International Wine Challenge

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About International Wine Challenge

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) owned by William Reed Business Media is now in its 35th year. The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges and awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards

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The International Wine Challenge Digital Newsroom is a simple and useful resource for you to keep track of all the latest news stories. High resolution images and complete press releases are available to download from here, and you can connect with our various social media profiles easily. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Contact Details

Elly Barham-Marsh Helen Kenny
Manifest London
t. +44 (0)203 1379 270

International Wine Challenge

Kiwi Victory: New Zealand wines shine at International Wine Challenge 2016, receiving 441 medals

New Zealand winemakers had a standout year at the International Wine Challenge 2016, with 441 medals being awarded to its wines, including 36 Gold medals, 189 Silver medals and 216 Bronze medals.

  • The Gold medals count was spilt almost evenly across red and white styles, with 18 Gold medals being awarded to red wines and 17 going to white wines, as well as a single Gold medal for a Kiwi Rosé wine.
  • New Zealand’s trusty favourites, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir did not disappoint, with 13 Gold medals being awarded to its signature white Sauvignon Blanc, and ten medals going to its iconic red, Pinot Noir. However, the country’s winemakers also impressed across multiple styles including Syrah, Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • The Marlborough region in the north east of the South Island banked the most Gold medals, with 14 white wines being awarded the top accolade by the IWC panel of experts. 13 of those Golden gongs were awarded to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, as well the Matua Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2014 – one of just three New Zealand Chardonnays to strike Gold this year.
  • Marlborough-based Pernod Ricard Winemakers took the highest number of Golds by a single producer, with three Gold medals awarded, to Brancott Estate Letter Series R Sauvignon Gris 2015, Brancott Estate Letter Series B Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc 2015.
  • Another Marlborough favourite, Marisco Vineyards, also put in a strong performance with two Gold medals, for its Craft Series Pride and Glory Sauvignon Blanc 2013 and its Craft Series Pride and Glory Sauvignon Blanc 2011.
  • Nine Gold medal winners, eight red wines and one white, were produced in the Hawkes Bay region, situated on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The region’s standout producer was Mills Reef Winery which collected a total of three Gold medals for its Elspeth Trust Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, its Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2013 and its Elspeth Merlot 2013. Mission Estate winery also had an excellent year, with two Gold medals, for its Mission Estate Syrah 2014 and its Mission Estate Reserve 2014.
  • The South Island’s Central Otago region produced six Gold medal winning Pinot Noirs, all from the 2014 and 2015 vintages. The region’s also produced the only New Zealand rosé to win Gold this year with the Squealing Pig Central Otago Pinot Noir Rose 2015 – one of only three Gold medal winning rosés in the whole competition.
  • UK supermarket shoppers keen to get their hands on a Gold medal winning New Zealand wine should look no further than the Aldi The Exquisite Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2015. Following today’s announcement, this zesty white is guaranteed to be top of any white wine lover’s shopping list.
  • Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners:


Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:

“Another standout year from New Zealand’s winemakers. We have come to expect exquisite Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Kiwi winemakers, and they definitely delivered. But we also had some top-quality Chardonnays, Merlots and Syrahs, and not only from Marlborough. The future looks very bright for New Zealand wines.”


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