65 for offline entries received after January 17, 2019.

Payment Options

Phone: To pay with credit card by phone, call Jeff Gerber at 843.301.9256.
Check: Checks can be mailed to

Hilton Head Wine and Food Inc.

PO Box 5097, Hilton Head, SC 29938

Payments must be received by Friday, February 8, 2019. Entry payments received after February 9, 2019, will result in entry disqualification and wines will not be returned.

Ship wines directly to:
The Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival
International Judging Competition
19 Executive Park Rd Suite 104
Hilton Head Island, SC 29928

Wine shipments will be processed Monday through Friday, 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. (Please send us a tracking number when you ship the wines to help us)

Wine entries shipped to an address other than the address above will be disqualified and entry fees will not be returned.

Please do NOT ship wines to our PO Box.
ALL Shipments must be marked on the outside of the box:

Please hold for Hilton Head Wine & Food Int’l Wine Competition

For Judging Purposes Only

The competition, its service contractors, and any officer, staff member, sponsor or director of the same shall not be responsible for the safety of the wines from theft or damage by fire, accident, vandalism or other causes. The competitor expressly waives and releases any claim or demand that he or she may have against any of them by reason of any damage to, or loss of, any wine entered in the competition.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Competition shall not be liable for failure to perform caused by an act of God, fire, flood, wind, rain, storm, electrical failure, strike, labor dispute, riot, insurrection, war or other causes beyond its control.

The judges for the 2019 competition will include approximately 20 professional and accredited wine judges. The entire panel of Judges will put their expert knowledge and comprehensive understanding of wines to work at the International Wine Judging & Competition.

Currently there are 147 professionals who hold the title Master Sommelier in North America and the CMS Americas. Of those 124 are men and 23 are women. There are 230 professionals worldwide who have earned the title Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.

The Judges are all accredited either through the Society of Wine Educators or by the Court of Master Sommeliers. This event is not open to the general public. The award-winning wine recipients will be announced publicly on Monday, February 18th and will be listed in a program at the 2019 Wine & Food Festival and Silent Wine Auction.

Judge Rules:
The judging panel for the 2019 competition consists of 20 professional and accredited wine judges, accredited by either the Society of Wine Educators or the Court of Master Sommeliers. This event is not open to the general public.

When there are fewer than three entries per category, the wines may be moved to different appropriate categories. Any placement in, or removal from a category will be at the discretion of the Head Judge. Judging by vintage, price, region, etc. will be at the discretion of the Head Judge.

If the judges are faced with an obviously flawed bottle of wine, no more than one additional bottle of the same entry will be opened and tasted.

Wines with more than 0.3% residual sugar (r.s.) must have the percent listed on the entry form. Wines entered in categories defined by r.s. must list the percent on the entry form.

The tasting order of entries is set in our database first by panel, then category and finally by residual sugar. Large categories are randomly split by the database so that no panel is asked to taste more than 60 wines in the same category.

The Hilton Head Wine and Food Festival International Wine Competition awards will be made on a merit basis by a majority vote. The judges are instructed to grant no awards when, in their opinion, the wines are unworthy, and they are empowered to grant duplicate awards if the quality of wines so merits. Judges are asked to evaluate the wines in silence until all panel members have finished their evaluation. Judge votes are recorded by a moderator. If there is a significant difference among the judges’ votes, panelists are encouraged to reach a consensus.

Wines are presented to judges in coded glasses. No wine bottles are visible to judges at any time until the competition is finished. Moderators and Back Room Volunteers are instructed to avoid discussing any wine brand names entered or not in the competition. The decision of the judges is final and no changes are made to awards after the judging is complete. Judges receive a copy of the code sheets of the wines they judged with awards noted so they are able to compare our records with their notes from the judging.

The award-winning wine recipients will be announced publicly on Monday, February 18th and will be listed in a program at the 2019 Wine & Food Festival and Silent Wine Auction.

Here are some of our former judges. We have had Master Sommeliers, Advanced Sommeliers and Certified Wine Educators among the mix. Some came from as far away as California, Colorado, Tennessee and Kentucky!

All the wines are tasted blind, graded by each individual judge and then discussed as a panel to decide if the wine medals or not.

We used just over 5000 glasses last year during the judging.

Once all the wines are judged, all the entries that were awarded double gold are re-judged to determine who will be awarded Best of Show!