Danube Wine Challenge goes virtual

Due to the government restrictions and sanitary regulations within the frames of the corona pandemic, the 2020 edition of the Danube Wine Challenge international wine competition had to be postponed to 2021. Nevertheless, the organisers of this project did not give up and they decided to continue the DWC mission moving into the virtual space, in accordance with the philosophy of sharing wine culture and promoting the education of wine professionals and wine enthusiasts.

Thanks to the support of partners and sponsors, various on-line master classes were realised. The live emissions of webinars and tastings with remote speakers – international wine experts, were streamed directly from Chateau Béla, the iconic castle, hotel and winery that has been hosting the Danube Wine Challenge since 2019.

The virtual events have focused on the important current wine issues of the Danube region: orange wines (the revival of macerated white wines) and red wines made of Frankovka modrá (Blaufränkisch), the key red grape variety of the Central Europe. The wines were selected in cooperation with Slovakian winemakers and with the Wein Burgenland – Wine Marketing Board.

The presentation of the brand new hand-made-by-machine Linea Umana, the ultra thin stemware made by the premium Slovakian producer RONA, was an important part of the virtual events. In particular, the launch of the special designed orange wine glass, was very much appreciated by the followers.
The on-line master classes were prepared and moderated by Edita Ďurčová, the executive director of the DWC, DipWSET, Weinakademiker, oenologist and international wine taster.

We are very honored to present You the expert panel. The following international wine personalities agreed to be the remote speakers of our virtual events:
• Frank Smulders MW – Master of Wine, wine consultant, critic and educator, WSET lecturer, Weinakademiker H.C., Head of Wine Dpt. O’Key Hypermarkets Moscow, NL
• Elizabeth Gabay MW – Master of Wine, author of Rosé, Understanding the pink wine Revolution, wine writer, critic, consultant & taster, contributor to wine magazines (i.e.Decanter, Meininger’s,…), UK/ FR
• Simon Woolf – Author of Amber revolution, editor of The Morning Claret, contributor and taster (i.e. Decanter, Meininger’s a i.), UK/ NL
• Georg Schweitzer – Director of Wein Burgenland, DipWSET, Weinakademiker, lecturer at the Austrian Wine Academy, MW student, AT
• Maurizio Dante Filippi – Sommelier at Sala della Comitissa, The Best Sommelier of Italy by AIS in 2016, author of Linea Umana, IT

You can watch the recorded versions of the live events here:

– Orange wines:

– Frankovka modrá / Blaufränkisch

– Frankovka modrá / Blaufränkisch – sequel:




Provider of live stream: