Australia gains highest score in International Wine Challenge

Australian winemakers picked up 393 medals in the latest round of the International Wine Challenge (IWC). Last year it brought home 256 in total – making this year’s haul a 54% increase from last year.

Of these, 22 were gold medals. Only one country, France, collected more golds this year with 23.

The McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015, from the Adelaide Hills, was the joint highest scoring wine in the competition, with 97 points. The other 97-pointer, also made from Chardonnay, was William Fèvre’s Chablis Grand Cru Vaudésir 2016, from France’s Burgundy region.

Eight of Australia’s gold medals went to wines made from Chardonnay of which the judges “found some truly delicious, savoury, balanced examples”, explained IWC co-chair Oz Clarke.

Another eight gold went to Shiraz wines. Charles Metcalfe, another IWC co-chair, commented that many of the new Shiraz and Grenache reds coming through the competition were “much fresher and more elegant than the traditional styles”.

South Australia came out as the dominant region with 11 gold medals. New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia also faired comparatively well with three apiece. Two Victoria producers, Bellvale Wine and Trentham Estate, were also awarded gold medals.

Australian Vintage, owner of the McGuigan and Tempus Two brands, was the most highly celebrated with five gold medals. Taylors Wines, which trades as Wakefield Wines in the Northern Hemisphere, took home two golds.

The other gold medal winners from Australia were:

  • Zonte’s Footstep
  • Hahndorf Hill Winery
  • Tenafeate Creek Wines
  • Shingleback Wine
  • St Hugo
  • Jim Barry Wines
  • Sidewood Estates
  • Tolpuddle Vineyard
  • Winemaking Tasmania
  • Freycinet Vineyard
  • Victory Point Wines
  • Flametree Wines
  • Bruce Dukes of Domaine Naturaliste


The first part of the 2019 International Wine Challenge – Tranche 1 – saw 212 wine experts from 23 countries judging the wines over four days in London. Tranche 2 judging will take place from 1-11 April, 2019, with the results announced on 8 May.