Australia wins ‘Nation of show’ at Global Fine Wine Challenge 2023

The Global Fine Wine Challenge 2023 results are out with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa collectively winning 16 of the 19 classes.

“These incredible wines continue to represent the very best of the best from New World producers,” said Ross Anderson, the competition’s director.

Established in 2003, the Global Fine Wine Challenge (GFWC), formerly Six Nations Wine Challenge, is an invitation-only wine competition for the New World. Wines are selected and invited to represent their respective nations by international wine critics including Christopher Waters (Canada), Michael Fridjhon (South Africa), Huon Hooke (Australia), Jane Skilton MW (New Zealand), Anthony Mueller and Virginie Boone (USA). Entries are capped at 120 entries per country, and wines are judged across 22 classes. The 2023 Challenge was judged blind by Toni Paterson MW, Jane Skilton MW, Huon Hooke and Anthony Mueller.

Full results from the Global Fine Wine Challenge 2023 were released on Monday, revealing a dominating performance from the southern hemisphere nations of Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Judging took place over four days in Sydney in mid-November, where Trophy, Double Gold and Gold medal-winning wines were selected from 600 entries. On the final day, White Wine of Show, Red Wine of Show and Wine of Show were also awarded from the 19 Class winners.

Only 19 wines were awarded a Trophy medal, with 22 Runner-Up Double Gold, 68 Double Gold and 122 Gold medals also awarded, making up 38 per cent of the total wines tasted.

Under Huon Hooke’s nominations, Australia was in imposing form with 6 Trophies, 7 Runner-up Double Golds, 18 Double Golds and 29 Golds. Trophies were awarded to Collector Wines Shoreline Rosé Sangiovese 2022, St Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2020, Domaine Naturaliste Morus Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 and Yalumba The Caley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz 2018. Giant Steps Fatal Shore Pinot Noir 2022 was awarded both Trophy and Red Wine of Show, whilst Pirie Late Disgorged Sparkling 2011 won Trophy in the Sparkling class and claimed Wine of Show – the top award for 2023.

Canada, under Christopher Waters’ nominations, secured 2 Trophies, 3 Runner-up Double Golds, 5 Double Golds and 2 Golds for a total of 32 medals. Trophies were awarded to Burrowing Owl Estate Winery Malbec 2020 and Pillitteri Estates Family Reserve Vidal Icewine 2016, with both wineries already on the honours list with Trophy wins in previous years.

New Zealand was in fine form under new judge Jane Skilton MW’s nominations, with 5 Trophies, 6 Runner-up Double Golds, 22 Double Golds and 27 Golds. Trophies were awarded to Tohu Wines Whenua Awa Single Vineyard Riesling 2019, Lawson’s Dry Hills The Pioneer Gewurztraminer 2022, Te Whare Ra Wines Single Vineyard 5182 Pinot Gris 2022 and Greywacke Wild Sauvignon 2021. Lake Chalice Wines Plume Chardonnay 2020 took out both a Trophy and White Wine of Show.

South Africa, under Michael Fridjhon’s nominations, showed a return to form with 5 Trophies, 4 Runner-up Double Golds, 12 Double Golds and 30 Golds. Trophies were awarded to Tokara Director’s Reserve White 2020, Stellenrust 58 Barrel Fermented Chenin Blanc 2022, Zorgvliet Wines Cabernet Franc 2020, Donkiesbaai Grenache 2021 and Bacco Estate Red Blend Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec Merlot 2020.

America’s nominations, now in the hands of Anthony Mueller with support from Virginie Boone secured one Trophy, two Runner-up Double Golds, 11 Double Golds and 14 Golds. The Trophy went to DAMA Wines Merlot 2018. It should be noted that a combination of the West Coast wildfires, economic uncertainty and a number of other external factors saw an incomplete American contingent representing this year.

“Every wine that was awarded a gold or double gold medal was truly worthy of recognition and there were some absolutely stellar bottles. Which makes the success of the trophy winners even more special,” said judge Jane Skilton MW.

Judge Toni Paterson MW also praised the wines for their quality and variety.

“The show is a fascinating snapshot of new-world winemaking. The elevation in quality shows that the winemaking and vineyard teams certainly don’t rest on their laurels and continue the pursuit of excellence across the spectrum of styles. The 2023 sparkling class was probably the finest line-up of ‘New World’ fizz ever assembled!” said Paterson.

Commenting on the strength of the competition, Andrew Caillard MW said the winning wines were an illustration of excellence.

“There are few wine competitions in the world that celebrate the best of the best. The winners of the Global Fine Wine Challenge are outstanding wines and beautiful examples of their kind.”


Visit for a full list of winners.

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