International Wine and Spirit Competition

The International Wine & Spirit Competition is an annual wine and spirit competition founded in 1969 by the German/British oenologist Anton Massel.[1] Each year the competition receives entries from over 90 countries worldwide. The awards given by the competition are considered as high honors in the industry.[2][3][4] The event occurs annually in November, in London. Only products which pay the entry fee of £145 per category are judged, and four bottles of each product must be supplied.[5]

Depending on the points out of 100 awarded, submitted products can receive gold outstanding, gold, silver outstanding, silver, or bronze awards, and there are no limitations on how many of each which can be awarded.[6] There is also an extensive range of trophies each year.[7]


The two stage judging process takes place over a six-month period, consisting of blind tasting and detailed technical analysis. Entries are judged by panels drawn from 250 specialists from around the world.

Judging processes

The judging process is in two stage; blind tasting, and detailed technical analysis by an independent laboratory. The competition has its own purpose built premises including temperature controlled cellars, tasting rooms and regular staff. The competition has its own storage facilities and cellaring for over 30,000 bottles.

It takes over six months to judge all the products as they are sorted into over 1,500 categories. The categories divide the entries by several factors: region or area; variety, style, or type; vintage or age; and similar characteristics. Wines and spirits that win awards go forward to the national or international level.

The competition makes use of over 250 specialist judges from all over the world. Many are Masters of Wine, some are winemakers or distillers, others are trade specialists, each judging in their special field. All judges attend an IWSC judges induction course.

Annual IWSC banquet

The competition culminates in London in November with the annual awards presentation and banquet, at the City of London Guildhall.[8]


A president is selected annually from influential individuals in the wines and spirits industry. After their term, they serve on the competition’s Advisory Board.

  • 2018 Facundo L. Bacardi
  • 2017 Chris Blandy, Portugal
  • 2016 Matteo Lunelli, Italy
  • 2015 Neil McGuigan, Australia
  • 2014 Dr Laura Catena, Argentina
  • 2013 G. Garvin Brown IV, USA
  • 2012 Mauricio Gonzalez Gordon, Spain
  • 2011 Prince Robert of Luxembourg, France
  • 2010 Prinz Michael zu Salm-Salm, Germany
  • 2009 Sir Ian Good, UK
  • 2008 Rafael Guilisasti, Chile
  • 2007 Gina Gallo, USA
  • 2006 Anthony von Mandl, Canada
  • 2005 Wolf Blass, Australia
  • 2004 Paul Symington, Portugal
  • 2003 Claes Dahlbäck, Sweden
  • 2002 Dominique Hériard Dubreuil, France
  • 2001 Warren Winiarski, USA
  • 2000 Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, France
  • 1999 Miguel A. Torres, Spain
  • 1998 Sir Anthony Greener, UK
  • 1997 Jean Hugel, France
  • 1996 Dr.Anton Rupert, South Africa
  • 1995 Marchese Leonardo de Frescobaldi, Italy
  • 1994 Michael Jackaman, UK
  • 1993 Mme May de Lencquesaing, France
  • 1992 Chris Hancock Hon MW, Australia
  • 1991 Peter Sichel, USA
  • 1990 Robert Drouhin, France
  • 1989 Jos Ignacio Domecq, Spain
  • 1988 Marchese Piero Antinori, Italy
  • 1987 Kenneth Graham, UK
  • 1986 Dr.Max Lake, Australia
  • 1985 Marquis de Goulaine, France
  • 1984 Mme Odette Pol Roger, France
  • 1983 Robert Mondavi Hon MW, USA
  • 1982 Dr. Hans Ambrosi, Germany
  • 1981 Harry Waugh Hon MW, UK
  • 1980 Peter Noble, CBE
  • 1979 Cyril Ray, UK
  • 1978 Sir Reginald Bennett VRD, UK
  • 1977 Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, UK

IWSC Trophy Winners

See also


  1. "The First 19 Years of the International Wine & Spirit Competition". Archived from the original on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  2. "NZ wines shine overseas". One News. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  3. "Aussie named world's best winemaker". The Age. 7 November 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  4. "IWSC Introduces US Tasting Round". The Drinks Business. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 24 July 2013.
  5. "FAQ: Entry Questions, 2017" (PDF). International Wine and Spirit Competition. Retrieved 12 April 2017.

Further reading

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