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Australia shows off at International Wine Challenge, second only to France

Image courtesy International Wine Challenge

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has announced the results of its 2024 competition, with medals awarded to 38 winemaking countries following a blind tasting by an international panel of experts last month.  While Australia, France, and Spain remained top of the medal table, niche wine producing countries England, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Romania, Ukraine, and India all saw an increase in the number of medals awarded.

The full list of medal and trophy winners in the 2024 International Wine Challenge can be viewed here.

Global recognition for New World Wines

Australia continued its streak as the top new world country in terms of medals, with 54 Gold, 250 Silver and 154 Bronze ranking it in 2nd place behind France. Australia also came 2nd to France in terms of overall trophies, winning a total of 19, 10 of which were from South Australia.

New Zealand also proved its dominance on the international winemaking scene, claiming two out of seven of the International Varietal Trophies for Syrah and Chardonnay.

Despite a growing number of Malbec entries from countries all over the world, Argentina continued its winning streak as the only country in IWC history to have won the International Malbec Trophy.

 

Highlights:

  • Shaw + Smith was awarded the Australian Red Trophy for its Balhannah Vineyard Shiraz, 2021.
  • Having won the International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy for the first time in over a decade last year, Australia reasserted its dominance in Cabernet Sauvignon production with Robert Oatley claiming the title for The Pennant Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018.
  • The International Syrah Trophy was won by Kennedy Point Vineyard with its 2021 Syrah, reinstating New Zealand’s increasing expertise with this grape variety, having also claimed the title from France last year.
  • Church Road was on a winning streak and was awarded the New Zealand Red Trophy for its Church Road 1 Merlot, and it also won the International Chardonnay Trophy with its Grand Reserve Chardonnay, 2021.
  • The International Malbec Trophy was won by Argentina for its Bodega Dante Robino, Gran Dante Malbec, 2021.

 

France on winning streak with most highly awarded winemaker

France continued its winning streak, winning the highest number of medals in each category with 72 Gold, 394 Silver and 455 Bronze; an increase of 84 more medals than last year.

 

Highlights:

  • The International Pinot Noir Trophy was awarded to Edouard Delaunay for the 9th time in a row, with his wine Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, 2021, making him the most highly awarded winemaker in the competition with seven other trophies to his name, including French Red Trophy, Burgundy Red Trophy, Chambolle Musigny Trophy, Charmes Chambertin Trophy, Corton Trophy and the Nuits St Georges Trophy.
  • The International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy was awarded to Loire Valley for the first time since 2017, with Château de Tracy winning back the trophy with its Les 101 Rangs 2019.
  • This year saw the IWC introduce several new regional trophies, including the Provence Rosé Trophy which was won by Château Paquette Angélico, 2023 in its debut year.
  • The Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, Chablis Premier Cru Trophy and Chablis Trophy were all won by La Chablisienne which also won five Gold medals as well as a further 13 Silver and Bronze medals.

European countries secured four out of the top five highest medal rankings

With France in 1st place, Spain, Portugal and Italy took 3rd, 4th and 5th place in the highest medal rankings at this year’s competition.

Spain remained in 3rd place in the medal rankings with 34 Gold medals, 207 Silver and 215 Bronze, with Jerez winning 22 out of the 34 Gold medals.  Rioja was the winning region, with a total of 138 medals awarded, the most of all the regions. Spain has also seen a rise in medal wins for sparkling wines, gaining 46 medals this year, compared to 39 last year.

Portugal too increased its medal count, winning 33 Gold, 175 Silver and 195 Bronze, ranking in 4th place on the medal table. Portugal won 11 trophies for its fortified wine as well as one for still wine.

Italy won 337 medals in total and came in 5th place, winning medals for orange wines for the first time in the competition’s history.

Austria gained an extra 11 medals on last year, taking its total for 2024 to 101 with 10 more Gold medals than 2023.

