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IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition)

IWSC International Wine and Spirit Competition

Since 1978, the IWSC (International Wine and Spirit Competition) is known under its current name but it was as early as 1969 when the wine chemist Anton Massel founded the club Oenologique which is concerned with wine production, particularly the processing of the grapes and the chemistry of a wine. Anton Massel could never have imagined the influence his initiative now has on the current wine and spirits industry. You can see the high significance of the IWSC by the fact that wines from almost 90 countries are submitted every year.

His idea was to create a competition which is not only based on a personal flavour impression which rates with reference to flavour, look and bouquet but that also includes a chemical analysis of the wines. In 1978, the name of the competition was changed to International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) and disciplines were newly defined. Anton Massel introduced an array of technical tests to ensure that the highest quality standards were stuck to every year. The main aim of the competition – until today – is to award particularly excellent wines and spirits. The competition is supported by many top wine and spirit producers which sets a worldwide standard for quality. The combination of detailed technical analysis and panels formed by wine specialists means that the medals of the IWSC are given to truly outstanding products only.

The Tasting

The IWSC can pride itself on having a highly qualified, trained group consisting of international wine experts. The judges are selected based on their knowledge and experience. In order to ensure the products are rated fairly and that the expectations of customers are always kept in mind, the raters work closely together with MWs (Master of Wine). The detailed chemical analysis helps to rate the wine even more precisely and to estimate the consistency of this product in the future. Each wine is rated based on its performance within its category. The IWSC is the only competition of this kind which performs complete blind tastings. Besides the chemical analysis, the products are rated regarding origin, region, style, variety, age and vintage.

The rating system is as follows:

IWSC Gold Outstanding: at the judges‘ discretion

IWSC Gold: 90 – 100 points – superior example, setting the standard

IWSC Silver Outstanding: 86 – 90 points – outstanding example, excellent quality

IWSC Silver: 80 – 85 points – fine example, excellent quality

IWSC Bronze: 75 – 79.9 points – good example, well above average


Go to the IWSC awarded wines or back to overview.

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