Brazil earns outstanding performance but it’s Australia & South Africa which take centre stage at the 2021 IWSC Southern Hemisphere Awards

Wine news

Fri 15 Oct 2021

By Gemma Duncan


  • South Africa leads performance – securing 549 medals
  • Australian wines top the gold medal chart – picking up 30 gold medals
  • Brazilian wines improve on combined three years performance by 144%, taking home 44 medals
  • Our 2021 Judging Committee members and Masters of Wine, John Hoskins, Alex Hunt, Dirceu Vianna Junior, and Alistair Cooper oversaw the judging process

Following the completion of the IWSC judging the headline winners for this year are the traditional wine heartlands of the Southern Hemisphere.

For 2021, it was the wines of South Africa which earned the greatest number of medals, securing 549 across gold, silver, and bronze accolades. Australia and its wines were not far behind, receiving 526 medals, however it was the wines from “Down Under” which topped the gold medal chart, with the country’s wines collecting 30 gold medals, with South Africa coming in at a close second with 26 golds.

Other strong performers from this year’s Southern Hemisphere judging include Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand however should a prize be awarded for outstanding improvement it would go to Brazil. The combined medal tally for Brazil since 2018 equalled 18, but for this year alone, 44 Brazilian wines were awarded a medal, an impressive improvement of 144% for 2021 vs previous three years.

Wine Judging Committee Members Alex Hunt MW and David Kermode

The judging was once again led by IWSC Wine Judging Committee members and Masters of Wine; John Hoskins, Alex Hunt, Dirceu Vianna Junior and Alistair Cooper. Between them, they were responsible for overseeing the rigorous judging process whereby every single wine is tasted blind in order to be judged on it typicity and accuracy to style and region.

The judges praised the entries from Australia for the consistency of the wines. John Hoskins MW commented, “The winemaking in Australia is at a level of competency that means the country is reliably producing impressive wines.” The panels were particularly excited about the Chardonnays coming from Tasmania.

From New Zealand there was overall agreement that while country’s Kiwi’s Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir continue to do well, it was the Chardonnays that really stood out this year.


There was a lot of conversation around the improvements seen in the wines coming from South Africa, notably the sparkling wines – of which 22 of the Méthode Cap Classique entered into the competition were awarded medals. The other great success story for South Africa was Pinotage which the judges felt the country’s winemakers appeared to have really got to grips with and paid it some well-deserved attention.

See the full list of the 2021 IWSC Southern Hemisphere results on our website.