Award QualificationWinning a medal at the International Wine Challenge is a significant achievement. In addition to these medals there are a number of awards that producers can aim for. Many of these awards will be announced at the IWC dinner in July and are considered the pinnacle of the International Wine Challenge year.
Sub-Regional, Regional and National Trophies
All gold medal-winning wines from Tranche 1 and 2 of the competition automatically qualify for the IWC trophy tasting. The trophy tasting is judged by the Panel Chairmen and Co Chairmen who will identify the top wine in each sub-region to award the sub-regional trophies. These sub-regional trophy winners are tasted against each other to find the regional trophy winners. Regional trophy winners are then tasted together to decide the winners of the national trophies.
Sake Trophies and Champion Sake
These trophies are judged in the same way as the wine trophies, until the judges find winners in each of the seven IWC sake categories. These categories are: Futsu-shu, Honjozo, Junmai, Junmai Daiginjo, Gingo Daiginjo, Koshu and Sparkling.
The Panel Chairs and Co-Chairs will then re-taste the category trophies against each other to find the Champion Sake. The judges will mark their favourite in order of preference and the highest scored Sake will win Champion Sake.
International trophies will be judged in the same manner as regional trophies but will be by varietal. For example all National Pinot Noir Trophy winners from around the world will be pitched against each other to find the International Pinot Noir Trophy winner.
Champion Wine Trophies (red, white, rosé, sparkling, sweet, fortified)
Judged by the IWC Co Chairmen, the Campion Wine Trophies are awarded to wines that are considered 'best in show' in that particular IWC year. All of the national trophy winners will be pitched against each other to find the champion wines in the categories of red, white, rosé, sparkling, sweet and fortified.
Example - IWC 2013 Champion Red wine - B2 Pinot Noir from Brennan Wines from Gibbston, Central Otago, New Zealand.
This wine’s initial gold medal turned into the Gibbston Pinot Noir Trophy. It then beat all other Pinot Noir gold medals in the Central Otago area to win the Central Otago Pinot Noir Trophy. It was then pitched against all other Pinot Noir Regional Trophies in New Zealand to win the New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy. Then, when judged against all other reds in New Zealand, it won the New Zealand Red Trophy. At the same time it won against all other Pinot Noirs across the world to win the International Pinot Noir Trophy. And finally up against all other national Trophy red wines it won the IWC Champion Red Wine 2013.
Throughout the competition this wine was tasted on 10 separate and individual occasions, against different wines each time.
A wine of the same label and vintage will not be allowed to win any Champion Trophy status twice in a five-year period. The wine’s journey will stop at gold medal level and it will not be considered in any of the existing Champion Trophy categories. However, former Champion Trophy winners will be entered into a new category to compete for the Champion of Champions Trophy.
Planet Earth Awards (Biodynamic, Fairtrade, Organic, Sustainable)
These accolades are won by wines that have been awarded a trophy or gold medal in the competition and are certified as sustainable, organic, biodynamic or Fairtrade. Entrants must complete the certification question on section 4 of the entry form and be able to produce official certification upon request by the IWC.
Winemaker of the Year Awards
The IWC collates data from the results of the competition, analyses and scores it to determine the winners of the Winemaker of the Year awards. Producers are awarded points for each wine entered into the competition that have won a trophy, gold, silver, bronze medal or commended award. Points are deducted for wine submitted into the competition that did not win an award. The results are then weighted based on the volume of entry and finally given an average score per wine.
The IWC Winemaker of the Year Award is awarded to the company initially, but we identify the Head Winemaker (or owner) as the recipient of the prize.
Only wines submitted within five years of the most recent vintage will be included in a producer’s score for a Winemaker of the Year Award. Bonus points will be awarded for wines that are in the most recent vintage.
If a producer enters a 2011 wine as their most recent production, only wines from 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 will be considered for the Winemaker of the Year Awards. Bonus points will be awarded if wines are from the most recent vintage. So, if there are two producers both with 10 gold medals and one has 10 different gold medal wines all produced in 2011 and the other has 10 gold medal wines spread over the last 5 years, the winner will be the producer with the 10 gold medal wines from the recent vintage.
Great Value Awards
IWC Great Value Awards are given to wines that win a gold or silver medal and meet specific volume, availability and pricing criteria. The IWC will announce the Great Value Trophy winners in May with the Great Value Champions in the categories of red, white, rosé, sparkling, fortified and sweet announced at the Awards Dinner in July.
To be considered for this award producers must accurately complete section 6 (Production and Retail) of the entry form.
IWC Own Label Range of the Year
Wine produced by or made exclusively for and carrying the retailer name on the front or back label will qualify for this award. This will include specifically named wines under a brand name used by the retailer and multiples of the brand extension. I.e. all ranges within the whole own label classification will count towards the total.
A minimum of 50 wines within the range must be submitted and tasted by the IWC annually (i.e. submissions in either Tranche 1 or Tranche 2 will be added together in the final analysis).
Points are awarded for trophies, great value awards, gold, silver, bronze and commended awards and bonus points are awarded for the number of different countries submitted into the IWC from within the range. The scores are then averaged to find an average wine score across the wines submitted.
For the importance of clarity if a wine is not exclusive in the UK to the retailer, i.e. the wine is sold under another label by someone else, it will not qualify as an IWC Own Label Wine. The wine must be unique to that label or retailer.
These awards aim to recognise excellence in the global wine trade. The Len Evans Trophy is awarded to companies which have consistently excelled in the IWC over the past five years. The James Rogers Trophy is given to the best new wine entered into the competition in its first year of production. To be in with a chance of winning the James Rogers Trophy it is important that producers complete section 6 of the entry form.
The IWC Personality of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Awards also fall into this category. These awards are bestowed on those people within the trade that have shown dedication and commitment beyond the norm, and have made a real difference to the global wine industry.