The Dallas Morning News and TEXSOM International Wine Competition has new leadership. After lengthy discussions and planning, Rebecca Murphy, the event’s founder and producer, is turning over the future of the 30-year-old competition to Drew Hendricks and James Tidwell, Master Sommeliers and co-founders of the TEXSOM conference.
The wine competition remains one of the most respected in the country and the largest in the southwest, judging 59,456 U. S. and international wines since its inception in 1985.
“The competition started as just an idea back in 1985, and through the sponsorship and support of The Dallas Morning News, we have built it into a world-class wine judging,” said Murphy. “As we approached our thirtieth year, I had begun to think about how to ensure the future of a project that has been so important to me. I watched Drew and James create and build the TEXSOM conference, which is the best professional wine educational event in the country, and I recognized kindred spirits. They are the perfect choice to take the reins of the competition.”
The TEXSOM organization is known for its annual conference, its keystone event and the only annual sommelier conference in the U.S., drawing upwards of 600 qualified attendees.
All of the components that have made the wine competition successful will remain in place, while the leadership of Hendricks and Tidwell and their ties to TEXSOM, which aligned itself with the competition in 2011, present new opportunities for entrants.
“This just seemed like an obvious next step in further fulfilling the mission of the TEXSOM conference,” said Hendricks. “The goal of TEXSOM has always been to provide education and information to wine professionals, and the competition provides a natural extension for us; a way to provide feedback to producers, as well as professionals and the public, about high quality wines from every category and every corner of the wine world. We want to be a ‘go to’ resource when people are looking for the right fit for their shelf, or just something to drink and enjoy.”
“We have been working on the event for four years now and it is by far one of the best in the industry,” said Tidwell. “We have plans to take an already great event and make it even better through opportunities for medal-winning entrants to create effective relationships and to obtain better exposure. This allows stakeholders in our industry to benefit; producers, importers, distributors, sommeliers and other beverage professionals, as well as consumers.”
Murphy will remain as a consultant for the event.
“The success of the competition is due to the processes we have developed, the hard work and dedication of the many people who have worked in the backroom, and the expertise, knowledge and talent of our world-class judges,” said Murphy. “James and Drew told me that I can be involved for as long as I like. This was my baby for so long, that I can’t imagine not being a part of it.”
For more information on the competition, go online to www.dallaswinecomp.com.