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IWC winners revealed

Published:  07 July, 2017

Excellence in all its vinous forms was celebrated at last night's International Wine Challenge when the great and the good of the wine trade gathered at London’s the Park Lane Hilton Hotel.

Once again, all facets of the trade from producers to winemakers, retailers to suppliers were recognised in their various categories, which included some existing and new additions.

There was some cross-over with Harpers' 50 Best Indies list, with Loki Wines, Tanners and Yapp Brothers all scooping top awards for their customer service and top wine collections. 

Marks & Spencer sparkled the brightest out of the supermarkets by winning both the corporate social responsibility award and the supermarket of the year award for its innovation and gains in the wine category over the past year.

There was however, one clear winner of the night.

Liberty Wines showed there are at the top of their game with a total of four trophies.

Liberty’s MD David Gleave MW and his team walked away wine educator of the year, on-trade supplier of the year, large agent of the year, and topped things off with the merchant of the year prize.

Here, we have the full list of winners and who walked away with the distictive IWC trophies.

IWC Merchant of the Year Awards 
of the Year

(Sponsored by Harpers Wine & Spirit)

Liberty Wines

Demonstrating growth over the past year in tough trading conditions is remarkable. Liberty Wines excels in every aspect of its business, offering a great range, producers and staff.

Small Agent 
of the Year

Seckford Agencies

Seckford Agencies does tremendous work championing the wines of South Africa and has organised a roadshow with producers. It offers customers great selling support and is one of the most important agents for New World wines in the UK.

Online Retailer 
of the Year

(Sponsored by 
Ramón Bilbao)

Laithwaite’s Wine

Laithwaite’s has had an impressive year, offering outstanding personalised customer service. It is branching out to new platforms and 
has a brilliant mobile site, which in 
part has led to sales via smartphones growing by 60%.

Highly Commended

Roberson Wine

High Street Chain of the Year

(Sponsored by 
Lanchester Wines)


With superb consumer engagement and relevance to a younger audience, while retaining its quirky communication, Oddbins is trying to shine a new light on to existing regions as well as revitalise traditional categories in a new way.

Innovator of 
the Year

(Sponsored by 
Schott Zwiesel)


The judges found that Conviviality’s “Mode” technology was forward-thinking in terms of using an insight-led strategy to work with customers in order to build wine ranges that are relevant to consumers. This is not only an innovation but also a very good sales tool.

Large Independent Merchant of the Year

(Sponsored by 
Hatch Mansfield)

Tanners Wine Merchants

Tanners has a tremendous wine range and a real understanding of its customer base, which helps it to focus on providing a winning customer experience.

On-Trade Supplier of the Year

Liberty Wines

Demonstrating exemplary performance with a truly remarkable and successful business model, Liberty is not just about the wine, but offers true excellence in customer service, logistics solutions, and staff and customer education.

Small Independent Merchant of the Year

(Sponsored by KWV)

Loki Wine

A forward-looking, innovative and successful merchant engaging with new customers, Loki offers a comprehensive approach to the wines of the world and is proactively engaged with the local community.

of the Year

(Sponsored by Encirc)

Marks & Spencer

M&S sparkled over the past year. Leader in its class, with a truly impressive quality range demonstrating innovation, M&S understands the changing structure of the market and showed very impressive sales as well as market share gain against the competition. M&S understands the importance of developing different formats to reflect local demographics.

Highly Commended


Wine List of 
the Year

(Sponsored by Sogevinus)

Yapp Brothers

The Yapp Brothers list is concise, beautifully illustrated with great writing and offers much 
more than a simple list of wines.

Highly Commended

Hallgarten Druitt 
& Novum Wines

Wine Educator 
of the Year

(Sponsored by the WSET)

Liberty Wines

Making impressive investments in staff training, Liberty trains 1,500 people each year. It created the Liberty Wines Academy and has invested in the on-trade, which is a sector that is crucial to the future of the wine business.

National Convenience Chain of the Year

(Sponsored by 
Treasury Wine Estates)

The Co-operative

The Co-op showed an impressive sales growth in a static market. The multiple has clearly demonstrated its focus on the development of a convenience strategy is not solely based on location but on individual demographic profiles and has tailored its clusters accordingly. The focus on the European hub and bulk shipping further improves availability.

Corporate Social Responsibility Award

(Sponsored by 
Maison Castel)

Marks & Spencer

M&S continues to be the leading retailer with a responsible CSR strategy. It is doing the best for its staff, its customers and for people in need around the world.

Wine Club 
of the Year

The Wine Society

The Wine Society offers a brilliant range of wines as well as outstanding service. This is a true club, in that you have to be a member to be able to buy the wines. It 
is well established but still at the top of its game.

