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France heads International Wine Challenge medals table

Published:  18 May, 2010

France has once again emerged as the most successful country in this year's International Wine Challenge.

French entrants picked up 75 golds - 53% more than in 2009. Last year's second-placed country, Australia, held on to its position with 65 golds (up 51%) and Portugal reclaimed third spot with 35 golds, down 3%.

Italy, Spain and Argentina saw falls in their gold medal tallies. New Zealand was the country with the highest proportion of medal winners among its entries, with 85% of its IWC contenders awarded a medal. Entries came from 42 countries.

This year's IWC attracted 15% more entries than the 2009 competition and resulted in 326 gold medals (up 14% on last year), 1,445 silvers (also up 14%) and 2,255 bronzes (up 9%).

There was good news for UK supermarkets, which picked up a number of gold medals for their exclusive label wines. Sainsbury's, the Co-operative, Marks & Spencer and Waitrose scooped two apiece, and Asda one.

Wines under cork continue to dominate the IWC entries. More than 70% of French wines were bottled with cork closures, as were almost 72% of Spanish entries and almost 74% of Italians.

Screwcap closures were the clear favourites among Australian and New Zealand producers.