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Decanter breaks through 10,000 entries and takes top spot as world’s biggest wine competition

The 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards attracted more entries this year than any other wine competition in the world, cementing its position as the world’s biggest wine competition. In total 10,285 wines were entered, more than double the amount when the competition launched six years ago. The number of companies submitting wines increased by 23% to 2,240. This phenomenal growth is due to Decanter’s reputation for using only the very best judges, coupled with its unparalleled global reach for the results.

Decanter’s Publishing Director Sarah Kemp said, ‘our success is a delightful testament to Decanter’s policy to only judge wines by region using the world’s most renowned judges. We recruit specialist panels and only allow them to taste wines when they have an intimate knowledge of that region.

Decanter’s rigorous judging process has often led the Decanter World Wine Awards to be referred to as ‘the ultimate terroir competition.’ This year the judges, more than 50 of whom flew in from overseas, included top sommeliers Isa Bal and Ferran Centelles of The Fat Duck, and El Bulli respectively, along with leading Australian wine writer Huon Hooke, and Berry Bros Wine Director Alun Griffiths MW. Despite the large number of entries, the consistency in terms of medals awarded, was quite remarkable. On an almost identical scale to previous years only 64% of wines were awarded a medal, and of those just 2.8% won a gold medal or a trophy. 12.5% won a silver medal.

Canadian Regional Chair, Tony Aspler said, ‘I have judged many competitions over the years and this is the best organised and most objective. A bronze medal here is worth a silver or even gold elsewhere’.

There were a few surprises for the judges this year, including a record eight gold-winning wines from Croatia, in addition to a complete absence of any gold medals for Chardonnay wines in the under £10 category.

Chairman of the Awards, Steven Spurrier, said ‘I feel this year that the DWWA has moved from being a successful wine competition into an arena where it is a beacon for wine all around the world. The DWWA does not just offer winning wines a Decanter medal – it offers them a global platform to showcase that medal around the world.’

Whilst many producers around the globe will soon be celebrating, the consumer remains paramount. Decanter ensures that the DWWA never loses sight of its main aim: to provide practical recommendations to people who buy and enjoy wine. As the world’s biggest and most respected wine media brand, Decanter manages to reach over 20 million consumers who trust the Decanter verdict. It is this trust that underpins the continued success of the Decanter World Wine Awards.

To receive further information contact:

Awards Enquiries:

Lucy Day/Decanter Senior World Wine Awards Executive

worldwineawards@decanter.com, Tel: +44 (0) 20 3148 4505

Press Enquiries:

Kerry MacDonald/Marketing Manager, Kerry_macdonald@decanter.com, Tel: +44 (0)20 3148 4508

Christabel Cairns/Marketing Executive, christabel_cairns@decanter.com, Tel: +44 (0)20 3148 4512

Key Dates

Results published on decanter.com for Trade 12 May 2009

Results published on decanter.com for Consumers 2 September 2009

Results published in Decanter October 2009 issue (available early Sep)

Regional Chairs

Chairman – Steven Spurrier

Alsace – Tom Stevenson

Argentina – Marina Gayan MW

Australia – Huon Hooke & Anthony Rose

Austria – Giles MacDonogh

Bordeaux – James Lawther MW

Burgundy – Michael Schuster

Canada – Tony Aspler

Champagne – Tom Stevenson

Central & Eastern Europe – Angela Muir MW

Chile & South America – Peter Richards

(excluding Argentina)

Germany – Giles MacDonogh

Greece – Nico Manessis

Italy – Richard Baudains & Jane Hunt MW

Languedoc-Roussillon – Andrew Jefford

Loire – Jim Budd

Middle East, Far East & Asia – Ch’ng Poh Tiong

New Zealand – Rosemary George MW

North America – Stephen Brook

Port and Portugal – Richard Mayson

Regional France – Andrew Jefford

Rhône – John Livingstone-Learmonth

Slovenia – Robert Gorjak

South Africa – John Avery MW

Southern & Eastern

Mediterranean – Angela Muir MW

Spain – John Radford & Sarah Jane Evans MW

United Kingdom – Stephen Skelton MW

Notes to Editors

The Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) Judging Process:

  • The DWWA was launched in 2004 and has been running for 6 years
  • The DWWA is respected around the world as the most prestigious and influential wine competition
  • The DWWA assesses every wine blind.
  • Each wine is judged within its region of origin so that an expression of terroir is taken into account
  • Each wine is assessed within price brackets to ensure wines are compared like for like
  • Throughout the rigorous judging processes, each wine is tasted by a dedicated panel. Every single wine is discussed by the panel in depth before a verdict is recorded.
  • Gold and Trophy winning wines go on to be tasted at least two more times by further panels.

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