A celebration of 20 years and record results for Chinese wine producers, on 6th September more than 100 attendees gathered in Changsha, Hunan for a first-ever Decanter World Wine Awards award ceremony and medal-winning wine showcase in China.
In collaboration with Wine China, honourees from 44 wineries and 10 wine-producing areas in China were awarded a DWWA certificate to mark their top results from the competition, with Acting Regional Chair for Asia Peter Csizmadia-Honigh in attendance to congratulate winners.
Preceding the awards ceremony, the event opened with a forum to discuss the growth of DWWA, current Chinese wine industry and global trends.
Moderated by Ma Huiqin, a professor at China Agricultural University in Beijing, presentations were shared by Sun Zhijun, the editor-in-chief of winechina.com, DWWA judge Peter Csizmadia-Honigh and Ma Peixuan, head of the China Fine Wine Challenge (CFWC).
Commenting on global wine trends in relation to DWWA, Csizmadia-Honigh noted, ‘The past 15 years have seen a rapid rise in local grape varieties. The quest for product authenticity not only turns attention to lesser-known varieties, but also leads us to the discovery of small wine-producing regions or emerging winemaking countries that have entered the commercial stage.
‘Take a look at DWWA’s Asian wine categories: Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai and Indonesian. This used to be a very small category, lumped together with the Middle East in the early years. Now Asia is a separate judging panel and we taste close to 500 wines, categorised by country, from Asia each year.’
The event continued with a DWWA showcase of nearly one hundred award-winning Chinese wines, including Bronze, Silver and Gold medal winners from the 2019-2023 competitions for attendees to sample.
In the last decade, Chinese wine results have seen a visible uplift in average quality with DWWA 2023 being the country’s best performance to date. This year’s DWWA saw a total of 274 Chinese wines from 14 regions awarded a medal, a 17% increase from last year, and following a continuous upward trend since 2020.
Just five years ago less than half of Chinese wines were awarded a Bronze medal or above; this year 63% of wines entered were awarded a medal, nine of these Gold medals alongside a record 83 Silver and 182 Bronze.
Highlighting China’s varietal diversity, awarded wines from Petit Manseng, Riesling and Chardonnay to Syrah, Saperavi, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Marselan were on display.
Including a second ceremony for the China Gold Medal Winery Awards, the first-of-its-kind event in the vibrant city of Changsha highlighted the rising quality of Chinese wines, and applaudable ambitions of producers to continue growing recognition of their wines on the world stage.