“SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards
About the Awards/Mission/Judges


About the Awards – The largest awards in Asia

The “SAKURA” Awards started its history in 2014 as the first international wine competition judged solely by women in Japan. Chaired by Yumi Tanabe, an active and leading wine educator in our country, the Awards has grown gradually and now become the largest and the most important wine competition in Asia with over 4,000 items entry from across the world. Our competition results always draw keen attention from both Japan and abroad, as it has encouraged the evolvement of new wine selection criteria from Japanese women’s perspective and further activation of wine culture and market in Japan is widely expected.

Please find more about Yumi Tanabe and Wine & Spirits Culture Association in “About us”

Mission – Focus on women’s voice in wine selection

ObjectOur mission consists of three pillars;

  • To select wines to go with Japanese cuisine
  • To increase the annual wine consumption in Japan to 5 liters/person
  • To expand opportunities for women in the wine industry
In Japan, it is typically women who lead wine selection. That’s why we believe wines judged and selected by female experts will lead to consumers’ trust and satisfaction. Aiming to push the boundary of wine market in Japan, our journey will continue in collaboration with you.

Judges – Female wine experts

JudgeOur judges are female experts who lead broad range of wine industries in Japan. Sommeliers, producers, school instructors, journalists, importers, distributors and sales, they are all active female professionals in wine industries.

Entries – Constant increase

In the Awards 2020, 4,333 items were assessed through strict blind tasting by 560 judges.


Wine Category– 100 categories for evaluation

Categories at entry

  1. Still Red Wine
  2. Still White Wine
  3. Still Rose Wine
  4. Sparkling Wine and Semi Sparkling Wine
  5. Fortified Wine
  6. Sweet Wine

Pre-judging procedure

On arrival, entry wines are organized by varietals, production method and other attributes and put into around 100 categories.


  • Sparkling wines, once grouped by varietals, are sorted also by carbonation level, residual sugar and production method.
  • Dessert wines and fortified wines are sorted by residual sugar and production method.

Judging – the early February

  • Scores will be marked out of 100. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver Awards will be given according to the designated scores for each award. Another round of tasting will be held to select Diamond Trophy from Double-Gold winning wines. For more details, please refer “Past Awards Results”
  • Only “varietal”, “vintage” and “price category” are disclosed for blind tasting.
  • 5 judges form a group, led by the group leader. The result, however, will reflect the scores given by individual judges.
  • Each flight typically consists of 10 to 14 items, sorted by varietals. We have adopted the individual scoring method and not comparative.
  • A judge assesses 30 to 40 items a day.
  • Bouchonne wines will be reassessed.

Award results – Mar. 8 “International Women’s Day”

  • As soon as the assessment is finalized, judging sheets will be submitted for calculation. Regardless of the category, Double-Gold, Gold and Silver winning wines are determined according to the average score.
  • The winners of Double-Gold, Gold and Silver will be announced on the day.
  • Mar.20, Diamond Trophy and Special Awards and Grand-prix will be announced.

Supporters – Embassies and Producers associations

Our effort to foster the wine culture is supported by many organizations, including embassies in Japan, wine producer’s associations, and other related organizations. Our activity reports are broadly disseminated to wine producers via these supporting organizations. To become our supporter is free of charge. Please refer “SUPPORTER” for more details.

Sales Partners– connect Awarded wines to consumers

Sales PartnerMany wine distributors join us as registered sales partners and help promote the Award winning wines broadly with the full understanding of our activity. Through distribution, retail and whole sales, they are contributing the sales of the awarded wines throughout Japan. The registration is free of charge.

Restaurants – where you enjoy Awarded wines

You can enjoy the Award winning wines in many restaurants in Japan. They appreciate the value of our activities and put the Award winning wines on their wine lists. Any restaurants who provide customers with the Awarded wines can register through our website, free of charge.


Wine and Spirits Culture Association
Yumi Tanabe, President

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