I. Introduction

We are pleased to invite your participation in the prestigious Danube Wine Challenge International Wine Competition - a leading event for all wine producers and wine merchants.

The competition takes place at Chateau Béla in Belá (Štúrovo), Slovakia.

The Danube Wine Challenge’s main focus is wines from the Danube basin - uniting producers that share historical, cultural, winemaking and gastronomic traditions.

The competition also welcomes wines from all over the world - representing a unique opportunity to compare international wines characterised by specific soil and climatic conditions, as well as varying approaches to grape growing and winemaking.

II. Competition organization

The event is organized by Podunajská vínna cesta (Danube Wine Route), hereinafter referred to as the “Organizer”.

The Organizer appoints an Organizing Committee chaired by a competition president to organize and promote the event.

The competition is a member of The World Federation of Major International Wine and Spirits Competitions VINOFED. It will be organized in accordance with these Statutes under the patronage of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic and the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

The competition is a nomination competition of the National Wine Salon of the Slovak Republic.

III. Participants and registration

The competition is open to all - both producers or merchants, and for all varieties or blends from all wine-producing areas of the world - those that register their products for this competition shall be referred to as a “Participant”. Such Participant shall register samples on-line via the entry form at: (Danube Wine Challenge section).

Online registration requires:

1. The Participant’s identification (producerer or merchant), business name, company registration number, address and email/phone number of the contact person.

2. Identification of the product: name or trade mark, vintage, production lot (batch number), quantity produced (litres/bottles)/amount in stock, colour, style, country of origin, region, appellation/protected designation of origin (if applicable), and quality designation (if used in country of origin).

3. Grape variety identification (if multiple varieties then all varieties and their percentage content).

4. Analytical parameters, particularly residual sugar content (g/l), acid (g/l as tartaric), total sulphur dioxide SO2 (mg/l), and alcohol (percentage volume).

5. Category in accordance with Article VIII of these Statutes.

6. Additional information can be included in the application.

7. Laboratory analysis protocol (uploaded when registering sample).

IV. Samples

Only samples that meet the requirements of the entry form and categories in accordance with these Statutes will be accepted. For each sample the Participant shall submit six bottles of 0.75 l or smaller volume. We accept personal- or courier-delivery, all shipment costs at Participant’s expenses. The samples from non-EU countries must be delivered DDP Komárno.

The delivery address and contact:

Igor Štumpf, Slnečnicová 4, 945 01 Komárno. Phone number: +421 903 984 300

All samples submitted to the competition must be bottled and labelled for commercial distribution. Competition product must derive from a homogenous lot of at least 1000 litres intended for consumption. The Organizer may also allow samples from smaller batches to compete if it:

- comes from a small wine-growing area,

- is a specific type produced in small quantities, or

- comes from a low-yielding plot.

Samples that arrive after the official deadline will not be accepted, although the event Organizer reserves the right to extend the delivery deadline (in such case Participants will be informed by email or at and on social media.

The Organizer has the right to exclude samples that fail to comply with these Statutes or fall outside the scope of the competition’s remit. In the event of exclusion from the competition, the Participant will receive an email explaining the decision and information about collecting disqualified samples.

V. Entry fee

Participants are required to pay an entry fee for each sample submitted to the competition. The Organizer will issue an invoice after the registration of samples. Any costs related to the payment shall be borne by the Participant.

The Organizer has the right to exclude the Participant’s sample if registration fee payment is not received by the announced deadline.

VI. Evaluation of samples

Competition samples are evaluated by sensory analysis (tasting) - using the 100-point system (OIV and International Union of Oenologists) - and fully computerized (the Czech ELWIS National Wine Centre system). Assessment criteria:

Sparkling wines are also evaluated in terms of effervescence (appearance other than cleanness, perception in mouth - persistence and quality of foam, and overall harmony related to effervescence).

