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IWSC announces 2013 winners and trends

The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) has announced the winners from its rigorous tasting lasting seven months with over 300 judges from 30 countries. The competition is in its 44th year and the president for 2013 is George Gavin Brown, chairman of Brown-Forman Corporation’s board of directors and an executive VP of the corporation.

The competition’s head of sales and marketing, Anna Grant, said the entries for the IWSC this year were again of an exceptional standard.

The full list of winners is can be found in the supplement which can be downloaded via the IWSC website; but these are the trends that dominated 2013:

French winning wines were abundant with over 800 medals announced, including 32 gold medals, followed closely by Italy with over 600 and Spain with over 550 medals.

It was a strong year for wine and spirit admissions, especially for the gin category with a 20% increase in entrants. The category in England has benefitted from a surge of artisan micro-distilleries producing quality gin in small batches, making the group extremely competitive. The Gin Guild awarded Adnams Copper House Distilled Gin as the trophy winner, launched only three years ago this winning gin is made in a hand-made copper pot still using the ‘London Dry Gin’ method. Overall the gin category had a successful two Gold Outstanding, three Gold, 25 Silver Outstanding and 47 Silver medals.

New World wines had a successful year, with Australia winning seven trophies and New Zealand winning three. Australian Wolf Blass in particular, with chief winemaker Chris Hatcher receiving the distinguished honour of IWSC Winemaker of the Year. With over 40 years of experience, Chris became the chief winemaker at Wolf Blass in 1996. Success for the vineyard continued with a total of 13 awards including two Gold Outstanding, two Gold, four Silver Outstanding and four Silver awards.

English producers have won more medals than ever before. English producers achieving Gold and Silver awards this year are the sparkling wines estates including Gusbourne Estate in Kent, Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking and Furleigh Estate in Dorset. The prestigious Gold award was presented for Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2008; this independent wine merchant is a favourite at Buckingham Palace and meticulously ensures each grape is carefully picked by a team of dedicated villagers, mainly pensioners to produce fine fizz.

Ewan Lacey, general manager of the IWSC said: “Gin is on trend and it is a very exciting time for the category. For such a new distillery, it is a very well deserved win for the Southwold based gin.”


14 November 2013 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor