International Wine Challenge

Background and contacts

About International Wine Challenge

The International Wine Challenge (IWC) owned by William Reed Business Media is now in its 31st year. The IWC is accepted as the world's finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each medal winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least 10 different judges and awards include medals (Gold, Silver, Bronze) and Commended awards

About The Digital Newsroom

The International Wine Challenge Digital Newsroom is a simple and useful resource for you to keep track of all the latest news stories. High resolution images and complete press releases are available to download from here, and you can connect with our various social media profiles easily. Suggestions for improvements are welcome.

Contact Details

Ali Maynard and Helen Kenny
Manifest London
t. +44 (0)203 1379 270
e. iwc@manifestlondon.co.uk

International Wine Challenge

International Wine Challenge reveals its 2017 Merchant Awards at ‘Oscars of the wine trade’

The 34th International Wine Challenge (IWC) last night announced its 2017 Merchant Awards winners as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting and promoting the wine trade. The annual awards celebrate the UK’s best wine retailers and highlight their role in educating and inspiring consumers.

High street kings

  • This year’s big winner is Liberty Wines, collecting five Merchant Awards including IWC Wine Educator of the Year, IWC On-Trade Supplier of the Year, IWC Large Agent of the Year and IWC Specialist Merchant of the Year.
  • With over 260 of the world’s most exciting producers in its portfolio, Liberty also won the most coveted award of the night – IWC Merchant of the Year.
  • Competition veteran, Marks & Spencer, triumphed over its rivals to receive the IWC Supermarket of the Year Award. The premium retailer was praised for its broad wine range, its impressive sales figures and its commitment to staff training. The retailer was also awarded the IWC Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2017 for the third year running.
  • For the second year running, Co-op was named the IWC National Convenience Chain of the Year. The IWC panel commended its wine buying team for its carefully curated range, designed specifically for the grab-and-go shopper.
  • Oddbins received the IWC High Street Chain of the Year Award. No stranger to success at the competition, Oddbins impressed the on-going expansion its product range and events offering.

Independent’s Day

  • As part of proceedings, the IWC also celebrated the independent merchants which underpin the UK wine trade. This year’s IWC Large Independent Merchant is Tanners Wine Merchants. This family-run Shrewsbury-based company has been importing and distributing wine for over 175 years and employs over 100 people.
  • Loki Wines was named the IWC Small Independent Merchant of the Year although the ambition of this young Birmingham-based team is anything but small. The wine shop and bar stocks over 600 wines and has created a unique Birmingham offering with its events programme of wine and artisanal food tastings. Loki Wines also received the Regional Merchant of the Year Award for Central England.

Club Vino

  • The world’s oldest wine club, The Wine Society, received the IWC Wine Club of the Year for the fifth time. The Wine Society’s nine buyers are widely recognised as the best in the wine industry, each travelling up to 300 days a year to source the best wines from around the world for its members.

Pioneering purveyors

  • Conviviality was awarded IWC Innovator of the Year, thanks to its insight-led approach to working with both the on and off-trade, to build wine ranges that are relevant to customers. Their unique strategy delivers a better offering for wine drinkers, and subsequently boosting retailer sales.

QUOTATIONS

Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the International Wine Challenge commented:

“Our UK wine merchants do fantastic work to help bridge the gap between producers and consumers. These passionate purveyors help to educate and inspire shoppers every day, encouraging greater understanding and enjoyment of wine. From travelling the world to source fine wines for its customers, to hosting engaging and unique events, each of these award-winning merchants plays an integral role in supporting our thriving wine trade.”

