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  • Julia Harding MW
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  • Julia Harding MW
14 Sep 2007

The International Wine Challenge, founded in 1984 by UK wine writers Charles Metcalfe and Robert Joseph and now run in association with Wine & Spirit magazine, announced its nine 'Champions' at the IWC annual dinner this week. With 9,358 samples entered, this is currently the world's largest blind tasting competition. New this year, in addition to the sake champion, were three awards that 'reflect an important trend in consumer demand' and reward 'those who not only excel but also put the planet at the heart of their wine making activity': sustainable, organic and biodynamic champions - collectively known as the Planet Earth awards.

Also listed below are the other major trophy winners and the winemaker awards. Full details of all the awards presented by the IWC on 12 September can be found on their website.

Champion wines 2007

Champion Red and Champion Sustainable: Bald Hills Pinot Noir 2005, Bald Hills
Vineyard, New Zealand
Champion White: Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru 2005, Chanson Père et Fils,
Champion Sparkling (Daniel Thibault Trophy): Charles Heidsieck, Champagne Charlie
1981, Champagnes P & C Heidsieck, France
Champion Sweet: Vin Santo di Capezzana 2000, Capezzana, Italy
Champion Fortified: Lustau Almacenista Fino del Puerto Cuesta, Emilio Lustau, Spain
Champion Sake: Tsurunosato 2005, Kikuhime & Co Ltd, Japan
Champion Organic: Hans Tschida, Sämling Trockenbeerenauslese 2005, Austria
Champion Biodynamic: Champagne Fleury Millésime 1996, France

Trophy winners
Len Evans trophy for consistency in winemaking: Francisco Albuquerque

James Rogers trophy for best wine in its first year of production: Barolo Essenze 2001, Terre da Vino

Personality of the Year: Alvaro Espinoza

Lifetime Achievement: Jean-Marie Chadronnier

Supermarket of the Year: Tesco

High Street Chain and Merchant of the Year: Majestic Wine

Winemakers of the year

Fortified Winemaker: Francisco Albuquerque from Madeira Wine Company

Sparkling Winemaker of the Year: Régis Camus from Champagnes P & C Heidsieck 

White Winemaker of the Year: Alastair Maling MW from Villa Maria 

Red Winemaker of the Year: Samantha Connew from Wirra Wirra Vineyards