Laithwaites, Oddbins and Morrisons victorious at the International Wine Challenge 2015
Laithwaites, Oddbins and Morrisons were all celebrating last night after scooping prestigious gongs at the 32nd International Wine Challenge.
Laithwaites was named Wine Merchant of the Year at the glitzy ceremony in London’s Park Lane Hilton.
Oddbins scooped High Street Chain of the Year, while Morrisons beat Marks & Spencer to be named Supermarket of the Year.
The Small Independent Merchant of the Year went to London-based Vagabond
Marks & Spencer won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award, while Tesco won the Own Label Range of the Year award after picking up a trophy, five golds, 18 silvers, 38 bronzes and 39 commended awards.
Regional awards were also handed out to independent merchants across the UK. In Wales, Mumbles Fine Wines scooped the gong and in Scotland Wood Winters Wines and Whiskies prevailed, while James Nicholson Wine was the best of the bunch in Northern Ireland.
South Downs Cellars picked up the award for the south and south east of England, while Great Western Wine won in the south west and The Smiling Grape Company won in East Anglia.
John Hattersley Wines was the best in the north east and Define Food and Wine won in the north west. Central England was split into north and south, with Loki winning in the north and The Oxford Wine Company winning in the south.
Co-chairman Charles Metcalfe said: “The International Wine Challenge is more than just a celebration of world-class winemakers. We also reward top wine merchants. These are the companies that make the extra effort to sell world-class wines to their customers, and who have demonstrated particular passion and expertise in doing so.”
Mark Jarman, senior wine sourcing manager at Morrisons, said: “Over the past three years we have completely revolutionised our wine offer; we’ve worked hard to develop a range that is both exciting and great value, which demystifies wine and encourages our customers to buy with confidence. We strive to ensure that every product in our range offers fantastic quality and brilliant value for money and this is a tremendous accolade.”
Morrisons’ own brand wines earned 80 awards in the 2015 IWC competition.
Hatch Mansfield was named Large Agent of the Year and Seckford Agencies won Small Agent of the Year.
Piper Heidsieck was awarded the Champion of Champions Award for its Rare 1998 Magnum.
The IWC named champion wines from France, Italy, Spain and Germany.
Tuscany’s Castello Romitorio won the Champion Red Wine for its 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Filo di Seta.
The Champion White Wine award went to Bordeaux winery Château Brown for its Château Brown 2013 Sauvignon Blanc/Sémillon blend.
Germany’s Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg scooped the top prize Sweet Wine Champion award for its 2013 Hörsteiner Abtsberg Beerenauslese.
Sherry producer Harveys won the Champion Fortified Wine award for its Very Old Palo Cortado 30 Year Old.