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Aussie wines shine at International Wine Challenge

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Australian wines have shone at the International Wine Challenge taking out the second highest number of awards at the prestigious London event. Many of the top performers were from the iconic regions of South Australia, which produces almost half of the wine from Down Under. Among the winners were Barossa Valley based Wolf Blass and Penfolds with 12 Gold medals between them.

In a first for the competition, Adelaide Hills wineries Bird in Hand and Mr. Riggs were both awarded Gold medals for wines made from Montepulciano, making it the first year a non-Italian Montepulciano has won Gold. Other winners included consistent IWC performer O’Leary Walker Wines from the Clare Valley, which won a Gold medal for its Polish Hill River Riesling 2013.

Australia was awarded 815 medals including 80 Gold, 375 Silver and 360 Bronze. Australia finished second on the leader board, beaten only by France. Popular Australian red varieties Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon received the strongest recognition with 51 Golds, while Riesling, Semillon and Chardonnay were among the 29 white wine winners.

Wine Australia Head of Market UK and Europe Laura Jewell MW said Australia’s success indicated the strong and ongoing potential for the category around the world. “We are delighted that the outstanding quality of Australian wine has once again been recognised with significant accolades at the prestigious IWC,” she said. “The success of Australian wines at the IWC and other leading competitions reflects the high regard judges have for our wines internationally, and is a testament to the hard work and passion of our winemakers. “It’s wonderful to celebrate the recognition of our alternative varieties, with the IWC awarding Australian wines made from a wide range of grape varieties and in a variety of styles.”
IWC Co-Chairman Charles Metcalfe praised Australia’s success across the broad spectrum of wine styles. “Many producers have been really successful with several different grape varieties, and maintaining consistency across vintages; a phenomenal performance overall,” he said.

According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, Australia was the world’s seventh largest wine producing nation in 2015. Italy, France and Spain topped the list. There are 18 wine regions in South Australia, including the Barossa ValleyClare ValleyCoonawarraAdelaide HillsLanghorne Creek, McLaren ValeLimestone Coast and Riverland. More than 200 cellar doors are within an hour’s drive of the city centre of Adelaide.

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