LONDON, October 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite recent news that New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are outselling Australian wines on their own turf, Aussie winemakers can remain proud of their vinous production. They have received more gold medals than any other country, including France, in the UK's most prestigious independent wine competition, the International Wine and Spirit Competition, which has just released its Southern Hemisphere results.
Australia received an impressive 568 medals in the competition, including 27 Gold (Best in Class) and 6 Golds. The majority of gold medals went to the classic Australian varietals Shiraz and Semillon, whilst two cooler climate Rieslings also won the top accolade. Chardonnay was notable in its absence from the top ranking, with just one gold medal.
New Zealand itself did very well not only with its famous Sauvignon Blancs, which got 90 medals, but also with Pinot Noir which received 70 - with examples from the Central Otago region excelling in the competition.
In South America, Mexican wine production continues to grow with 50% more medals than last year. The two Mexican wines awarded Silver (Best in Class) were both made from the Shiraz grape varietal. Argentina and Chile again struck gold with the grapes which they have made famous, Malbec and Carmenere respectively, showing that they are capable of producing consistently great wine.
South Africa also impressed the judges, winning a respectable 367 medals, with all five Gold medals going to late harvest, Botrytis and fortified dessert wines.
The International Wine and Spirit Competition was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. Its aim is to promote the quality and excellence of the world's best wines, spirits and liqueurs. All entries of wines, spirits and liqueurs are blind tasted in groups divided by variety, region and vintage as necessary. Awards are made on a points system and sponsored trophies are presented in selected categories.
Technical analysis is carried out on Gold, Gold (Best in Class), Silver (Best in Class) award winning wines, spirits and liqueurs to ensure that all products are technically sound and will be of the same high quality when they reach the consumer as they were when the judging panels originally tasted them.
The IWSC is supported by a group of Vice Presidents made up of some of the most influential men and women in the trade, including Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Miguel Torres, Marchese Piero Antinori, Robert Drouhin, Paul Symington, May de Lencquesaing, Gina Gallo, Rafael Guilisasti and this year's IWSC President, Prince Michael zu Salm-Salm, of the distinguished and most venerated Salm-Dalberg family.
For more information on the competition please visit http://www.iwsc.net Full results are available from 14th October 2010 on http://www.iwsc.net For further information, please contact: Anna Noble Phipps PR 17 Exeter Street, London, WC2E 7DU Tel: +44(0)20-7759-7400/ mobile: +44(0)7590-183383 e-mail: email@example.com