The country’s 641 medals marked a dramatic step up from the 367 it achieved a year ago. Among the medals were 32 Gold Best In Class, 13 Gold and four product trophies.
This improvement was driven in part by the 27% increase in entries from South Africa as a result of the IWSC’s decision to hold the initial judging round in Paarl for the first time this year.
The news will provide a boost following a difficult year for South African wine sales in the UK. The October issue of the drinks business reported that the country lost 26% of its branded share in the UK (Nielsen MAT to July ’11), partly due to an unfavourable exchange rate.
“Holding the initial round of judging in Paarl was a key innovation this year, proactively promoting the competition in this important market,” remarked David Kelly, IWSC Group marketing manager. “We now have a proactive marketing programme to make sure all of our medal winners have the tools they need to shout about their awards.”
Despite this strong performance from South Africa, it was Australia who topped the medal table this year, winning a total of 695, including 35 Gold Best In Class and 20 Gold.
New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir took responsibility for many of the country’s 305 medals, although it was a Kiwi Riesling which scooped the London International Wine Fair Trophy for Single Vineyard White.
Despite the success of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it was Chile’s Cono Sur 20 Barrels Limited Edition Sauvignon Blanc which took home the IWSC Trophy for Sauvignon Blanc. In all, Chile saw its entries increase by 33% this year. A complete list of the IWSC 2011 southern hemisphere results are availablehere.
For full details of all this year’s medal and trophy winners, look out for the drinks business IWSC report, which will be released at the annual IWSC Awards Presentation and Banquet on 16 November in London’s Guildhall.