Australian wines receive critical success at the International Wine Challenge

Thursday, 24 May, 2012

Australian winemakers have extra reason to pop a few corks following the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC) where Australian wines received a record 69 gold awards.

While France dominated the awards, retaining the number one world ranking position and winning 1136 medals overall, Australia wasn’t far behind, with a world number two ranking and 673 medals in total - the second highest number of awards overall. But Australia had the advantage of quality over quantity: 83% of Australian wines entered won awards, compared with 74% of French wines.

Australian Vintage Limited won seven gold medals, Wolf Blass Wines won six and Hardy’s Wines and Yalumba won four apiece. Penfolds received two gold medals, with one being awarded to its iconic Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The IWC is the most prestigious and influential wine contest in the world,” said Charles Metcalfe, co-chairperson of the IWC. “Its global reputation means that winning an award is a tremendous achievement and brings the award-winning wine to the attention of an international audience. The quality of the entries from established and emerging wine-producing nations is testament to the unrivalled credibility and standing of the IWC.”

The 29th IWC was the biggest yet, with 50 countries entering wines. First-time entrant Bosnia and Herzegovina was awarded one silver and two bronze medals, while entries from Colombia were received for the first time. A total of 4777 medals were awarded at the event.

Many IWC medal-winning wines will display the IWC logo on the bottle. “Medal-winning wines have the guarantee of being tasted by some of the world’s best, most impartial tasters,” said Metcalfe. “So the consumer can be guided and reassured by the IWC logo when it comes to selecting wines of quality and character.”

Each wine entered in the IWC was tested by at least three, and up to six, experienced wine judges, including many Masters of Wine. Marks were awarded for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage.

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