 

Highlights:

  • The Spanish Red Trophy was won by Bodegas Valdemar, Balcón de Pilatos Maturana, 2020, resulting in Rioja claiming the prestigious title for the 2nd year in a row.
  • The Spanish White Trophy was won by a Galician winery for the 6th year in a row with Bodegas Pazo de Villarei, Albariño, 2023 taking the top prize.
  • Quinta da Terrincha, Tinto, 2021 from the historical Douro vineyards won the Portuguese Red Trophy.
  • The Italian White Trophy was awarded to Borgo Savaian di Stefano Bastiani for its Aransat, 2022 orange wine, having also won the new Italian Skin Contact Trophy.
  • The Italian Red Trophy was awarded to a wine made from the Lagrein grape variety native to the South Tyrol with CAVIT taking home the prize with its Bottega Vinai Lagrein Trentino, 2021.
  • Austria was awarded the International Riesling Trophy for Petra Unger’s Ried Gaisberg 1ÖTW Kremstal Reserve Riesling, 2022.

 

Emerging wine regions winning more medals than ever

The improving quality of wine around the globe is evident in this year’s results, with many countries gaining more medals than ever before.

England has seen a rise in medals with 13 Gold, 54 Silver and 58 Bronze, having climbed up the medal table to 9th place this year from 10th last year.

Canada gained 14 more medals than last year, with 3 Gold, 27 Silver and 29 Bronze. The Niagara Peninsula was the standout region winning 46 of the medals, compared to the 28 medals it won last year.

Georgia also won more medals this year, in particular the Kakheti region which won 48 out of the 51 medals awarded to Georgia with most wines awarded being skin-contact white or red.

Japan has won its most ever Gold medals for wine with two going to Chardonnays, both won by Takahata Winery, and one going to a Koshu wine.

Other countries with significant gains were Romania with 12 more medals than last year, including 5 Silver and 13 Bronze, giving them a total of 18 medals.  Ukraine saw an increase from just 1 medal last year to 8 this year, 7 Bronze and 1 Silver. India also gained an extra 3 medals with 5 Bronze medals awarded.

 

Highlights:

  • The English Sparkling Trophy was awarded to Wiston Estate, Library Collection Blanc de Blancs, 2010 and Gusbourne was awarded the English Red Trophy for its Pinot Noir, 2022.
  • The Niagara Peninsula was the only region to win a trophy from Canada, with the Canadian Ice Wine Trophy going to Lakeview Wine, Vidal Icewine, 2021
  • Vazisubani Estate, Kisi Qvevri, 2021 won the Georgian White Trophy, the second White Trophy in the competition to be awarded to a white wine with skin contact.
  • The Japanese White Trophy was won by Takahata Winery, La Clôture Electrique en Kamiwada Chardonnay, 2022.

 

The full list of 2024 International Wine Challenge award winners released on 16th May can be seen here. The IWC Champion Wines for 2024, which are selected following a re-tasting by the IWC Co-Chairs of all the trophy-winning wines, will be revealed at the IWC 2024 Awards announcement on Tuesday 9th July.

International Wine Challenge Results 2024: Medal Summary Table, ranked by total medals

 

Country Total Medals Gold Silver Bronze Commended
France 921 72 394 455 353
Australia 458 54 250 154 107
Spain 456 34 207 215 217
Portugal 403 33 175 195 187
Italy 337 15 129 193 226
New Zealand 254 23 109 122 90
South Africa 222 15 102 105 95
Argentina 160 11 78 71 75
England 125 13 54 58 49
Chile 104 3 36 65 58
Austria 101 24 48 29 10
Canada 59 3 27 29 21
Croatia 56   19 37 42
Georgia 51 7 28 16 12
Japan 51 3 14 34 28
Turkey 32   15 17 30
Greece 31 1 19 11 3
USA 31 1 10 20 13
Germany 27 4 16 7 6
Moldova 27   6 21 43
Mexico 22   3 19 31
China 19   7 12 21
Brazil 19   6 13 32
Romania 18   5 13 15
North Macedonia 16   7 9 10
Lebanon 16   4 12 4
Hungary 9 6 2 1 5
Uruguay 8   6 2 7
Ukraine 8   1 7 5
India 5     5 6
Peru 2   1 1 3
Switzerland 2   1 1 2
Sweden 2     2 1
Belgium 2     2  
China – Taiwan       3
Andorra       2
Colombia       2
Egypt       2

 

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