By Andy Young

Australian wines have taken home hundreds of medals from the International Wine Challenge (IWC), with the country winning the second highest number of medals, with only France ahead.

The incredible haul of medals for Australian wines included over 90 gold medals. The IWC is known as one of the world’s largest, and most prestigious, blind tasting competitions. Wines are tasted and assessed by a panel of industry experts with the winery name, grape variety and country of origin not revealed.

McGuigan Wines received nine Gold, five Silver and 18 Bronze medals across its portfolio and chief winemaker Neil McGuigan was understandably delighted.

"This year, we have seen greater diversity in our medal recognition at the IWC," McGuigan said. "Not only did our coveted Hunter Valley Semillon receive multiple awards, but our Shortlist Cabernet Sauvignon (Coonawarra) and Handmade Shiraz (Langhorne Creek) shone for the judges and picked up Gold. 

"I'm immensely proud of what we continue to produce and achieve. Our consistent award wins have proven we deserve to be on the world stage, and it's up to the other Australian winemakers to get out there, pound the pavement and back their products to ensure the message about our country's wine quality is received loud and clear."

That is a sentiment echoed by Victor De Bortoli, after he told TheShout that he hoped to use his wine's medal wins to help drive more business in the key UK market.

"We're pretty excited with the results and looking forward to see what happens when the trophies are announced in a few days," De Bortoli told TheShout.

"It's also great to see some of our flagship styles picking up top awards that being the Botrytis Semillon out of Bilbul and the Pinot Noir out of the Yarra Valley.

"I have already received excited notes from our partners in the UK, North South Wines and they are already busy trying to leverage these results. The great results for Australia is fantastic timing as we build on the momentum that is slowly putting us back in the front of the minds of consumers in the UK."

Bruce Tyrrell told TheShout that the medals won by Tyrrell's Wines were a reflection of the high quality Semillion and Shiraz in the Hunter Valley. "There is nothing else like them in the world," Tyrrell said. "They are the unique thing that we do in this country, nobody else has got this."

Tyrrell added that Australia's overall success is a reflection work done by winemakers across the country in "improving the quality overall of what is made". 

"We have become, in my opinion, the most sophisticated wine-drinking market in the world. You go out and ask 500 Australian what they like and why they like it, you'll get a very clearly defined answer. And if you've got consumers like that, that's what drives the quality in the winery."

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The Shout Team

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

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