Competition Details


The competition will take place May 22nd in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Entry forms by mail or online for U.S. entries are due by May 13th and entry wines must arrive by Fri. May 17th. Non-U.S. entrants, please see


All alcoholic beverages made from fruits (except 100% grape wines), and botanical components like dandelions are eligible, including mead, cider and perry, fruit wines blended with grape wine, and any distilled spirits made from whole or crushed fruit or mead. Fruit-flavored wines where proprietary fruit flavor concentrates are added to a grape based wine, are not eligible. Entries in the fruit classes (see class list) must have been fermented from this fruit (ameliorated as needed). Multi-fruit blended wines should use the class #302.


For U.S. entries, $55.00 per entry, payable in U.S. dollars, payable by check (with funds drawn on a U.S. bank) or Mastercard/Visa. Non-U.S. entries, $65.00 per entry,  payable in U.S. dollars, payable by check (with funds drawn on a U.S. bank) or Mastercard/Visa.


Entries will be judged blind on a 20-point scale by industry professionals. Awards will be given for Double Gold, Gold, Silver and Bronze, as well as for special distinction for Best of State/Province and Best of Category awards (given to the top scoring Fruit Wine, Cider, Mead and Spirits entries).

Medallions of the award level with neck ribbons to hang on bottles will be mailed to the entrants when received from the manufacturer (medals can take six weeks to produce).

The list of award medalists will be posted online at and entrants will be notified by e-mail of their medalist entries within a week of the competition. Results will also be released to the wine media.


Entries should be shipped to arrive between July 15th and by Fri. May 17th at the latest. All entries should be sent to:

Drink Outside the Grape
c/o Richard Leahy
105 Danbury Court
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Two bottles of each entry are required. Entries should be shipped in thick cardboard shipping containers with high r-value insulation to avoid heat damage. Shipping description should include “Samples: not for re-sale.” When shipping in multiple containers, label them “1 of _” through all container numbers.


  • Entry fees are $55.00 each for U.S. entries; non-U.S. entries pay $65.00 each.
  • For every 10 wines from a single paying entity, the fee for wine #11 or #21 will be complimentary.
  • Complete the ONLINE ENTRY FORM and pay by credit card via Square.
  • DOWNLOAD AND PRINT the Drink Outside the Grape entry form, complete and and mail to the above address with a check payable to “Richard Leahy Enterprises” for the applicable per-entry rate x the number of entries.


Entry forms are due by May 13th and entries must arrive by May 17th. Entry fees must accompany the entry form(s). Entries are not official until full payment for each entry has been received. Entry fees are non-refundable. Be sure to read the list of classes carefully and code your entry with its correct class. The competition will not be responsible if entries are coded incorrectly by the entrant. Entrants may petition to receive scanned copies of judge notes. Signature of the entering official on the entry form certifies that the entry is accurate as described, and the entrant is responsible for the accuracy of entry descriptions. Entries or shipped bottles that arrive after deadline cannot be guaranteed entry in the competition. All bottles/containers entered become the property of the Drink Outside the Grape competition. All entries must be commercially available to the public at the time of entry. No refunds for cancellations can be made after the close of registration or shipping deadlines.


The judges for the Drink Outside the Grape competition are experienced industry professionals (retailers, distributors, winemakers, and researchers) and include category specialists.


Richard Leahy, Competition Chair |