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China records highest-ever medal haul at 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards

decanterchina.com by Sylvia Wu09/06/2022  

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Image: DWWA 2022 Platinum and Best in Show judging is taking place in Decanter’s
state-of-the-art tasting suite. Credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Full results from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2022 have been released today (7 June), and China has had its most successful year in the competition’s 19-year history recording 234 including 17 Gold and 64 Silver Medals.

Now in its 19th year, the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) is the world's largest and most influential wine competition, with unrivalled global reach. Judged by top wine experts from around the globe, DWWA is trusted internationally for its rigorous judging process.

As part of this process almost 250 expert judges, including 41 Masters of Wine and 13 Master Sommeliers, evaluated 18,244 wines from 54 countries at DWWA 2022, making it a record year for wines tasted. 

China has seen a large increase in medal wins compared to last year, rising from 156 medals in 2021 to 234 in 2022, which serves to showcase the quality of wine being produced across the country.

The amount of Gold Medals awarded has more than quadrupled since last year, rising from four in 2021 to 17 in 2022.

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Credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

This year’s Gold winners spanned five regions with widely diverse climate and geological conditions. These regions include the sun-bathed, arid continental Ningxia (8 Golds) and Xinjiang (3) of North-West China, Liaoning (3) of the North-East with its severe winters, as well as the coastal Shandong (2) and the semi-inland Hebei (1), demonstrating a full-spectrum step-up of the nation’s domestic winemaking.

Regional Chair for Asia Poh Tiong Ch’ng said, “When the line between fruit, structure and freshness is seamless, that’s, for me, a Gold wine.”

A total of three Golds were awarded to 100% Marselan from Chateau Tigerose (Ningxia), Chateau Kings (Hebei) and Yantai Shidai (Shandong) respectively. The France-originated crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon-Grenache continues to showcase its potential to thrive in varied growing conditions and become China’s future ‘signature grape’.

Classic international varieties are not missing out on the chance to shine. Pernod Ricard Ningxia's Helan Mountain Premium Collection Chardonnay 2017 was awarded 96 points in this year’s awards. The same producer’s Helan Mountain Reserve Chardonnay 2017 was also awarded a Gold in this year’s DWWA.

A further five Cabernet Sauvignon-driven reds from Ningxia and Xinjiang follow closely with 95 points, in addition to a 100% Syrah from Zhongfei Winery of Yanqi, Xinjiang.

Continuing its success in the previous awards, ice wines from the Huanren region, Liaoning, yielded three Golds in the 2022 DWWA. Hanxiang Liquor, Nabaifu Classic Icewine Vidal 2017 stood out with 96 points.

Also from the sweet wine league was Taila Winery’s Vendanges Tardives Petit Manseng 2020. The Gold was a significant achievement since the Bronze Medal awarded to its 2019 vintage last year.

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Credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Sunyard, Rosé 2021 from Xinjiang and Chandon, Brut NV a sparkling wine from Ningxia were also awarded Gold medals.

Among China’s key wine-producing regions, Ningxia once again led the medal count with 105 wins. Shandong yielded 37, followed by Xinjiang with 31 awards and Hebei with 23. From North-East China, Liaoning and Jilin each received 8 medals for their ice wine-driven range.

Among the upcoming regions was Taiwan, winning two Bronze medals in 2022 for the Weightstone, Musann Blanc 2020 and Weightstone, Blanc De Blancs Extra Brut 2018, up from its previous best of one Bronze medal in 2020.

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Image: Sarah Jane Evans MW. Credit: Nic Crilly-Hargrave

Decanter World Wine Awards Co-Chair, Sarah Jane Evans MW, commented: “We have colleagues here who are winemakers, sommeliers, retailers, wine buyers - each one of them is assessing the wines from a slightly different aspect, and out of that what we get is a brilliant independent decision.

“Whether you are in a restaurant or a high street supermarket, that Decanter World Wine Awards medal is really something you can trust. Another good thing about these medals is that if you were normally somebody who chooses wines from Italy or wine from Australia, for example, these medals can help you get out of your comfort zone to try something new because a DWWA medal can guide you with confidence.”