Each characteristic feature of a competition sample is evaluated individually and classified as: excellent, very good, good, satisfactory, insufficient. These are quantified by scores being allocated in the scoring sheet, so that overall marks can be compared between competition samples. The maximum rating is 100 points, while a zero rating (40 points) is the lowest-grade for an unsatisfactory product.

The final assessment of sample by the Panel is a weighted mean, i.e. calculated from the scores of all judges after the highest and lowest have been excluded.

The competition Organizer shall store the evaluation sheets for at least two years after the competition, as printed copies signed by the Expert Guarantor of the competition, the Panel Chairs, and individual judges.

VII. Composition and role of Evaluation Panels

The competition’s Organizing Committee shall appoint Evaluation Panels comprising at least five wine expert members. At least half of each Panel shall comprise international (non-Slovak) wine tasters. Each Panel will be presided by a renowned oenologist - who coordinates the Panel’s work and monitors the correct assessment of submitted samples. The rating of this Panel Chair is included in the overall scores of each wine. The Organizing Committee can also set up parallel tasting panels or invite “Observer-tasters” - comprising sponsors, journalists and other notable wine lovers to promote the competition - the ratings of which will only be illustrative.

The basic principle of the evaluation proceeds on an anonymous bases: judges and Panel Chairs will only be informed about wine category and vintage. Samples with assigned competition numbers will be presented in a non-identifiable manner, separately, and timely. Judging begins with sparkling wines, followed by still white wines, rosé, orange and red wines - from youngest to oldest and dry to sweet, concluding with naturally sweet wines (including Tokaj sweet wines) and fortified wines.

Each tasting day - prior to the competition - starts with the judges receiving a calibration sample with an overall mark allocated by the Organizing Committee. This sample sets the criteria, homogenizes and tunes the assessments of individual tasters and panels.

Assessed wine samples will be presented at the following temperatures:

VIII. Competition categories

Category A: Still white wines (CO2 pressure <50 kPa at 20°C)

A1 – dry (0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars)

A2 – semi-dry and semi-sweet (4 – 45 g/l reducing sugars)

Category B: Orange wines (White wines with maceration)

B1 – still dry wine (0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars)

B2 – naturally sparkling dry wine (pét-nat, 0 - 4 g/l reducing sugars)…………………………………………

Category C : Still rosé wines (CO2 pressure <50 kPa at 20°C)

C1 – dry (0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars)

C2 – semi-dry and semi-sweet (4 – 45 g/l reducing sugars)

Category D: Semi-sparkling wines (CO2 pressure <250 kPa at 20°C) and Sparkling wines (CO2 pressure >250 kPa at 20°C) - without colour distinction

D1 – Semi-sparkling wines dry (0 - 12 g/l reducing sugars)

D2 – Semi-sparkling wines other (> 12 g/l reducing sugars)

D3 – Sparkling wines dry (0 - 12 g/l reducing sugars)

D4 – Sparkling wines other (> 12 g/l reducing sugars)

Category E: Still red wines (CO2 pressure<50 kPa at 20°C)

E1 – dry (0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars)

E2 – semi-dry and semi-sweet (4 – 45 g/l reducing sugars)


Category F: Naturally sweet wines (ice wine, straw wine, raisin wine, botrytis/noble-rot)

F1 – semi-dry, semi-sweet Tokaj wines (varietal wine, samorodné/szamorodni, branded wine, 4 – 45 g/l reducing sugars)

F2 – sweet wines without colour distinction (including Tokaj) > 45 g/l reducing sugars

F3 – Tokaj selections and essences

Category G: Liqueur wines (with or without added alcohol: Montilla-Moriles, Sherry, Port, Madeira and similar styles), 15 – 22% abv.

G1 – Liqueur wines - dry (0 – 6 g/l reducing sugars)

G2 - Liqueur wines - other ( > 6 g/l reducing sugars)

Category H: Fruit wines (obtained by complete or partial fermentation of fruit juice issued of apples, pears, berries, etc., non fortified), all colours:

H1 – Fruit wines – dry (0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars)

H2 – Fruit wines - other ( > 4 g/l reducing sugars)……………………………………………………………

IX. Processing results and awards

The final sample score is a weighted mean, i.e. the average value after the highest and lowest have been excluded rounded to two decimal places.