Merchant of 
the Year

Liberty Wines

Liberty Wines has swept the board in this year’s IWC Merchant Awards. It has won two awards as a specialist in the wines of Italy and Australia. It has scooped the Educator of the Year award, and has won not only the hotly contested On-Trade Supplier award, but also beat the equally keen competition for Large Agent. Quite simply, Liberty has had an amazing year. The judges were left with no doubt that it was the only possible winner of this year’s IWC Merchant of the Year.

Planet Earth Awards

Sustainable Trophy

(Sponsored by Nomacorc)

Dalrymple Cave Block Chardonnay 2014

Organic Trophy

Domaine Laporte ‘Les Duchesses’ Pouilly Fumé 2015

Biodynamic Trophy

Stefano Lubiana Sasso Pinot Noir 2013

Fairtrade Award

(Sponsored by 
Origin Wine)

Stellenrust Old Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2015

Special Awards

The Len Evans Trophy (for consistency 
over five years)

González Byass

The James Rogers Trophy (for best wine in the first year of production)

Hambledon Classic Cuvée Rosé NV

IWC Personality
 of the Year

Joe Fattorini

Lifetime Achievement Award

May-Éliane de Lencquesaing

Own Label

Own-Label Range of the Year

(Sponsored by 
Copestick Murray)

Berry Bros 
& Rudd

Winemakers of the Year

Fortified Winemaker of the Year

Sergio Martínez, Emilio Lustau 

This year was an outstanding year for Martínez, with Lustau sherries being awarded one Trophy, 14 Gold medals, 14 Silver and 10 Bronze.

Sparkling Winemaker of the Year

Christophe Rapeneau, Champagne Charles de Cazanove

This is the first time that Champagne Charles de Cazanove has been shortlisted, which makes its victory even more exceptional. Charles de Cazanove was awarded one Trophy, two Gold medals, one Silver and four Bronze.

White Winemaker of the Year

Dr Franz Michel, Domdechant Werner’sches Weingut

Every wine that Domdechant Werner’sches Weingut entered into the IWC 2017 was awarded a medal. In total it received one Trophy, four Gold medals, eight Silver and three Bronze.

Red Winemaker of the Year

Alain Serveau, Maison Albert Bichot

Maison Albert Bichot has had an outstanding year in 2017, as well as winning the Champion White Trophy, it was awarded six Trophies, seven Gold medals, and two Silver medals for its red wines.

Sweet Winemaker of the Year

Peter Münzenrieder & Christoph Münzenrieder, Weingut PMC Muenzenrieder

This is the first time that Weingut PMC Müenzenrieder has won the Sweet Winemaker of the Year award. It was awarded an incredible two Trophies, three Gold medals and three Silver.

Sake Brewer of the Year

(Sponsored by The Prefecture of Hyogo)

Hitoshi Suzuki, Ichinokura

Ichinokura is a young Sake company, only founded in 1973, with the aspiration of leading the industry into the 21st century and promoting a sophisticated and vibrant sake-drinking culture, through brewing high-quality sake in the Miyagi Prefecture. It has produced honjozo, junmai, junmai daiginjo, daiginjo, koshu and sparkling sake.

Cellar Door

IWC/VisitEngland Cellar 
Door of the Year

High Clandon Estate Vineyard

The team at High Clandon Estate Vineyard has crafted a truly exceptional visitor experience and this victory is the result of their boundless passion and pride. The team’s knowledge and attention to detail has created something that visitors cannot help but fall in love with, whether they are a wine buff or simply looking to try something new. High Clandon Estate Vineyard is a beacon of England’s flourishing wine tourism.

Regional Merchant 
of the Year

South and South East: 
Dunell’s Premier Wines

(Sponsored by london wine fair)

London: Lea & Sandeman

London (highly commended): Borough Wines

Central England: Loki Wine

South West: Great Western Wine

(Sponsored by london wine fair)

Northern England: House of Townend

(Sponsored by les Grands Chais de France)

Northern England (highly commended): John Hattersley Wines

(Sponsored by les Grands Chais de France)

Wales: Mumbles Fine Wines

Scotland: Woodwinters 
Wines & Whiskies

Northern Ireland: James Nicholson Wine

Specialist Merchant Award

Australia: Liberty Wines

Bordeaux: Berry Bros & Rudd


Burgundy: Flint Wines

Champagne and Sparkling: Waitrose

En Primeur: Corney & Barrow

England: Waitrose

Fortified: Waitrose

Germany: The Wine Barn

(Sponsored by Wines of Germany)

Italy: Liberty Wines

Languedoc Roussillon: Yapp Brothers

Loire: Yapp Brothers

New Zealand: The New Zealand Cellar

Portugal: The Wine Society

Portugal (highly commended): Laithwaite’s Wine

Regional France: The Wine Society

Rhone: Lay & Wheeler

Sake: Tengu Sake

South Africa: Seckford Agencies

South America: Las Bodegas

Spain: Indigo Wine

USA: Roberson Wine