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Jeunes Sommeliers Competition

Irvine Wines, Main Partner of the International Jeunes Sommeliers Competition

One of Australia’s most highly awarded labels
A much appreciated sponsor of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition

Irvine Wines is a much appreciated sponsor of the International Final of the Jeunes Sommeliers Competition. They are generously providing an Imperial of Irvine Grand Merlot as a gift for winner of the five years 2015-2019 inclusive. It is a very rare bottle worth in the region of 2,000 euro.

The Irvine brand was established in 1983 when Jim Irvine launched the Irvine label. His vision was to create world class merlot from his 20 acre (8ha) Springhill vineyard in the Eden Valley that rivalled those from France.

Jim Irvine was dubbed the “King of Merlot” in Australia by his fellow “Barons of the Barossa” and the local winemakers. While the title embarrasses him a little, there is no doubt that he and the noble merlot grape are inextricably linked.

His passion began as a young man with tasting the great merlots of France. Jim was the first to plant and nurture merlot in Australia. It’s a lifetime pursuit of excellence that has earned him global fame. It has also set him apart from his peers in the many wine regions around Australia where Shiraz and Cabernet are the red varieties of choice because they appeal to the Australian palate of big, lusty, high-tannin reds.

But, thanks to Jim’s sixty years of perseverance and a crop of exciting new, young winemakers, the Australian palate is changing to softer, subtler styles and the Irvine brand will be leading the charge.

After many years of successfully promoting his brand and the variety, Jim decided to sell-up in 2014. His Eden Valley neighbours, who own the adjacent Haslemere vineyard, purchased the brand and property. This association continues the partnership of the Wade and Miles family – who came together when the Haslemere Vineyard was planted in 1993.

John Wade brings strong business acumen with vast and extensive experience from a number of industries. Peter Miles brings the vineyard and viticultural experience overseeing some of the finest vineyards in the Barossa and Eden Valley. His father, Brian Miles, was recognized as one of the best vignerons in Australia with Peter following in his footsteps.

Today, Irvine Wines boasts over 300 acres (121ha) of pristine, mature vines with plantings going back to the original ones made by Jim Irvine in the 1980s. Irvine is proudly one of Australia’s most highly awarded labels.