France leads international wine competition

France has emerged the early leader at a major wine awards competition, winning the most regional trophies followed by Italy and Australia.

Preliminary results were released Monday for the 10th annual Decanter World Wine Awards, an international competition that saw 219 international experts and oenophiles sip and spit through more than 14,360 wine samples from 52 countries.

Of the 156 Regional Trophies handed out, France won 29, followed by Italy and Australia, which tied for second place with 15 medals.

Rounding out the top five performing countries in the regional category were South Africa with 14 medals, Spain (13) and Chile (10).

Overall, a total of 9,873 wines were awarded a Decanter medal: 156 Regional Trophies, 229 gold medals, 1,665 silver, and 4,165 bronze awards.

The balance of 3,658 wines were labeled ‘Commended’ wines.

Winners of the most coveted awards -- the 32 International Trophies -- will be announced September 4 at a gala dinner at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

Results are available online at

Meanwhile, oenophiles can participate in public wine tastings and judge 145 medal winners for themselves at the London International Wine Fair May 20 to 23 at the Decanter booth.

On June 27, the publication will also host a consumer wine tasting in London that will feature gold medal winners from the competition. Details can be found at Tickets are £20 (€24).