International Wine Challenge

Background and contacts

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

About The Digital Newsroom

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


Gold medals have been awarded to 25 outstanding Sake at the 30th annual International Wine Challenge in London.

Now in its 7th year, the sake competition sponsored by Japan Airlines, has attracted 583 entries.  This reflects the continuous surge in popularity in Europe supported by Japan’s state campaign to promote sake overseas as a national identity of the country.

IWC Award winning Sake is already specified in all of Japans’ Embassies and Residences throughout the world.

  • 13 of 25 Gold Sake are winners in the competition for the first time, and the 12 are previous award winning breweries including 4 former sake champions: Dewazakura Shuzo, Akita Kinmon Shuzo, Umeda Shuzo, Enoki Shuzo, Kato Kichibee shuzo and Watanabe Shuzo
  • Enoki Shuzo from Hiroshima received a 7th Gold medal in succession, the only to win in every year of the IWC sake competition for its Koshu
  • With the growing interests of sake experts across the world, IWC Sake was judged by the largest Sake panels with 40 judges, who flew in from 10 different countries including Australia, China, US, and Japan
  • Interest in Sake interests also grows amongst MWs (several MWs joined as Associate judges to learn from some of the world’s leading Sake judges) and European beverage industry
  • Japan also got the first Gold medal at IWC for Hokushin Chardonnay 2011 by Chateau Mercian from Yamanashi, the household name for the pioneers of wine making in Japan
  • The 30th International Wine Challenge awarded 514 Gold medals this year, making it a record for quality with wines
  • Entries were received from all over the world including Peru, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Lebanon and Thailand
The full press release and high resolution images can be downloaded below. To see the full results, please go to


Kenichi Ohashi, Co-Chairman of the Sake competition continued;

“The International Wine Challenge is unique and is widely regarded as the finest judged tasting in the world.  I know of no other sake competition in the world where each medal winner will have been blind tasted on a minimum of three separate occasions to ensure consistency and fairness. Our much-coveted medals are displayed on the bottles of winners which means consumers can instantly trust the quality of the product as it will have been tasted by the best sake judges in the world.”

About International Wine Challenge

  • In its 30th year, the International Wine Challenge is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition. The IWC assesses every wine ‘blind’ and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.  Each medal winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 10 different judges.  Awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards.  The IWC is committed to helping consumers discover great wine, and the medals are displayed on winning bottles offer a trusted guarantee of  quality.
    Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners

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