By Andrew Starke

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has unveiled its 2011 results at the London International Wine Fair (LIWF) with Australian wines delivering another podium finish.

France topped the medal board overall with a total of 1,932 medals, with Australia in second place with 1,070 and Italy third with 979.

The top three Gold medal-winning nations for 2011 were reigning champions France with 98, Australia 61 and Portugal 42.

A total of 48 countries entered wines with 5,117 medals awarded (406 Gold, 1,687 Silver and 3,024 Bronze).

A further 3,655 wines were commended.

Australian wines enjoyed a 15 percent increase in total medals from 2010, with 83 percent of entries being acknowledged with a medal or commendation.

Wolf Blass was a stand-out, scooping an impressive four Gold medals for its Black Label 2006, Gold Label Riesling 2008, Platinum Label Shiraz 2007 and Yellow Label Shiraz 2009.

“Now in its 28th year, the IWC’s reputation means that an award-winning wine receives a tremendous boost and this year’s competition sees an even wider variety of superb wines being entered, a 13 percent increase year-on-year,” said Co-Chairman of the IWC, Charles Metcalfe.

The winning wines were each tasted by panels drawn from over 400 experienced judges including many Masters of Wine.

The panel consisted of Tim Atkin MW, Sam Harrop MW, Charles Metcalfe, Derek Smedley MW, along with global wine expert and TV personality Oz Clarke and they were joined this year by Hong Kong’s Debra Meiburg MW as the 2011’s International Guest Co-Chairman.

“There is significant commercial advantage for wines bearing the IWC logo and medal recognition,” said IWC event director Chris Ashton.

“The competition generates considerable global media coverage for all IWC award-winners, and this in turn increases sales by strengthening a wine’s credibility with consumers.”

The IWC’s trophy winners, selected from the Gold medal-winning wines, will be announced in June.

For details about the Challenge and a full list of winners visit the IWC’s website.

Wine Australia’s Regional Director UK/Europe, Yvonne May, said the London International Wine Fair attracts trade visitors from more than 100 countries to taste around 25,000 wines from 36 different wine-producing countries.

“It is one of the best international opportunities to showcase Australian wine and we will have a strong presence at the event,” she said.

“No other trade event has the same diversity of wine and spirits without any bias towards a particular country or region.

“We have a busy schedule planned and we will be celebrating the outstanding quality, diversity and value of Australian wine that has helped make us the market leader here in the UK for the last decade.”


The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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