About us

Who we are

We've been awarding medals to the world’s best wines and spirits for 50 years

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, the IWSC remains as relevant today as it did when wine chemist Anton Massel founded the original format, under the name Club Oenologique, in 1969.

A timeline of our history

A timeline of our history

Our experts

Our experts

The IWSC team

The IWSC team

Presidents & ambassadors

Presidents & ambassadors

Our history

Massel created a wine and spirits competition based on subjective tasting judgement as well as strict chemical analysis. His aim – as it remains to this day –  was to reward excellence in wines and spirits worldwide, ensuring recognition for the very best wines and spirits.

The name was changed to the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 1978, and the categories were refined into those under which the competition runs today. We now receive entries from around 90 countries worldwide, with each sample grouped by type, judged blind alongside its category peers, and all entries treated with equal care and consideration.

The IWSC is proud to set the international benchmark for quality, standing out in the crowded world of drinks competitions with a permanent onsite cellar and hundreds of global experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors and influencers – judging wines and spirits across seven months of the year.

*The original Club Oenologique name lives on in our new sister company, a luxury lifestlye consumer magazine.

The IWSC Foundation

The IWSC has a long history of charitable giving which has spanned both local, national and international causes. In celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2019, the IWSC created the IWSC Foundation to encompass all its future charitable giving.

The Foundation focuses on two areas close to the heart of the IWSC: education and welfare in the wine and spirits industry. It supports the advancement of education in the wines and spirits industry by enabling those who would otherwise not have access to training, education and work experience to access them through the granting of bursaries via recognised industry providers. The Foundation also supports organisations which aim to relieve the poverty and sickness of those who have worked in the alcoholic beverage industry or who support those suffering from alcohol-related diseases.