A maximum 30% of evaluated wines can receive a medal - the score limits for medals are:

1/ Double Gold medal, 93-100 points

2/ Gold medal, 89 – 92,99 points

3/ Silver medal, 85 – 88,99 points

Additional Danube Wine Challenge Awards:

1/ Prix VINOFED will be announced in these categories:

A – still dry white wine (0 - 4 g/l reducing sugars)
C – still dry rosé wine (0 - 4 g/l reducing sugars)
E – still dry red wine (0 - 4 g/l reducing sugars)

D – sparkling dry wine (brut: 0 – 12 g/l reducing sugars)

The laureates will be selected in a special final round (Final Tasting), with at least three and no more than five of the highest-rated wines from the given category, which have also received a score of at least 89 points. The Final Tasting Panel will mainly comprise representatives of VINOFED competitions and individual Panel Chairs led by an oenologist or the competition’s Technical Director (whose evaluation will not be taken into account). The Final Tasting judges will decide the ranking of individual samples (1st place = 1 point, 2nd place = 2 points, 3rd place = 3 points, etc.). Wines with the highest average ranking (i.e. the lowest summary of points) will become the Prix VINOFED laureates of their respective category. Should points be equal, then the wine with the most first places will be awarded Prix VINOFED.

The Organizer reserves the right to award the winners of the Prix VINOFED with the title of Champion of the Danube Wine Challenge in the respective categories.

2/ The Category winner will be announced for each of the remaining categories in accordance with these Statutes. The winner will be the overall highest-scoring wine.

3/ Danube Wine Trophy – for the best rated still dry wine in the competition ( 0 – 4 g/l reducing sugars) made from:

The laureates of these awards will be the winners of the final round in the same way as for the Prix VINOFED.

4/ The Best Wine Collection – this award will go to the Participant who enters at least six samples and achieves the highest total rating of the six best rated wines from the entire collection.

6/ The Best Wine of the Danube Wine Route - the Annual Challenge Cup - for the highest scoring wine of a Participant – member of the Danube Wine Route (Podunajská vínna cesta) association.

7/ The Best Wine of the Nitra Region (The Best of Region Nitra) - for the top-rated wine from a Nitra region-based wine-producing company.

Should points be equal, the winner will be the wine with the highest average scores, taking into account all evaluation Panel members, including highest and lowest scores. Should the scores still remain equal, the winner will be announced ex-aequo.

The Organizer reserves the right to announce additional special prizes.

The Organizer will generate and deliver the diplomas for laureates in an electronic form, stating the name of the competition, date and place of its celebration, type of prize and category, identification of the producer/ participant and that of the awarded wine.

The Organizer will issue an edition of self-adhesive medals that Participants can order and purchase for awarded wines.

X. Marketing and PR

Competition information and results will be published online at the competition’s website:, at the website of VINOFED, promoted on social media, sent by e-mail newsletter campaign, and via media partners to ensure the most exposure for the competition and award-winning wines.

All medal winners will be invited to present their rewarded wines to the public in a walking tasting following the prize-giving ceremony.

The place and time of the ceremony will be announced by the Organizer on the website and by email to all Participants, media, and advertising partners.

Wines not consumed during the competition will be used by the Organizer to promote the competition at official events, or provided to scientific and educational institutions for research/teaching purposes.

XI. Final provisions

By completing the Entry form, the Participant agrees with all the terms and conditions in these Statutes. The Organizer reserves the right to amend these Statutes according to current requirements.

Should a category have too few entries (less than 10 samples), the Organizer reserves the right to merge the category with the closest category. In this case a winner of the joint categories will be appointed, or if this is not possible or there are less than five samples in a category, the Organizer reserves the right to not award such category.

Komárno, 20 October 2020

Updated in Komárno, 2 February 2023