International Wine Challenge 2023 names wines and winemakers of the year

07/26/2023 by

The International Wine Challenge, the world's most influential, impartial, and rigorously judged global wine competition, has announced the highest scoring wines of its 2023 competition along with its five Winemakers of the Year.

Following a series of intensive blind tastings by an international panel of experts, wines from nine countries earnt themselves a spot on the coveted list, which is comprised of International Trophy winners (wines named the best example of that variety) as well as the competition's five Champion wines (the ultimate accolade reserved for those wines deemed the absolute finest in their category).

New Zealand's Natalie Christensen named IWC's White Winemaker of the Year

  • Natalie Christensenchief winemaker at Yealands Wine Group, has been awarded the prestigious title of IWC White Winemaker of the Year. Yealands Wine Group also won 12 medals as well as the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Trophy for its Yealands Estate Single Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc 2022.

  • Marlborough producer Giesen Group also shone, achieving 20 medals as well as the International Syrah Trophy for its Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah 2021. 

  • The Organic Trophy went to Greystone Wines in Waipara for its Greystone Chardonnay 2021


Chile claims Red Winemaker of the Year for the first time

An impressive first came for Chile, which claimed the Red Winemaker of the Year award.

  • This title went to Rafael Urrejola, chief winemaker at Viña Undurraga. In total, the Maipo Valley winery claimed twelve medals as well as all three of the country's regional trophies plus the Chilean Red Trophy. This went to its T.H. Carignan Maule 2021 which judges described as "Fruity with plums, bramble fruit, forest and mulberries."

Argentinian Malbec named as world's best

Argentina's reputation for world-class Malbec was left in no doubt as the nation reclaimed the International Malbec Trophy, which it last won in 2018.

  • This title went to Huentala Wines for its "incredibly vibrant and intense" Huentala Calizo Carmin Block 3 2020 which also won the Argentinian Red Trophy and the Mendoza Malbec Trophy.

  • Argentinian producer Bodega Argento won the IWC Fairtrade Award with Artesano de Argento Organic Fairtrade Malbec 2021, which judges described as "aromatic with rose petals and cooked fruit."

IWC Co-Chair Helen McGinn commented: "It's wonderful to see the Red Winemaker of the Year go to a Chilean producer for the first time. Viña Undurraga had a spectacular year and beating all other nations to claim this prestigious title proves that Rafael's exceptional talent can stand up to the expertise of Old World producers."

Wines judged "best in show" at the International Wine Challenge 2023:


Rare Champagne Millésime 2008

IWC Champion Sparkling Wine 2023 - Daniel Thibault Trophy, Champagne Trophy, Vintage Classic Blend Champagne Trophy


Edouard Delaunay Chambertin Grand Cru Rouge 2020

IWC Champion Red Wine 2023, International Pinot Noir Trophy, French Red Trophy, Chambertin Trophy, Burgundy Red Trophy


Michel Tissot & Fils Château-Chalon Vin Jaune 2015

IWC Champion White Wine 2023, French White Trophy, Jura White Trophy


Weingut Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese 2021

IWC Champion Sweet Wine 2023 - Alois Kracher Trophy, German Sweet Trophy


Bodegas Fernando De Castilla Oloroso Singular

IWC Champion Fortified Wine 2023 - Manuel Lozano Trophy, Sherry Trophy, Oloroso Trophy


Huentala Calizo Carmin Block 3 2020

International Malbec Trophy, Argentinian Red Trophy, Mendoza Malbec Trophy


Paragon Wine Estates Riddoch The Pastoralist Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2021

International Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy, Australian Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy


Winzer Krems Eg Kremser Kreuzberg Riesling Kremstal Dac Reserve 2021

International Riesling Trophy, Austrian White Trophy, Austrian Riesling Trophy


Weingut Schneeberger Sauvignon Blanc Kittenberg Südsteiermark 2021

International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy, Austrian Sauvignon Blanc Trophy

New Zealand

Giesen Single Vineyard Clayvin Syrah 2021

International Syrah Trophy, New Zealand Red Trophy, New Zealand Syrah Trophy

New Zealand

Greystone Wines, Greystone Chardonnay 2021

Organic Trophy, New Zealand White Trophy, New Zealand Chardonnay Trophy

South Africa

Paul Cluver Seven Flags Chardonnay 2021

Sustainable Trophy, International Chardonnay Trophy, South African White Trophy


Lympstone Manor Estate Triassic Pinot Noir 2020

Best Wine in First Year of Production, English Red Trophy

IWC Winemakers of the Year 2023:


Sparkling Winemaker of the Year

Emilien Boutillat, Rare Champagne


Red Winemaker of the Year

Rafael Urrejola, Viña Undurraga

New Zealand

White Winemaker of the Year

Natalie Christensen, Yealands Wine Group


Sweet Winemaker of the Year

Hans Tschida, Angerhof Tschida


Fortified Winemaker of the Year

Marcos Alguacil, Bodegas Osborne

The full list of Trophy and Champion award winners at the 2023 International Wine Challenge released on 4th July can be found here.