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Emerging wine regions shine at International Wine Challenge

Published:  21 May, 2024

Lesser-known wine regions such as England, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Romania, Ukraine and India are gaining recognition, winning more medals than ever before at the International Wine Challenge (IWC).

The improving quality of wine worldwide was evident in this year’s results, with many countries achieving more medals than ever. England has risen in the rankings, securing 13 Gold, 54 Silver and 58 Bronze medals, climbing to 9th place this year from 10th last year.

Canada also experienced significant success, earning 14 more medals than last year, with 3 Gold, 27 Silver and 29 Bronze. The Niagara Peninsula was a standout region, winning 46 medals compared to 28 last year. Georgia also saw increased recognition, particularly in the Kakheti region, which won 48 out of the 51 medals awarded to the country, with many of these being skin-contact white or red wines.

Japan achieved its highest number of Gold medals ever for wine, with two Golds awarded to Chardonnays from Takahata Winery and one to a Koshu wine. Other notable gains included Romania, with 12 more medals than last year, totalling 18 medals with 5 Silver and 13 Bronze. Ukraine saw an impressive rise from just 1 medal last year to 8 this year, including 7 Bronze and 1 Silver. India also increased its tally, securing an additional 3 medals, with 5 Bronze awarded.

The English Sparkling Trophy was awarded to Wiston Estate for its Library Collection Blanc de Blancs 2010, while Gusbourne won the English Red Trophy for its Pinot Noir 2022. 

France continued its winning streak, earning the highest number of medals in each category with 72 Gold, 394 Silver, and 455 Bronze, an increase of 84 medals from last year. Edouard Delaunay was awarded the International Pinot Noir Trophy for the 9th consecutive year for his Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2021, making him the most highly awarded winemaker in the competition. Château de Tracy from the Loire Valley reclaimed the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy with its Les 101 Rangs 2019. La Chablisienne won the Chablis Grand Cru Trophy, Chablis Premier Cru Trophy, and Chablis Trophy, along with five Gold medals and 13 Silver and Bronze medals.

Spain, Portugal and Italy secured top positions in the competition, ranking 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. Spain maintained 3rd place with 34 Gold, 207 Silver and 215 Bronze medals, with Jerez and Rioja as standout regions. Portugal increased its medal count, ranking 4th with 33 Gold, 175 Silver and 195 Bronze medals. Italy won 337 medals in total, making it 5th and gained medals for orange wines for the first time. Austria saw an increase of 11 medals from last year, bringing its total to 101.

Australia, meanwhile, continued to dominate as the top new world country, with 54 Gold, 250 Silver and 154 Bronze medals, ranking 2nd overall. New Zealand also demonstrated its prowess, winning two International Varietal Trophies for Syrah and Chardonnay. Argentina maintained its exclusive hold on the International Malbec Trophy.

The full list of 2024 International Wine Challenge award winners is available online. The IWC Champion Wines for 2024, selected following a re-tasting by the IWC Co-Chairs of all trophy-winning wines, will be revealed at the IWC 2024 Awards announcement on Tuesday, 9 July.