GLITZ, GLAM & GRAPES:
Glitz, Glam & Grapes: 53 Trophies Presented at Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition at Gala Awards Ceremony in Hong Kong
10 November, 2016: (Hong Kong) From hills to heels and boots to bow ties, the international wine and spirits community glammed up in Hong Kong tonight for a dazzling awards ceremony, where 53 trophies were presented to the best international wine and spirits for the highly-coveted Asian market, as judged by Asia’s most highly respected judges in the 2016 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HKIWSC).
Hosted by Founding Directors of the HKIWSC Debra Meiburg, Master of Wine, and Allen Gibbons, CEO of IWSC Group, the awards ceremony drew a full-house of media, local wine and spirits importers, invited guests, and country dignitaries, all eager to catch the news on the year’s hottest wines and spirits for Asia. Australia led the charge with the biggest trophy haul of 10, followed by New Zealand with six. Australia also received the most medals, with a whopping 489 medals in both the wine and spirits categories. Three countries that significantly bettered their previous performances included Portugal, who went from 9th place to 5th place on the medal tally with 109 medals. Austria quadrupled its previous year’s medal bag
with 29 in total, and Germany also more than doubled its medals from 2015. Wine entries hailed from 31 countries around the world, and in the spirits categories, 27 countries were
Significant among the results, new world wines made almost a clean sweep of the Best Grape Variety trophies, with just Spain (Best Tempranillo - Protos Reserva 2011) and Georgia (Best Indigenous Grape Variety - Badagoni Alaverdi Tradition Rkatsiteli 2014) claiming victory for the Old World. Particularly successful was Australian Vintage Limited, headed by famed Australian winemaker Neil McGuigan, who dominated the white wine category, taking out Best Riesling (McGuigan Shortlist Riesling 2008), Best Chardonnay (Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay 2015) and Best Semillon (McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2007) trophies, with the McGuigan Bin 9000 Semillon 2007 also scoring Best Wine from Australia. This differed greatly from the Asian Food & Wine Pairing trophy winners, announced last month, where international diversity was key. The 12 Asian Food & Wine Pairing trophies, covering five different Asian cuisines were awarded to wines from nine different countries.
Always highly anticipated are the Best Wines at Key Price Point categories. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council 2016 Best Red Wine in Hong Kong Below HK$200 was awarded to Cakebread Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2013, while Best White Wine in Hong Kong Below HK$150 was won by Ribbonwood Sauvignon Blanc 2015. Best Sparkling Wine Below HK$400 was awarded to Champagne Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve NV, with Champagne Piper-Heidsieck also taking out the trophy for Crown Wine Cellars Best Sparkling Wine with the Champagne Charles Heidseick Blanc des Millénaires 1995.
Allen Gibbons said, “Particularly of interest in 2016 were the spirits winners – with spirits a growing trend in Asia. The competition was especially stiff for gin this year with this category attracting 41% more entries.
“We were delighted to award the Best Gin trophy to Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin. Having garnered significant international attention, Four Pillars is a deserving winner and I am sure its explosive Navy Strength will go from strength to strength in Asia with this trophy under its belt”
The overall 2016 competition saw an 11 percent rise in entry numbers, as well as several new country entrants, including wines from Brazil, England, Israel, Mexico, Slovenia, Switzerland and Vietnam, and spirits from Barbados, Georgia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Philippines and the Republic of Ireland on the roster.
Wine entries from Portugal increased 144%, while entries from Germany were up 400% and wines from Georgia grew 1400%, showing the diversity now demanded by Asia’s increasingly mature wine consumption market. France, India and South Africa also saw significant growth.
Debra Meiburg MW said, “The Competition continues to attract the attention of the international wine community and local importers. More and more, people are recognizing the intricacies and differences in the taste and consumption preferences of the Asian community from other major markets where wine competitions are traditionally based.
“Trophies and medals offer major credibility in this market, and we are so pleased to see a fresh batch of winners this year and wish them the very best in reaching the increasingly passionate wine, loving community in Hong Kong, China and across Asia.”
