We organize and conduct wine competitions from start to finish in a professional, unbiased manner with the assistance of our trained, experienced support staff of Stewards, data entry personnel and administrators.
Our members provide unbiased wine assessments and winemaking critiques.
Our judges work on a fee-for-service basis and are available to provide professional support for your wine-related initiative. Many of our judges have shared their expertise extensively in successful wine events such as:
1. Judging wine competitions – both amateur and commercial – throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe;
2. Facilitate Your Wine Competition. Create a turn key operation in your region or country.
The Wine Judges of Canada will include the following services related to this formal competition:
• Collection of the wines
• Trained Stewards to document and pour the double blind taste wines
• All required glassware
• A custom designed results database and data base manager to process the results
• Summaries of all results to the organizers
• Certification of the results
• Appropriate certificates and medals for winning wines
• Participate at the Festival to present the winners and educate consumers.
All wines will be judged using a standard double blind system. Awards will be granted based on published
WJC standards as defined for Gold, Silver and Bronze in each submission wine category.
3. Leading a tutored wine tasting event as a social event or a fundraiser;
4. Offering expert presentations on wine appreciation and assessment;
5. Providing professional feedback to amateur and commercial winemakers on various winemaking
techniques and blending outcomes;
6. Participating in wine industry tasting panels;
7. Preparing or reviewing wine marketing notes and product descriptors for commercial winemakers of all sizes;
8. Assisting restaurants and chefs in the expert development of wine lists from Canadian wines to complement their restaurant or menu themes;
9. Supporting or providing independent endorsement of superior wine products.
Who we've judged
The judges of the WJC participate in a wide range of industry events across North America. Over the past few years, for example, you could expect to find our WJC judges at the following established wine events:
• All Canadian Wine Championships
• Winemakers Magazine Competition
• Finger Lakes Wine Competition
• Lake Erie International Wine Competition and Show
• Amateur Winemakers of Ontario
(annual event - 800 entries)
• Amateur Winemakers of Canada
• Wine clubs across Ontario
• Country fairs
• Agriculture and Agrifood Canada
• Fruit Winery Association of Canada
• Chapters-sponsored wine events (by location)
Many commercial winemakers in Ontario have passed through Wine Judges of Canada competitions including:
Jim Warren (Stoney Ridge)
Ed Gurinskas (Lakeview Cellars)
Karl Kaiser (Inniskillen)
Ron Speranzini (Willow Heights)
Gunter Funk (13th Street Winery)
Herb Jacobson (13th Street Winery)
David Johnson (Featherstone)
Our growing membership of accredited wine judges includes men and women from the Ontario
communities of Toronto, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, Prince Edward County and New York as well as
certified judges in Quebec and Nova Scotia. Our accredited WJC judges are in demand across Canada
and the U.S., where their skills contribute to the growing knowledge of wine and winemaking.
Our members participate in commercial wine trade events and some have gone on to start their own
wineries, become wine importers or work at other levels in the wine industry. Most members are
experienced winemakers, many amassing considerable awards in Canada and internationally.
Some are also wine writers for newspapers or periodicals.
Being called to the bench
We are justifiably proud of the outstanding reputation of the member judges of the WJC. Each year, we seek to expand our membership with new judges, who are “called to the bench” only after the successful completion of
a rigorous evaluation and training program, including;
1. A rudimentary entry-level taste test and general wine knowledge test required for admission to the program.
2. A comprehensive two-year training program in winemaking, wine styles and regions, and extensive assessment techniques.
3. Ongoing evaluation of wine judging techniques and vocabulary of wine assessment, including updating knowledge of advancements in winemaking techniques, and new developments in the commercial wine industry.
4. A short period of apprenticeship as an assistant or trainee judge in the competition circuit.
Honing Our Judgement
As a non-profit organization, the WJC uses its fees to support an active program of ongoing training
The wine industry – both in Canada and around the world – is very dynamic. To ensure we continue to
support the ongoing education and development of the wine judging community, we strive to continuously advance our knowledge and understanding of all types of benchmark wines from around the world.
Our judges remain current by reviewing and discussing new advances in winemaking techniques. Our member WJC judges have an opportunity to conduct independent research and attain accreditation as a “Master Judge” by demonstrating an exceptional level of wine knowledge as well as highly advanced tasting and evaluation skills. All WJC judges are monitored and evaluated at major competitions, and must consistently demonstrate tasting competency to remain active in the organization.