New Zealand Strikes Gold at New Look International Wine Challenge

December 4, 2013

New Zealand wines clean up at the 31st International Wine Challenge

The International Wine Challenge today announces the medal winners from the first tasting session of the 2014 competition, with fourteen New Zealand wines receiving much-coveted Gold medals.
  • Eight 2013 Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs were awarded the high accolade at the prestigious wine competition, showing that this region in New Zealand’s South Island has the perfect conditions to create elegant and intense Sauvignons.
  • Wine producer Pernod Ricard New Zealand won three Golds, for its Stoneleigh Latitude and Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc, as well as its Brancott Estate Letter Series B Sauvignon Blanc.
  • Producer Villa Maria received two Gold medals, for its Private Bin and Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewurztraminer 2011 was another wine from the region to strike Gold.
  • New Zealand red wines also received five Gold medals, including three Pinot Noirs, a Merlot and a Syrah.
  • Coal Pit Tiwha and Ostler Caroline were the two gold-winning 2011 Pinot Noirs, from the South Island’s Central Otago region, and Vidal Reserve Series Pinot Noir 2012 was the third Gold medal-winning New Zealand Pinot, Noir, from Hawke’s Bay in the North Island.
  • The Gold medal-winning Crossroads Winemakers Collection Syrah 2012 and Church Road Grand Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 are also from Hawke’s Bay.
  • After 30 years, the International Wine Challenge has made a fundamental change to its judging schedule, and will now be hosting two separate tastings throughout the year to accommodate the different production and sales schedules across the industry, giving winemakers a greater choice of when to enter their wines.
  • Tranche one has been added to the annual schedule and took place at the end of last month, and Tranche two will happen in April 2014, as in previous years.

Charles Metcalfe, the co-Chairmen of the International Wine Challenge commented:

“The quality of these New Zealand white wines has been absolutely outstanding, and shows the Marlborough wine region can make some of the world’s greatest Sauvignons. And this from a standing start 40 years ago. We have added the November tasting to the IWC schedule to allow Southern Hemisphere wines to perform at their best. These 2013 vintage Gold medal winners prove that this new tasting schedule is a great way to discover excellent young wines from the New World. We’re very happy we have added this round of tasting to this and to future IWCs.”

Charles Metcalfe continued:

“By hosting two separate tasting events across the year, we are ensuring that no matter where or when a wine is produced, it will be given the best possible chance for success. For some wines, six months of additional ageing in bottle will be the difference between medal bands, and the implications of this could be huge for a winemaker. The quality of wine we saw at this new tranche has been excellent and we’re very excited about this new, improved schedule for the International Wine Challenge.”

For full list of results please visit  the International Wine Challenge website: //

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