“The organization of the competition offers Styria, as the host region, the unique opportunity to present itself”

“The organization of the competition offers Styria, as the host region, the unique opportunity to present itself”

From April 18th to 20th, 2024, the 15th edition of Sauvignon Selection by CMB (formerly Concours Mondial du Sauvignon) will take place in Styria. Styria establishes itself as the host of one of the most influential white wine competitions in the world, as a significant growing area for top-quality Sauvignon. Styrian winemakers have been showcasing their skills for years at the world’s largest Sauvignon competition. On Friday 5th April the press conference to present the competition was held in Graz, and here are a few extracts.

Styria as the host region
Over the three days in April, approximately 60 jury members will blind taste around 1,300 Sauvignon Blancs from around the world – from 27 different countries – right in the midst of the wine region of Styria. The competition, organized by Vinopres and supported by the Styrian Wine, will take place at the Educational Center for Fruit and Wine Growing Silberberg – Landesgut Silberberg/Leibnitz.

During a comprehensive and varied program revolving around blind tasting, international experts will get to know Styria with its three wine-growing regions Südsteiermark, Vulkanland Steiermark, and Weststeiermark, as well as its wines and winegrowers.

Styria has been positioning itself on the international stage for years as a small, fine wine-growing region with top quality and class. The fact that we could bring this prestigious competition to Styria proves that this strategy is bearing fruit. The competition will continue to contribute to our excellent reputation as a wine country and, last but not least, further boost wine tourism. I thank all the winegrowers who are accompanying us on this journey and wish the Styrian participants of the Sauvignon Selection every success. Additionally, I wish the jury and all guests a wonderful stay in our Styria,” says Agriculture Councilor Simone Schmiedtbauer.

“Sauvignon Blanc, across all three regions in Styria, produces world-class wines. When so many top winemakers focus on a variety, success is inevitable – also very important: the terroir of the Styrian wine-growing region is perfect for this variety,” explains Stefan Potzinger, Chairman of Styrian Wine.


Stefan Potzinger

The organization of the competition offers Styria, as the host region, the unique opportunity to present itself,” explains Quentin Havaux, Managing Director of Vinopres. The 57 international tasters, including journalists and wine buyers, will have the opportunity to visit wineries, meet winemakers, taste wines, try local cuisine, and enjoy the landscapes. “These impressions and experiences will undoubtedly be remembered and communicated further.” Moreover, the organization of the Sauvignon Blanc Selection by CMB positions the inviting region as an international destination for Sauvignon Blanc.

The Jury
The jury consists of handpicked professionals from around the world who are responsible for awarding medals to the best participating wines. The Sauvignon Selection by CMB jury is a purely professional jury composed of dedicated industry members, including buyers, international winemakers, journalists, wine journalists, critics, and representatives of marketing organizations and winemaker associations. Twenty nationalities are represented, guaranteeing the outstanding diversity that sets the Concours Mondial du Sauvignon apart from other wine competitions. Members not only evaluate each wine but also describe and comment on each individual wine. Through the AI program, all producers receive comprehensive reports on their wines.

The Competition 
Sauvignon Selection by CMB (formerly Concours Mondial du Sauvignon) is currently the world’s largest competition focusing on Sauvignon blanc. The Concours Mondial du Sauvignon, established in Bordeaux in 2010 and now called Sauvignon Selection by CMB, has quickly become the leading event for Sauvignon Blanc. What makes this event special is that the tasting takes place in a different region every year. This allows focusing on a specific region or country specializing in this grape variety. We have already been to seven different regions in France, as well as Italy, Austria, Spain, and Portugal. Last year, the Sauvignon Selection by CMB went outside Europe for the first time, to South Africa. In 2018, Styria was already the host country, it means that the competition returns to Styria after 6 years.

DAC Origin System Styria
The DAC Origin System Styria, introduced in 2018, stands for “Wine with Protected Origin” and offers outstanding wines with guaranteed origin. The Styrian DAC areas Südsteiermark DAC, Vulkanland DAC, and Weststeiermark DAC were the first areas in Austria where hand-picking of grapes was mandatory. Local and single vineyard wines take center stage. To guarantee ripening and development time, regional wines are available from March 1st, and local and single vineyard wines from May 1st after harvest. Styrian wines are often harvested on steep slopes. Over half of the vineyard area is mountain viticulture. The terroir of Styria is singular: The unique interplay of climate, soils, locations, and the nature of the area enables winemakers to produce distinctive wines with their own character.

Styrian Wine
Styrian Wine is the ambassador of Styrian wines at home and abroad and supports Styrian winegrowers. Styrian Wine stands for variety, sociability, and diligence. With communication and sales promotion measures, it aims to increase the recognition of Styrian wine and Styrian wineries at home and abroad. The association currently has around 460 member companies. Styrian winegrowers cultivate 5,096 hectares of vineyard area according to the wine cadaster 2020, around 11% of the total Austrian area, and produced a total of 190,663 hectoliters of wine in 2023 according to Statistics Austria, around 9% of the Austrian wine harvest.

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