Meet the HKIWSC team and judges at booth 3C-B23, where a selection of winning wines will be displayed throughout the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirits Fair, from 10-12 November at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.
Plus, there will be a special tasting of the top award-winners, hosted by Debra Meiburg MW and Allen Gibbons: Taste the Best Wines & Spirits in Asia, Awarded by the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC, Friday 11 November, 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Wine Tasting Room A, Hall 3C.
Full results are as follows, and are available at www.hkiwsc.com .
About the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition
Now celebrating its eighth year, Cathay Pacific HKIWSC remains the original and most well-respected wine and spirit competition in Asia. Founded by Allen Gibbons from the IWSC Group, Debra Meiburg MW and Simon Tam, the competition is regarded as the Asian guide to the world’s finest wine and spirits. With its panel of Asian judges, the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC ensures that, not only are the best wines selected from all across the globe, but that they are suited to Asian taste preferences too.
- “Winning a silver medal in the HKIWSC has truly helped my product to achieve international credibility regarding its taste. This has positively affected
decisionmaking of several new merchants who now carry my product.”Kaustav BagchiOwner, Lamai Thai Spirits
- “Louis Royer Cognac has been entering the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition for many years. This competition is regarded as the most respected in Asian countries. Winning an award is a high honour for our brand and a further seal of quality for our multi-award winning Cognac.”Carol FrugierMarketing and Communications Manager, Louis Royer Cognac
- “Adding to our success over the past few years at the HKIWSC, winning a trophy means so much to us as we have just recently entered the Chinese market with our brandies. The Chinese market is unique, which makes it even more exciting to know that Oude Molen VOV Brandy is well accepted.”Kobus GelderblomBrandy Master, Oude Molen Distillery
- “It is a great honour for us to receive this award and we are very thankful about the reputation from wine enthusiasts in China. This award is a testament to the fact that our white wines not only match the traditional Austrian food but also matches perfectly with the Asian cuisine.”Katja PflogschWinemaker, Domäne Wachau
- “Having won three trophies in the last four years in different food & wine matching categories at HKIWSC has showcased Pegeric Pinot Noir and its suitability with Asian cuisines leading to its listing with one of Australia’s top restaurant – Melbourne’s iconic Flower Drum.”Chris CormackCEO, Pegeric Wines
- “To get recognition from such a prestigious panel is
veyrewarding indeed, and proves that our wines are made in a style that is truly food friendly. The HKIWSC has become one of the year’s most well-respected wine competitions globally. For us, the food match component is a fantastic chance to demonstrate how well our wines compliment so many different flavours. Moreover, it is a competition known and valued by our customers so a trophy can be hugely influential.””Susanna MayerWinemaker, Yealings
- “Awards and medals at the HKIWSC have been like a stamp of approval to the quality of our wines. Because it is an Asian-focused competition, I know that my wines are being judged and measured by the same yardstick as all the other wines, given our viticultural conditions are quite unique compared with the rest of the world. These medals give me and, more importantly, my consumers the confidence that my wines stand apart from the competition.”Kalash GurnaniWinemaker, York Winery
- “We are very proud of our results. One of our key focuses is the Asian market, so we really want to make our wines special and desirable for this market. That’s why we want to enter this competition and be evaluated by the expert judging panel.”Sofia Cajewski Winemaker, Cremaschi Furlotti
- “We at Yealands Estate Wines are proud to be
recognizedby the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition. The organizationis held in the highest regard and our success in the competitions has become a strong voice for our quality around the globe.”Avram DeitchGlobal Marketing Manager, Yealands Wine Group
- “Winning awards in reputable international wine shows such as the Cathay Pacific HKIWSC is one of the many ways of educating our consumers and giving them confidence in purchasing the Saint Clair brand. This enhances brand perception
increases sales across our entire portfolio of wines.”Maria EastonWinemaker, Saint Clair Family Estate anin turn