IWC celebrates wine world's best

Online retailer Naked Wines has been named Innovator of the Year at the International Wine Challenge.

The IWC awards were presented at a gala ceremony at London’s Park Lane Hilton last night.

Majestic scooped the award for High Street Chain of the Year for the second year in a row and was named Wine Merchant of the Year.

Marks & Spencer was named Supermarket of the Year as well as collecting the Champion White Wine award for its Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chalumeaux 2007, by Jean Pascal & Fils.

Tesco won the award for Wine Club of the Year, Sainsbury’s the Environmental Initiative Award and Bibendum the Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

Miguel Torres, fourth-generation president of family-owned Bodegas Torres, one of Spain best-known wine producers, collected the Lifetime Achievement Award, while the award for Personality of the Year went to sommelier and hotelier Gérard Basset.

IWC co-chairmen Tim Atkin MW and Charles Metcalfe presented 43 awards, which also included Generic Campaign of the Year, which went to the Tapas Fantasticas Rioja event, and the Champion Sparkling Winemaker prize, which went to Régis Camus of Champagnes P&C Heidseick. Camus also collected the Daniel Thibault Trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine.

Metcalfe said: “UK wine-lovers are spoilt for choice. We have loads of wines from the classic wine countries, including places such as Australia, California, Chile and Argentina, all of whom have been growing grapes and making wines for at least two centuries.

“A new generation of quality winemaking countries is coming on fast: Lebanon, Turkey, Canada, even England. The standard of entries improves every year, and this year’s winning wines have come through very stiff competition.

“No other wine competition entails the fastidious level of judging required by the IWC. Each wine is tasted at least three – and sometimes up to six – times, scoring it for faithfulness to variety, country, region and vintage. This meticulous and unrivalled attention to detail means wine lovers can be confident when they choose a wine featuring the IWC logo.”

For a complete list of the winning wines, visit

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