2012 International Wine Challenge

wine challenge

Australian wine is becoming a grape to be reckoned with as they celebrate a record 69 Gold medal winning wines at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC). That is an increase of almost 15%.

France is ranked world number 1 which didn’t surprise me at all, and to have Australia ranked number 2 again is pretty impressive.

Australia was the country with the highest percentage of award winning wines with 83% of wines entered receiving awards, which is even better than the 74% that France boasts.

Australian Vintage Limited led the way bringing home 7 Gold medal wins, Wolf Blass Wines Pty Ltd won 6 while Hardys Wines and Yalumba won 4 each.

Penfolds Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon is an iconic Australian red wine, and it was awarded 1 of the 2 Gold medals for Penfolds Wines Pty Ltd.

That’s the exciting news on the Australian grapevine but let me share with you some information about the rest of the competition. 2012 is the 29th IWC and it saw the highest Gold medal tally in the history of the Challenge with 425; and they were awarded to a record 50 countries. Colombia, Bosnia and Herzegovina entered wines for the first time this year and Herzegovina was awarded one Silver and 2 Bronze medals which goes a long way to establishing them as a wine country to watch.

Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC, says: “The IWC is the most prestigious and influential wine contest in the world. 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.”

Wine is romantic, the elixir of love, but if you would prefer some cold hard facts about the way the challenge progressed then you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what I intend to give you now.

Interesting IWC Info 2012 –

A record 50 countries entered this year.

376 different grape varieties made an appearance.

In total there were 4,777 medals awarded: 425 Gold, 1637 Silver and 2,715 Bronze medals, not to mention the additional 3,488 Commended wines.

There is quite a large jump between  the first and second places so it’s no surprise that the French took out the majority of the trophy haul. The top three countries were France with a total of 1136 medals, followed by Australia on 673 and Portugal coming in 3rd.

It’s not just the wine that’s the winner at this event, the celebrity wine-makers scored some winners with their medal hauls as well. Francis Ford Coppola collected three Bronze awards, 2 Golds went to Gerard Bertran and golfer Ernie Els picked up 3 Silver.

These medals were not awarded lightly, it took over 400 experienced judges, many of whom are Masters of Wine, to taste every one of the IWC’s medal winning wines at least three times – sometimes up to six. Marks were awarded for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage.

If you want to pick a wine then you know that finding one with the right flavours to accompany your meal could be right in front of you. Look for a bottle with the (IWC logo) and know that it has been extremely well treated.

Details of all the winning wines for this year are available at the IWC website: www.internationalwinechallenge.com.au. Here you can find your perfect wine by grape, by style and by price at a venue near you.

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