In partnership with Sommeliers Australia, the Victorian Wine Show Council (VWS) is offering Professional members the unique opportunity to apply for one associate judge’s position at the 2023 Victorian Wine Show, being held from 18-20 October at Mitchelton winery in Nagambie.


The Victorian Wine Show was established in 1981 to benchmark Victorian wine. Today the show judges the largest number of Victorian wines of any show in Australia.

At the VWS there are two associate judges per panel. Associate judges are judges in training. It is a great opportunity to observe, participate in and learn about wine show judging. The associates judge the wines in the same way as the judges, but while their scores do not count towards a wine’s final score, associate judges are encouraged to speak up and offer their opinions during panel discussions.

There are a number of pathways to becoming an associate judge at the VWS. Many associate judges start out as stewards. Stewarding is a great way to see the operation of a show first hand and to get an understanding of the process and the work that goes in to organising a show. Roughly half the associates at the VWS started as stewards. Some associates are offered positions based on recommendations from other wine shows or the VWS council.

The VWS council is keen to encourage and support the diversity of wine show judges. This is why the VWS is working with Sommeliers Australia to identify potential candidates from non-winemaking backgrounds.



Sommeliers Australia Professional members with a hospitality background, looking for an opportunity to enter the wine judging system, are invited to submit their application.

Applications open on Friday 1 September, and will close at 5pm on Tuesday 18 September.

All applications will be reviewed by a selection panel and shortlisted.

The successful applicant will be advised by Monday 25 September, giving them 3 weeks to prepare for the show.



Applications are welcomed from individuals looking for an opportunity to enter the wine judging system, and who have not previously had experience as an associate judge.

In order to apply, applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • Must be a current Professional member of Sommeliers Australia;
  • Be based in Victoria and actively working in the hospitality industry as a sommelier, wine buyer, or wine professional in a wine retail or distribution setting;
  • Have completed at least WSET Level 2 or have equivalent industry experience;
  • Need to submit a current CV (Word or pdf only), highlighting relevant wine and service experience;
  • Must complete the application form, including answering a series of questions;
  • Need to provide two referees, with at least one having had wine show judging experience;
  • Must be available to attend the VWS from 17-20 October.

NOTE: Applicants with winemaking experience/background or previous experience as an associate judge/judge will not be eligible.



Applications open on Friday 1 September, and close at 5pm, Monday 18 September.



Dates and details for the 2023 Victorian Wine Show:

Tuesday 17 October

  • Associates and Judges arrive.
  • Welcome dinner to be held at Bank St. Pizza in Avenel. This is a casual event for everyone to get to know each other.

Wednesday 18 October

  • Judging begins
  • Classic wines of Victoria dinner to be held in the Ashton Tower restaurant at Mitchelton. Associate judges are invited to attend.

Thursday 19 October

  • Judging continues
  • Magnum dinner held in the Mitchelton winery cellar

Friday 20 October

  • Judging is finalised
  • Associates and Judges depart



  1. Accommodation at Mitchelton is provided for all associate judges from Tuesday night until Friday. Associates are required to arrange their own travel to Nagambie.
  2. This year the VWS will use the Showrunner scoring platform. Associate judges are asked to BYO device (laptop or tablet – no phones). Devices do need to be relatively new and software should be up to date. If you don’t have a suitable device one can be provided if arranged ahead of time with VWS.


For more information about the Victorian Wine Show visit: