International PIWI Wine Award tastes 413 wines from 15 countries
Online PAR® Wine Contest on behalf of PIWI International e.V. – considerable increase among the Top-Qualities – Top-Gold Wines from Italy to Sweden
Frasdorf, November 2020 – The fact that relatively young fungus-resistant grapes, like, for instance, Cabernet Blanc, Regent or Solaris, are an effective instrument to tackle the climate change has become the shared consensus. The PAR®-Jury, on behalf of PIWI International e.V., could acquire a striking image of how the corresponding features of PIWI types affect the quality and sensors, and how to handle it on the international stage. Due to Corona pandemic, the tasting took place in the online space for the first time. The jury assessed 413 wines from 15 different countries on November 13th – 15th, 2020. The contest outcome contains 42 Top Gold medals, 175 Gold, 161 Silver and 29 Compliments. 27 PAR® Certified Master Tasters based throughout Germany *) could provide the usual quality and transparency of the results supported by the established digital infrastructure of WINE System AG.
Germany has submitted 170 wines achieving the most represented position during the tasting 2020, followed by Switzerland, Italy and Austria. As measured by the number of Top Gold awards, Germany and Switzerland doubtfully took the lead with 12 and 9 top results, followed by Austria with 6 Top Gold medals. Also, PIWI wines from Sweden, Poland, Denmark and Italy could achieve top position.
Swiss Piwi winemakers achieve 9 times great gold, 30 times gold, 17 times silver and 6 recommendations: With 98 points each, two of the overall winners of the 2020 ranking come from Lake Geneva - the 2018 Bastian from the Domaine de la République et Canton de Génève and the 2018 Divico from the Florian Ramu winery. Both red wine cuvées were made from the Divico, Gamaret and Bronner varieties, traditionally fermented in barriques. The one follows closely behind 2018 Divico XC from Cave de la Côte in Vaud with 97 points, also traditionally fermented in barriques. Two more times Great Gold with 96 points each went to the traditionally developed in barrique barrels 2018 Divico from the Diroso winery in Upper Valais as well as those fermented reductively in steel tanks 2018 Divico passerillée from the Agroscope - Research Center Pully in Vaud.
In the white wine category, the best placed from Switzerland each achieved 96 points and thus also great gold: Die 2019 woman - a Solaris from the DeinWein winery on Römerweg in Central Switzerland, traditionally made in stainless steel and barrique, fermented with oxygen in wooden barrels 2019 Souvignier Gris from the Bosshart + Grimm organic vineyards in German-speaking Switzerland as well as modern fermentation in steel tanks 2019 Johanniter wine from the Wullschleger winery in Aargau.
In the sparkling wine category, with 96 points, the 2019 fire embers from the Zurich winery Wylandblick the best-placed from Switzerland - a stylistically modern, red winegrower's sparkling wine made from Regent grapes, aged in steel tanks and sparkling in traditional bottle fermentation
The best Swiss dessert wine comes from Reblus Weinbau am Bielersee with 94 points and gold: the traditionally matured in barriques 2019 Solaris.
In the rosé wine category, the best rating with 91 points and gold goes to the Wullschläger winery in Aargau, for the 2019 Cabernet Rosé, a Cabernet Jura from reductive steel tank expansion.
The PIWIs, the Craftmanship and the Climate Change
The stylistic and quality gamut was enormous. A look at the medals table shows a decrease in the qualitative mid-range compared to the previous years. Head of the tasting Martin Darting says: „Particular, winegrowers from the Southern regions had to face the extreme heat and droughtiness. Typically, the first year is not a big problem. However, should similar hot weather years follow, there is no chance to avoid an impact on the sensory features of the grapes. This caused many problems, primarily, due to the lack of centuries-old viticultural experience in PIWI winegrowing like, for instance, Riesling is the case.“
The good news is that the qualitative mid-range decreased as a result of the enlargement of the top class. Compared to the 2019 edition of the contest, the amount of TopGold Medals has almost doubled. Martin Darting continues: „This year, we observed a vast amount of High-Quality products in top position proving the fact that PIWI wines can easily keep pace with top quality made from the established vines. The key lies in a precise analysis of the empirical values as well as certain agility, especially in vineyard management. In addition, the application of individual fitting vinification and skilled blending paves the way for Top Gold.“
Board Member of WINE System AG Brigitte Wüstinger says: „Everything new has yet to take hold. The results of 10 PIWI Wine Award tastings show that there is no coincidence anymore in the high-quality level of the PIWI grapes. With the help of the meanwhile elder vineyards paired with experience and professional craftsmanship of winemakers, the stabilisation and positioning of PIWIs vis-à-vis the established grapes become apparent. We are eager to see what the future might bring.“
The international PIWI wine award: The International PIWI Wine Award was created to give consumers and retailers orientation for the selection of the diverse new varieties and at the same time to reaffirm producers in their pioneering role and in their commitment to more sustainable agriculture. Initiated by PIWI International eV and organized by WINE System AG, the renowned quality competition relies on the worldwide recognized tasting method PAR®. Thanks to the analytical and differentiated approach of the qualified PAR® tasters, all aspects of winemaking and climatic conditions flow into the evaluation; the results are comprehensible in detail and provide valuable services in particular for product development and quality management of the companies.
*)During the online tasting of the PIWI International Wine Award 2020 the submitted wines are classified in the climatic, stylistic and analytic parameters. The wines are anonymised and numbered before unpacked and presented to the jury in the determined order. A completely new situation to the tasting crew that could be managed due to the defined tasting standards delivering high reproduction of PAR® results. According to the PAR® methods also the online tasting edition requires a team of two auditors who first taste each wine separately followed by the discussion that leads to consensus and final results.
PIWI International eV promotes the exchange of information between research institutes, breeders, vine refiners, and the growers of PIWI vines. In recent years, numerous fungus-resistant grape varieties have found their way into practice, some of them only on a trial basis. There is a great need for information about these grape varieties on the part of the winemakers. This includes detailed descriptions of their properties, instructions for optimal winemaking, tastings, discussion of marketing issues and information for consumers. In addition to holding conferences and regional working groups, the initiation of the annual international PIWI wine award is an essential part of PIWI International's activities. President: Josef Engelhart. www.piwi-international.org
WINE System AG With its three fields of activity, consulting, training and PAR® quality competitions, has been a competent partner for winegrowers, retailers and specialist audiences in the field of wine and sensor technology since 1999. The company has been under the management of Board members Brigitte Wüstinger and Martin Darting since 2019 and has been holding well-known quality wine competitions for many years - including the international organic wine award, the PAR® Wine Award International and many smaller competitions. The WINE System database with over 40,000 wines is the basis for the PAR® rating system developed by Martin Darting. It is valued by experts as a comprehensive information portal and is an important tool in many areas. www.winesystem.de