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

Variety is the wine of life: New Zealand winemakers impress across multiple styles at Tranche One of the International Wine Challenge 2015

EMBARGOED 11:00 02/12/14

New Zealand comes second only to France in the total medal chart at Tranche One of IWC 2015

  • 215 New Zealand wines receive medals at Tranche One of International Wine Challenge 2015
  • 11 Gold medals awarded to five different varietals
  • New Zealand sparkling wine picks up Silver medal

New Zealand wines picked up a total of 215 medals at Tranche One of the International Wine Challenge. This was the first time New Zealand has come second in the medal count, with only France receiving more medals overall. 11 New Zealand wines received a much-coveted IWC Gold medal, 78 wines won Silver medals, and 126 were awarded a Bronze.

  • New Zealand is rightly renowned for the quality of its Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, but Kiwi winemakers impressed the IWC 2015 judges across a wide variety of styles with five different varietals being awarded Gold medals.
  • Two New Zealand Syrahs received Gold medals. Hawkes Bay-based vineyard Elephant Hill picked up Gold for its Elephant Hill Syrah 2013, as did the Owhanake Bay Estate Anchorage Syrah 2013 which was produced on Waiheke Island, in New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf.
  • Kim Crawford Small Parcel Wild Grace Chardonnay 2013 produced by Constellation New Zealand scooped a Gold medal, as did Framingham Classic Riesling 2012 by Marlborough-based Framingham Wines.
  • Marisco Vineyards produced the only New Zealand dessert wine to receive Gold medal. The grapes used to make The Kings A Sticky End Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2011 were allowed extra time on the vine creating intense sweetness and complex flavours.
  • New Zealand also clocked up a Silver medal for one of its sparkling wines. Akarua created its Silver medal-winning Akarua Rosé Brut (Method Traditionelle) Bannockburn Central Otago NV using the traditional Champagne production method which involves a second fermentation in the bottle.
  • A wine created by BBC’s Graham Norton in collaboration with Marlborough vineyard Invivo also received a Bronze medal. All profits from the sale of Graham Norton’s Own Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 will be donated to the Elton John Aids Foundation.
  • Yealand’s Estate, named IWC New Zealand wine producer back in 2012 demonstrated top form, picking up a Gold medal for its Yealand’s Estate Winemakers Reserve Awatere Valley Pinot Noir 2013.
  • The company also received a flurry of Silver medals across red and white varietals. Its Single Vineyard Gruner Veltliner 2014, Single Vineyard Noble Sauvignon Blanc 2014 and Single Block M2 Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2014 all received Silver medals in the white category, and its Single Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 claimed a Silver medal. The company also received 10 Bronze medals.
  • This year is the second year the International Wine Challenge has split its competition into two separate tastings to accommodate the different production and sales schedules across the industry, and give winemakers greater flexibility over when to enter their wines.
  • Tranche One of the IWC 2015 competition was held last month, and Tranche Two will be hosted in April 2015, with the results being announced in May.
  • Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners:


Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented:

“We tasted some first-rate Kiwi wines across a wide variety of styles during this round of the competition, and it is wonderful to see such excellence and diversity coming out of New Zealand. We have come to expect excellent Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from New Zealand, but we are also discovering world-class examples across different styles, which is really promising.  Coming second in the medal count is a huge achievement for this relatively young winemaking region. We look forward to even more tremendous Kiwi wines in the April round of tastings.”

Charles continued:

“The reaction from winemakers and consumers to the new, improved competition process was overwhelmingly positive. By hosting two separate tastings, winemakers can enter their wines when they are ready to be tasted, giving them the greatest chance of success. Not only is this good news for producers, it is also great news for shoppers who can get their hands on a medal winning wine when it really is ready to pour.”

“IWC medal stickers are there to help shoppers navigate the sometimes confusing world of wine. If they spot a medal sticker on the bottle, they can buy with confidence, knowing it has been tasted by the best wine judges in the world.”

See full press release and high res. images below

Attached Files