The prestigious International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC) concluded its latest edition, boasting a remarkable tally of 520 wines from over 170 companies. Georgian winemakers shone brightly, securing all 18 gold medals, while a single silver medal was awarded to an Armenian producer, and the 220 bronze medals were shared among 196 Georgian, 22 Armenian, and 2 Azerbaijani companies.
This gathering in Georgia, now a revered tradition for the second consecutive year, celebrated not only the victors but also served as a platform for imparting valuable industry knowledge, skills, and experience.
IWSC Executive Director Christelle Guibert praised Georgia’s distinct and storied winemaking history, expressing delight at the nation’s hosting of the competition. Alistair Cooper, Master Of Wine and jury chairman, was struck by the rapid progress he witnessed in Georgia, urging local vintners to maintain their forward momentum.
The competition, enhanced by a partnership with the Gurjaani Wine Festival and the National Wine Agency of Georgia, has grown into a regional showcase, assessing wines from Armenia and Azerbaijan alongside those from Georgia, reinforcing the region’s rich winemaking heritage.
Levan Mekhuzla, chairman of the National Wine Agency, reflected on the IWSC’s prestigious standing among global awards and its importance for companies looking to break into international markets, particularly in the US, UK, and Europe.
David Songulashvili, chairman of the sectoral economy and economic policy, hinted at the competition’s expansion next year to include even more countries, highlighting Georgia as a pivotal wine hub.
Among the winners, Giorgi Chiviashvili of Brica Winery and Eldar Mildiani of Mildiani shared their triumphs and the energizing effect of their success.
The competition’s judging panel comprised international experts including Europe’s top sommelier Salvatore Castano and Waitrose & Partners’ wine buyer Emma Penman, alongside local experts like Levan Mekhuzla and Ana Godabrelidze.
Organized by the Gurjaani Wine Festival, the IWSC 2024 Wine Judging in Georgia was supported by the National Wine Agency, National Tourism Administration, Gurjaani Municipality City Hall, and Gepra, with sponsorship from Teliani Valley and Bank of Georgia. This event underscored Georgia’s 8,000-year wine legacy and its deserved prominence on the global wine map.