Jerry D. Mead - 1939 - 2000

Jerry D. Mead's New World International Wine Competition was officially established as an independent competition in 1991.

Jerry D. Mead was a well known and syndicated wine columnist, publisher, and consultant. Mr. Mead was also founder of the world’s largest California-only wine competition, the Orange County Fair Commercial Wine Competition.

It was his desire to establish a wine competition that, for the first time in America and perhaps the world, pit the best wines from each price class against each other resulting in a Best of Variety award. Further he wished to offer Bronze, Silver and Gold Medals for excellence, and also sponsored trophies to recognize "Best of Class" and "Best of Show".

This desire was first realized in 1989 as a part of the National Orange Show. The competition remained as such for another year, and then, at the urging of partner Bill Anthony, in 1991 the first annual "Jerry D. Mead's New World International Wine Competition" began. Jerry was very proud of this competition, feeling that it ultimately served the interests of wine consumers worldwide.

One of the original three founders of NWIWC, Eileen Tillery, was working in the Home Arts Department of the National Orange Show. She was asked to begin a wine tasting event for the Show, which she did. She partnered with Jerry and Bill and they began the wine tasting portion of the National Orange Show. Next the Orange Show wanted to begin a competition, and that was also accomplished with Jerry, Eileen and Bill. After two years, Mr. Anthony had the idea that the three of them should break away from the National Orange Show and begin their own competition and 25 years later, we still have Jerry D. Mead’s New World International Wine Competition.

When Jerry passed away in 2000, Bill and Eileen made the decision to keep the competition going. Very sadly, this year in 2014, both Bill Anthony and Eileen Tillery have passed. One thing about NWIWC, we all became family throughout the years with the same staff, servers, and many returning judges rotating throughout the years. Biological family members have also been a part of the competition from the beginning. Eileen and Bill wanted the competition to continue, and to that end, both family and NWIWC family have decided to keep it going and to do our best to maintain the high standards set by Jerry, Eileen and Bill. We look forward to serving more wineries and have plans to make some changes to keep up with the growing popularity and changes within the wine industry.

──── The Competition ────

Open to wines produced anywhere in the world, including all of North America, Central America, and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Open to all varietals, generic and proprietary wines grown in those regions and made from traditional grapes or other fruits and/or berries.

All wines judged by price category, ranging from inexpensive through moderate to premium or super-premium prices. Each wine is judged against other of its type and also against its price peers. Consumers are informed as to best wines in each price category.

The only competition in America, and perhaps the world to pit the best wines from each price class against each other to determine an overall best of variety or type.

First American competition to offer not only bronze, silver and gold medals for excellence, but also to offer sponsored trophies to recognize "Best of Class" and "Best of Show" wines.

Up to four sugar classes, where appropriate, for table wines, and three for champagnes and sparkling wines.

All judges are qualified professionals.

All wines judged "double-blind", that is, the judges not only do not know the identity of the wines they are tasting, neither do they have a list of entered wines, which might enable them to guess the wines’ identities.

Results used to help compile statistics for the publications, noted for determining America’s most medal winning wines by actual awards allocated points: California Wine Winners, California Grapevine, and California Gold Wine List.