The Biggest International Wine Competition in Asia

Message from Yumi Tanabe, president of “SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards


Now in its 12th year, SAKURA AWARDS have been aiming to "find wines that go well with Japanese food culture", "increase wine consumption", and "expand opportunities for women working in the wine industry". Thanks to everyone’s support, the award-winning wines have been well received by consumers and are steadily gaining recognition.

In particular, The Best Pairing with Japanese and Asian Cuisine, which responds to consumer needs, has become a hot topic of discussion as a unique award that can only be found at SAKURA AWARDS.

The results of the judging by women in Japan are highly trusted by producers, and since the third year we have been receiving more than 4,000 entries. In addition, the numbers of entries from BIO wines and sustainable wines, which are of great interest to consumers, and from Eastern Europe, which is still unfamiliar to Japan, are increasing.

SAKURA AWARDS will continue to move into the future with the aim of contributing to the development of wine culture.

Trade Only - Female Blind Judging Panel

審査会This competition has been judged exclusively by female wine specialists, namely sommeliers, winemakers, wine school educators, journalists, restaurant and beverage directors, retail store buyers, importers and distributors.

The 11th “SAKURA” Japan Women’s Wine Awards

In 2024, the total entry of 4,023 wines were entered from 27 countries. This unique competition evaluating wines from all over the world from a woman’s perspective has garnered interest globally and has set a new precedent for wine competitions.

The 100 point scale was used for selecting Double Gold, Gold and Silver medals.

Result 2024

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


About the Awards – The largest wine competition in Asia

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 Japan. The competition has grown gradually and now become the largest and the most important wine competition in Asia with over 4,000 entries 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 that go well with Japanese food culture
  • To increase the annual wine consumption in Japan to 5 liters/person
  • To expand opportunities for women in the wine industry
In Japan, often times women lead to select wines. 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

ObjectOur 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.

Wine Category– 100 categories for evaluation

Entry Categories

  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
  7. Orange Wine
  8. Low Alocohol Wine
  9. Non-Alcoholic 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.


  • Scores will be marked out of 100 points. Double-Gold, Gold and Silver Awards will be given according to the designated scores for each award. Furthermore, the most scored wines from the Double-Gold will be selected for the Diamond Trophy. For more details, please refer “Past Awards Results”
  • Only “varietal”, “vintage” , “residual suger” and “alcohol content” are disclosed for blind tasting.
  • Each flight usually consists of maximum 15 items, sorted by varietals. We have adopted the individual scoring method and not comparative.
  • A judge assesses 50 to 60 items a day.
  • Bouchonne wines will be reassessed.

Award Results

  • 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 Diamond Trophy, Double-Gold, Gold, Silver and Special Awards - Grand-Prix were announced on February 14th.

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.

Sales Parnters

Restaurants – Where you can 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.

Award Medallion Stickers

meedal logo

ObjectDiamond, Double Gold, Gold and Silver medal stickers are available through our partner company "TENPRINT., Ltd.". They help highlight the award that the wine has earned on the shelves and in various internet shopping sites.

Special Awards, Best Pairing Wine for Asian Cuisine, Grand-Prix

  • Best Woman Winemaker
  • The Best Pairing with Japanese and Asian Cuisuine
    (Sushi, Tempura, Sukiyaki, Yakitori, Teppanyaki, Japanese Pot-Au-Feu, Korean, Chinese and Thai)
  • Grand Prix Japanese Wine of the year
  • Best Cost Performance Wine
  • Great Value Sparkling Wine
  • Lesser-known Grape Varieties in Japanese market
  • "FORTIFIED" Wineイメージ
  • "DESSERT" Wine
  • “ROSE" Wine
  • "ORANGE" Wine

If you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Please click here for any comments or questions.

For the schedule and other detailed information, please refer here.



Wine and Spirits Culture Association
Yumi Tanabe, President

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