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French dominate Winemakers of the Year at the IWC 2014

Published:  17 July, 2014

France dominated the overall winemaker awards at last night's International Wine Challenge dinner picking up three of the main five prizes handed out.

They included Burgundy's Vincent Bartement at La Chablisienne who was named the IWC White Winemaker of the Year. La Chablisienne is regarded as one of France's best co-operative wineries, with almost 300 winegrowers uniting to create world-class wines.

The IWC Red Winemaker of the Year went to Pierre Vincent from Domaine de La Vougeraie, also in Burgundy. Vincent has been chief winemaker at the award-winning vineyard in Burgundy since 2006, where he concentrates on organic and biodynamic production.

Thierry Roset was the third French winemaker to be awarded. Roset, from Charles Heidsieck, received the IWC Sparkling Winemaker of the Year prize. Roset has been at the prestigious Champagne House for over 25 years, and became Chef de Cave in 2012, taking over from Régis Camus.

The IWC Sweet Winemaker of the Year was awarded to father and daughter duo Horst and Sandra Sauer from Weingut Horst Sauer, in Germany. The winery proved particularly in this year's competition picking up a flurry of Gold medals and Trophies. Its 2012 Escherndorfer Lump Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese was also awarded the Alois Kracher Trophy for Champion Sweet Wine of the Year.

The Fortified Winemaker of the Year was Spaniard, Manuel Lozano from Sherry producer Emilio Lustau. It was the eighth time Lozano has picked up the award and he was again commended for his blending skills.

Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the IWC said of the winning winemakers: "These winemakers are truly masters of their fields. Taking very different approaches, each has displayed artistry and flair, and they have created some phenomenal wines. These talented winemakers have delivered consistently excellent wines which have been a pleasure to judge."

The awards were all presented at last night's ceremony at London's Grosvenor House hotel which attracted the leading lights from the international wine trade.