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IWSC 2012 winners are announced

The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) last night unveiled this year's winners at an awards dinner held at London’s historic Guildhall.

For the third time in four years, Australian winemaker McGuigan Wines won the coveted title ‘Winemaker of the Year’, while Scottish distiller Glenmorangie scooped ‘Distiller of the Year.’

It was a first-time win for the family-run vineyard Bolney Wine Estate, in Sussex, which was awarded ‘UK Wine Producer of the Year’.

Waitrose also scored highly. For the second year in a row (and the third time overall) it won the highly-prized ‘Retailer of the Year’; while its spirits-buying team, headed by Herchelle Perez Terrado, scooped ‘Retail Spirit Buyer of the Year’.

Tesco’s wine-buying team, headed by Laura Jewell MW, James Griswood and Graham Nash, was awarded ‘Retail Wine Buyer of the Year’, with judges praising its ability to react to key emerging wine trends.

The IWSC’s first award to celebrate the world’s best wine bloggers went to two prolific and highly-entertaining writers: ‘the Wine Anorak’ – Jamie Goode, and Helen McGinn from the ‘Knackered Mother’s Wine Club’.

As well as an inaugural win for Bolney Wine Estates, three further national winemakers celebrated first-time wins. Viña Luis Felipe Edwards scooped ‘Chilean Wine Producer of the Year’; Matua Valley Wines won the title ‘New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year’ and Domaine Ste. Michelle was awarded ‘USA Wine Producer of the Year’ – all for the first time.

Individuals who make an outstanding contribution to the wine and spirits industry were also celebrated, including Sam Harrop MW, who won Julian Brind Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in Wine; and Charlie Maclean who was honoured with the The Edrington Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in Scotch Whisky.

The Uruguayan-born sommelier, film star and polyglot Charlie Arturaola was crowned IWSC’s ‘Communicator of the Year’ with judges praising his ‘contagious enthusiasm’.

15 November 2012 - Felicity Murray