New Zeal From Kiwi Winemakers


419 New Zealand wines awarded medals at 31st annual International Wine Challenge

• 34 IWC Gold medals awarded to New Zealand wines
• 15 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc win Gold
• Lesser-known variants such as Gewürztraminer take top medals

New Zealand has firmly cemented its reputation as a powerhouse of wine making, with 34 Kiwi wines winning Gold medals at the International Wine Challenge 2014. New Zealand wine makers were awarded a total of 419 medals by the world-renowned wine competition, with 140 wines winning a Silver medal and 245 receiving Bronze medals.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir excelled in this year’s competition with 23 of the Gold medals being awarded to wines made from those grapes. Fifteen Gold medals went to Sauvignon Blancs, with fourteen of those being given to 2013 vintage wines from Marlborough in the South Island. Proof (if any were needed) that this region has the perfect conditions for elegant, world-beating Sauvignons.

Ten Gold medals were awarded to Pinot Noirs, including two to wines created by Hollywood actor Sam Neill, who has a vineyard in Central Otago. Neill’s 2010 Two Paddocks First Paddock Pinot Noir and his 2010 Two Paddocks Last Chance Pinot Noir both received Golds.

Primarily famed for its excellent Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, this year also saw other grape varieties score highly at the competition. Five New Zealand Chardonnays received Gold medals, including 2012 Valhalla from Waiheke Island-based vineyard Man O’War Vineyards, which was the only Gold medal winner to be produced (near) the country’s North Island. Lawson’s Dry Hills won Gold for its 2011 Gewürztraminer, the only Kiwi example of that grape to win a Gold medal.

Charles Metcalfe, the co-Chairmen of the International Wine Challenge commented:
“New Zealand wine makers have yet again impressed the IWC judges with the calibre of wine entered this year. We have come to expect world-class Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, but we are seeing excellent examples of other varieties deserving top medals. New Zealand is a relatively recent arrival on the world wine scene, and has made a huge impact in a short space of time.”

The 31st International Wine Challenge awarded 496 Gold medals this year. Entries were received from all over the world including Colombia, Georgia, and China. Each medal wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of ten of the finest wine tasters in the world.

This year for the first time the IWC hosted two separate tasting events, Tranche 1 in November 2013 and Tranche 2 in April 2014, to accommodate the different production and sales schedules across the industry, giving winemakers more flexibility of when to enter their wines.

Charles continued;
“The International Wine Challenge is committed to rigorous and fair tasting and has subsequently earned its reputation as the most well-respected wine competition in the world. By hosting two separate tasting events across the year, wines are given the best chance to perform well, whatever their origin.”

“If a shopper sees an IWC medal sticker on a bottle of wine, they can trust the quality of the product, as it has been tasted by the finest wine judges in the world. Whether you are a wine novice or an seasoned expert, our stickers can help you choose a great wine every time you shop,” he added.

Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners:
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What is the International Wine Challenge?
In its 31st year, the International Wine Challenge is accepted as the world’s finest and most meticulously judged competition. The IWC assesses every wine ‘blind’ and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage. Each medal winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 10 different judges including Masters of Wine. Awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards. The IWC is committed to helping consumers discover great wine, and the medals displayed on winning bottles offer a trusted guarantee of quality.

Visit the IWC website for the full list of winners

For more information please contact:
Manifest IWC
Ali Maynard & Helen Kenny
t. 0203 1379270
m. 07712 877 972
Chris Ashton
t. 07884 063405

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