Australia takes second place in International Wine Challenge

Announced overnight, Australian wines were awarded 67 gold, 319 silver and 359 bronze medals in the International Wine Challenge.

Demonstrating Australia’s strength in both white and red wines, the country won 35 Golds for its white wines and 32 for its reds. Twenty of the red golds went to Shiraz wines and 19 of the white golds went to Chardonnay wines.

Australia’s impressive total puts it in second place in the national table, behind the competition’s top country, France.

South Australia, the “historic heart of Australian wine”, has confirmed its place as Australia’s top wine-producing region after two weeks of judging at the International Wine Challenge.

South Australia gained nearly half of Australia’s gold tally – 33 – as well as 202 silver medals and 238 bronze medals.

Within the South Australia region, it was the cooler Adelaide Hills that shone, taking ten gold medals, with Chardonnay and Riesling dominating the white grapes, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz for red.

Bird in Hand was the region’s top producer, gaining four gold medals – two from Adelaide Hills and two from Mount Lofty, including the Syrah 2017 which scored 96/100 points. The other 96-point Shiraz in the competition was also from Adelaide Hills – Zonte’s Footstep’s Hills Are Alive 2017.
Adelaide Hills’ other golds went to Penfolds, Longview Vineyard, Hahndorf Hill Winery, Australian Vintage, and Sidewood Estates.

The Chardonnays proved their worth by bringing home an impressive 97/100 for Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay 2017 and Australian Vintage’s McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay 2015.

Eden Valley gained six gold medals, going to Wolfblass, Avon Brae, Yalumba, Hill Smith Estate and McGuigan.

Clare Valley wineries were awarded seven golds. Wakefield/Taylors Wines won four, with O’Leary Walker Wines, Jim Barry Wines and Kilikanoon Wines netting the others.

While famed for its Rieslings, Shiraz wines secured three golds in Clare Valley, and a Shiraz dominated blend took another.

Showing Australia’s strength in Shiraz, the purple grape also struck Gold in Coonawarra, typically renowned for its Cabernet Sauvignon – as well as in the maritime precincts of McLaren Vale and the warm temperate climate of the Barossa Valley.


Competition highlights

Australian Vintage, owner of the McGuigan and Tempus Two brands, was the most highly celebrated Australian producer with eight gold medals.
Bird in Hand, Hardys, Morris Wines and Wakefield/Taylors Wines gained four gold medals each, while Wolf Blass and The Yalumba Wine Company were awarded three gold medals each.


Some of Australia’s Gold-winning Chardonnays

• Tolpuddle Vineyard Chardonnay 2017 97/100
• Hardys Eileen Hardy Chardonnay 2016 96/100
• Australian Vintage’s McGuigan Cellar Select Chardonnay 2017 96/100
• Penfolds Bin A Chardonnay 2017 97/100
• Flametree Wines’ S.R.S. Wallcliffe Chardonnay 2017 95/100

Oz Clarke, IWC co-chair, said: “This year, every time I got a Chardonnay flight to judge, my spirits soared. I have always loved Chardonnay and have been saddened by how its reputation has been buffeted and bruised by fashion and fad. Well, this year’s results show it is back in all its glory.”