2nd June, 2014 by Gabriel Stone
Italy has topped the medal table in this year’s International Wine & Spirits Competition, which released its Northern Hemisphere wine results today.
The country leap-frogged France to win a total of 780 medals, although the French did take home a higher number of Gold and Gold Outstanding medals.
Among the lower profile producers, Canada put in a particularly strong performance, winning 217 medals, of which 16 were Gold or Gold Outstanding, thanks largely to the country’s ice wine specialism.
There was also a notable improvement from China in 2014, with its eight medals representing a significant step up from the single medal won last year and reflecting the rapid rise in wine quality taking place in the country.
Meanwhile English wine producers did well, winning two Gold medals thanks to Nutbourne Vineyards Nutty Brut 2011 and Nyetimber Blanc de Blancs 2007.
With several UK supermarkets putting an increased emphasis on own-label wine in recent years, the quality available in this sector was highlighted by a pair of Gold Outstanding medals. Tesco was awarded the competition’s highest accolade for its Finest Vintage Champagne 2007, while M&S also won Gold Outstanding for its Manzanilla Sherry.
Commenting on this year’s medal table, IWSC general manager Ewan Lacey said: “The 2014 Northern Hemisphere results have been really interesting as we’re seeing UK supermarket own brands picking up top medals.
However, he also flagged up China’s success as “intriguing”, noting: “The country picked up selection of medals with the Helan Mountain Xiao Feng 2010 winning a Silver Outstanding, meaning China is definitely one to watch.”
For a full list of the IWSC Northern Hemisphere results, visit www.iwsc.net.
The Competition is offering a chance to taste its Gold medal winners today at 11am on the IWSC stand (T40) at the London Wine Fair. During the next three days of the fair, the competition will hold a series of tasting masterclasses on subjects ranging from Argentina to Sherry, Okanagan and Sémillon. Click here for more details.