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IWSC rewards stars of the global drinks trade

Champagne P&C Heidsieck and Sazerac won the big prizes of the night as the IWSC announced its 2014 trophy winners at the annual awards banquet.

IWSC guests at London’s historic Guildhall

These prizes for Winemaker of the Year and Distiller of the Year saw the two producers fight off competition from the winners of each country or regional category. Among the national winners were Penfolds for Australia, Nyetimber for England, Yealands Estate for New Zealand, while on the spirits side William Grant & Sons was named International Spirits Producer of the Year.

Among individual product trophies, the newly expanded gin category saw Germany’s See-Gin Bodensee win the London Dry Gin Trophy, while the Bourbon cask aged Big Gin from the US won the Contemporary Gin Trophy.

Highlights from the wine awards included Graham’s Single Harvest Tawny Port 1969, which won the Port Wine Trophy; Charles Heidsieck Rosé 1999, which won the Vintage Champagne Trophy; and McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2006, which won the Semillon Trophy.

There were also a number of awards for individuals who have made great contributions to the wine and spirits trade. This year saw Dave Hughes receive the Lifetime Achievement award for his long career across various corners of the industry.

There was also recognition for the work of Gavin Hewitt CMG, former CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, who won the Chivas Brothers Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in Scotch Whisky; while Selfridges’ head of wine & spirits Dawn Davies won the Julian Brind Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Achievement in the Wine Industry.

It was a good year for Waitrose in the retailer awards as it scooped Retailer of the Year and Spirits Buying Team of the Year. Marks & Spencer won the Wine Buying Team of the Year trophy, while Online Retailer went to Master of Malt and Loki Wine in Birmingham won Independent Retailer of the Year.

Addressing the international crowd gathered at the Guildhall in London, IWSC President Laura Catena recalled her own family’s pioneering work in Argentina as she said: “The IWSC stands for this bright new world that we live in; one where diversity is celebrated and cherished.”

Profiles of this year’s winners appear in the drinks business IWSC Report 2014, due out with the December issue. The full results are also available at

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