The IWC Trophy Merchant Award 2017 winners are as follows:

  • IWC Large Agent of the Year 2017: Liberty Wines, sponsored by Harpers Wine & Spirit
  • IWC Small Agent of the Year 2017: Seckford Agencies
  • IWC Online Retailer of the Year 2017: Laithwaite’s Wine, sponsored by Ramon Bilbao
  • Highly Commended IWC Online Retailer of the Year 2017: Roberson Wine, sponsored by Ramon Bilbao
  • IWC High Street Chain of the Year 2017: Oddbins, sponsored by Lanchester Wines
  • IWC Innovator of the Year 2017: Conviviality, sponsored by Schott Zwiesel
  • IWC Large Independent Merchant of the Year 2017: Tanners Wine Merchants, sponsored by Hatch Mansfield
  • IWC On-Trade Supplier of the Year 2017: Liberty Wines
  • IWC Small Independent Merchant of the Year 2017: Loki Wines, sponsored by KWV
  • IWC Supermarket of the Year 2017: Marks and Spencer, sponsored by Encirc
  • Highly Commended IWC Supermarket of the Year 2017: Waitrose, sponsored by Encirc
  • IWC Wine List of the Year 2017: Yapp Brothers, sponsored by Sogevinus
  • Highly Commended IWC Wine List of the Year 2017: Hallgarten Druitt & Novum Wines, sponsored by Sogevinus
  • IWC Wine Educator of the Year 2017: Liberty Wines, sponsored by WSET
  • IWC National Convenience Chain of the Year 2017: Co-op, sponsored by Treasury Wine Estates
  • IWC Merchant of the Year 2017: Liberty Wines
  • IWC Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2017: Marks and Spencer, sponsored by Maison Castel
  • IWC Wine Club of the Year 2017: The Wine Society

The IWC Regional Merchant Award 2017 winners are as follows:

  • Regional Merchant of the Year South and South East: Dunell’s Premier Wines, sponsored by Brintex
  • Regional Merchant of the Year London: Lea & Sandeman
  • Highly commended Regional Merchant of the Year London: Borough Wines
  • Regional Merchant of the Year Central England: Loki Wines
  • Regional Merchant of the Year South West: Great Western Wine, sponsored by Brintex
  • Regional Merchant of the Year Northern England: House of Townend, sponsored by Grand Chais de France
  • Highly commended Regional Merchant of the Year Northern England: John Hattersley Wines, sponsored by Grand Chais de France
  • Regional Merchant of the Year Wales: Mumbles Fine Wines
  • Regional Merchant of the Year Scotland: Woodwinters Wines & Whiskies
  • Regional Merchant of the Year Northern Ireland: James Nicholson Wine

The IWC Specialist Merchant Award 2017 winners are as follows:

  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Australia: Liberty Wines
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Bordeaux: Berry Brothers & Rudd, sponsored by Cru Bourgeois
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Burgundy: Flint Wines
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Champagne and Sparkling: Waitrose
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, En Primeur: Corney & Barrow
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, England: Waitrose
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Fortified: Waitrose
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Germany: The WineBarn, sponsored by Wines of Germany
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Italy: Liberty Wines
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Languedoc Roussillon: Yapp Brothers
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Loire: Yapp Brothers
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, New Zealand: The New Zealand Cellar
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Portugal: The Wine Society
  • Highly Commended Specialist Merchant of the Year Portugal: Laithwaite’s Wine
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Regional France: The Wine Society
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Rhone: Lay & Wheeler
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Sake: Tengu Sake
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, South Africa: Seckford Agencies
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, South America: Las Bodegas
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, Spain: Indigo Wine
  • Specialist Merchant of the Year, USA: Roberson Wine

Attached Files

Archive

2017 Champions of the wine world revealed by International Wine Challenge

The 34th International Wine Challenge (IWC) announced its 2017 Champion wines last night at its annual awards dinner. Following an extensive blind-tasting process by the world’s finest wine judges, the IWC revealed the five wines that had beaten thousands of entries to claim this year’s top prizes. This year’s best bubbly and winner of the […]

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Surrey vineyard named England’s best vineyard experience by International Wine Challenge and VisitEngland

High Clandon Estate Vineyard achieves near-perfect customer experience score to be named IWC Cellar Door of the Year winner The International Wine Challenge (IWC) has today named Surrey’s High Clandon Estate Vineyard its 2017 Cellar Door of the Year winner, the culmination of a new partnership with VisitEngland to uncover England’s best vineyard experience.  Run […]

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