Saluti! Italy’s winemakers toast their success after picking up 646 medals at the International Wine Challenge 2017
Under embargo until 11am 17.05.17
Italian winemakers had an exceptional year at the International Wine Challenge 2017, receiving its biggest medal haul since 2011 with a total of 646. Italy was awarded 39 Gold, 238 Silver and 369 Bronze medals, finishing third in the total medal count, after just France and Australia. Having secured 29 Gold medals in 2016, the country’s winemakers were able to build on that success with more wines receiving top marks.
- 21 of the country’s Gold medals were awarded to red wines. The regions of Marche, Piedmont, Puglia, Sicily and Veneto all produced Gold medal-winning reds, but it was Tuscany which came out on top, with seven e Gold medal winners being produced in this historic winemaking region. Two of those went to Italian classic Chianti entries, namely Chianti Classico Cafaggio 2013 by Villa Cafaggio and Castello di Radda Chianti Classico 2014 by Castello di Radda Agricole Gussalli Beretta.
- Ten Gold medals were awarded to Italian white wines across ten different grape varieties. As well as iconic Italian grapes like Pecorino, Cortese and Greco, there were also Gold medals awarded to less common grape styles including Pinot Blanc, Muller Thurgua and an Incrocio Bruni 54, a cross bred style first introduced to Italy in the 1930s.
- In a record year of success for its bubbly, Italy received six Gold medals for its sparkling wines, including two for prosecco entries. Fans of the Italian favourite will be clamouring to get their hands on Gold medal winning Prosecco Spumante Bio-Divici NV by Casa Vinicola Botter Carlo and Prosecco Spumante Brut 075 Carat NV by Peira Martellozza 1899.
- Three sparkling chardonnays, perfect for those who prefer their bubbles dry and zesty, were also awarded Gold medals. Franciacorta Mon Satèn Brut Millesimato 2012 by Villa Franciacorta, Cesarini Sforza Trento Brut NV by Cesarini Sforza and Ca’ d’Or Blanc de Blancs Franciacorta by Menmade Società Agricola all scored highly with the judges earning them a Gold medal each.
- Terre Verdiane Lambrusco NV by Cantine Ceci also received a Gold medal, the only sparkling red to be awarded Gold by the judges.
- A Marsala made in Sicily for UK supermarket chain Marks & Spencer also received a Gold medal in the fortified wine category. The Marks & Spencer Martinez Marsala Superiore Riserva Dolce 5 Year Old was produced by Sicilian producer Martinez, who has been making wine on the island since 1866. Sweet wine entry, Traminer Passito Aur 2013 by Ronco del Gelso also received a Gold medal.
Peter McCombie MW, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:
“Italy had its most successful year at the International Wine Challenge in years, and when we tasted these Gold medal winners it was easy to see why. The sheer quality across a range of grape styles has been outstanding. Alongside the Italian classics of prosecco and chianti, we’ve seen Italian winemakers excel with more unusual grape styles. A fine year for the country’s winemakers at the International Wine Challenge.”