The 15th edition Cathay Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition (HK IWSC) results have been announced, and the wine industry’s grandeur was on full display today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center during.
The ceremony was not just a gathering but a celebration of resilience, innovation, and excellence within the wine industry. An impressive tally of 61 trophies were awarded to deserving wine, spirits, sake, and beer producers from across the globe. The awards were plentiful, with 109 gold, 341 silver, and 468 bronze medals being handed out.
Australia was a standout at the event, securing nine trophies. Its acclaimed Shiraz varietal was celebrated as the Best Red Wine from Australia. Not to be outdone, a white wine from Petaluma captured the title of Best White Wine from Australia, alongside recognition as the Best Chardonnay. Additionally, an Australian sparkling wine beat its European counterparts, winning the Best Sparkling Wine award.
France closely followed, garnering a significant number of medals, with Austria and China also making notable appearances.
Under the stewardship of Debra Meiburg MW, the HK IWSC has seen consistent growth. Debra’s roles as an educator, Wine Consultant for Cathay Pacific, Chair of the Education Committee for the Institute of Masters of Wine, and her recognition as a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole have been instrumental in elevating the competition’s status since its inception in 2008.
On the occasion of the 15th anniversary, Meiburg reflected on the competition’s journey, highlighting the integrity, innovation, and Asian inclusivity that have been fostered. “It’s our 15th birthday this year, and I am so proud of the reputation we have built for integrity, innovation, and Asian inclusiveness. We were the first competition to operate as a pan-Asia competition working off the principle ‘Asian voice, Asian choice’,” she commented.
The year 2023 was particularly significant for the HK IWSC, marking not only its 15th anniversary but also the return of international and Asian judges. The panel boasted over 65 judges including Master of Wines and Master Sommeliers such as Kenichi Ohashi MW, João Pires MS and Pierre Marie Pattieu MS in addition to Debra Meiburg MW.
This year’s Asian judges hail from nine different cities, including Macau, Shenzhen, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and Hong Kong.
The competition also welcomed back VIP international judges after a three-year break due to the pandemic. Among them was Craig Stansborough, Group Premium Winemaker at Accolade Wines, who brought a wealth of expertise to the judging process. Commenting o nthe experience, Stansborough stated, “The opportunity to taste so many wines with such an amazing group of like-minded people was incredible.”
This year, the competition increased its focus on sustainability. In addition to the Green Awards, a new award category was introduced to honor wineries actively reducing bottle weight, thus lessening their carbon footprint during transport. The Light Bottle Still Wine Trophy was awarded to Argentina’s iconic winery Catena Zapata for its Catena Appellation Vista Flores Malbec 2021, which weighed in at just 1133 grams.
The Food and Wine pairing segment, held at Hong Kong Parkview, was another highlight. Judges tailored their criteria to emphasize the synergy of the pairings, moving beyond evaluating wines in isolation.
Full competition results can be viewed below or online here.