2018 a record-breaking year for the International PIWI Wine Award
High-quality competition for fungus-resistant grapes: 147 winemakers from 17 countries with 367 wines. The substantially increasing importance of the contest reflects the many-sidedness of the comprehensive range of PIWI wines.
Frasdorf, October 2018 – In times of challenging weather conditions like, for instance, massive variation in temperature, long period of drought or heavy rainfall, fungus-resistant grapes or PIWIs, like the new breeding used to be called, increasingly prove themselves to be a reliable partner. The fact that the sturdy plant with its continually expanding range carries grapes able to produce a high-quality product was the upshot of the two-day tasting (20th-21st of October) during the 08th edition of the International PIWI Wine Award. The PAR®-Team with Martin Darting as a head of it tasted 367 PIWI wines from 17 different countries. 29 products were rated as TopGold, 185 received Gold and 131 achieved Silver.
The top echelon of the contest
Both top-flight 99 – point - winners of the tasting belong to the dessert wine category. As a fitting tribute to its 50th jubilee, the 2017 Johanniter Eiswein Wino Lodowe from the western Polish wine-growing estate Winnica Turnau achieved Top Gold. Dutch vineyard Wijndomein de Koen with its 2017 dessert wine Nagenieten – a blend of Muscaris and Solaris – established the fact that latitudes with cooler climate are no obstacle to produce premium wines. It is worth to mention that Solaris clearly dominated the TopGold dessert wine category like, for instance, the 2017 vintage Solaris Beerenauslese produced at the organic wine estate Gyukli in the Hungarian region Balatonfüred-Csopak that was rated with 98 points. Likewise, the 2017 Solaris Auslese Arzheimer Kalmit produced by brothers Anselmann from the Palatinate region.
Best product in the category white wine was the 2017 Muscaris Spätlese semi-sweet from the Rhine-Hessian vineyard Wohlgemuth-Schnürr that achieved 98 points, closely followed, with 97 points each, by 2016 „Ambre“ – a Solaris natural wine – from Winnica Turnau and 2017 „Arzheimer Seligmacher“ – a Cabernet blanc from wine-growing estate Anselmann. Three contestants, with 97 points each, ranked number one in the category of red wine: PIWI-Cuvèe 2017 Braunsberg from Upper Adige vineyard Irmgard Windegger, 2015 Blankenhornsberger Cabernet Carbon from Baden State Winery Freiburg and 2015 Regent Muttenz AOC Basel-Landschaft von Stocker Weine Switzerland.
2016 natural wine Souvignier Gris Rubingold from organic winery Rabenhof in Baden was chosen as the best rosè wine and received 96 points. 2016 Cabernet Blanc from the Württembergian Martin Schropp reached 97 points and could step on the winner’s podium in the category of sparkling wine.
Johanniter grape that celebrated its 50th anniversary this year could add a TopGold and 18 Gold medals to its tally proving an outstanding performance.
The official awarding ceremony of the International PIWI Wine Award 2018 will take place under the auspices of Minister for Rural Development and Consumer Protection Baden-Wuerttemberg MdL Peter Hauck and the German wine queen Carolin Klöckner on the 04th of November 2018 during the Intervitis fair in Stuttgart. Please visit www.piwi-international.org to learn more about the full ranking, PAR evaluation forms and wine description.
Vast differences between Red and White
Head of tasting Martin Darting reveals the insights of 2018: „PIWIs are also subject to climate change influence. The most important message is that these plants are able to withstand even the most severe form of infection, it doesn’t matter if it is wet, cold or hot outside. Due to the compensatory effect, an infestation would have a minimum impact on grape quality.“
Moreover, the overtopping quality level of white varieties was remarkable. Tasters could explore high-quality whites with awesome mineral aspects, both in reductive and oxidative style.
The acidity which shapes crispness, density and blood of the whites was sometimes a bit onerous in case of red wines. Beyond the high acidity values, in some cases, jury discovered unripe tannins that were considered to be a result of insufficient ageing temperature. Vintage was supposed to be the reason for these difficulties that are also applied to the conventional grape varieties. These characteristics were increasingly occurring especially under the cold climate conditions.
Oxidative styles clearly took the precedence during the whole contest. Pinotin and Regent had a better performance than the Cabernet hybrids. Martin Darting amends: „Degree Oechsle is less significant for the quality rather, the phenolic maturity and ripeness of aromas are the key. “
Special microclimate along with an extended ripening period with yield reduction can ensure an excellent outcome.
„For all those who are still critics of PIWI: in none of the cases we faced the contents of hybrids und foxnotes. Anyone who claims this is very welcome to discover the impressing quality enhancement.“
PIWI International Wine Award
Initiated by PIWI International and organised by WINE System AG, this prestigious competition capitalises on highly recognised PAR tasting method. Due to an analytical and differentiated approach of specifically trained PAR tasters, all aspects of winemaking and climatic conditions are taken into consideration in the assessment of wines. The results are objective and transparent in every detail. PIWIs were bred as fungus-resistant grape varieties to protect winegrowing against diseases like Peronospora and Oidium, also called downy and powdery mildew, and to keep the use of fungicides to a minimum. PIWIs often described as a “robust vine”, manage almost to dispense with plant protection creating an environmental and economic profit. Despite a tough wine year 2017 with a high fungal infestation, PIWI winemakers could work way more relaxed and ecological than the colleagues cultivating common grape varieties.
Assessment with PAR®: - thanks to the transparency of the internationally recognized sensory testing system PAR, each submitted PIWI wine receives a replicable and objective documentation of its sensory and oenological characteristics, always assessed authenticity and style respectively. The PAR training enables the qualified jury consisting of oenologists, sommeliers and wine experts (certified by the German IHK) to assess each wine neutrally, excluding personal preferences or preconceived opinions regarding “good taste.” In the context of modern enology, new international wine styles experience appreciation and acceptance also in PAR assessment. Besides attracting attention brought by this award, many producers appreciate the revealing analyses underlying the PAR assessment. They show exactly which criteria have led to respective results and provide valuable documentation for the quality management. This system ensures an objective assessment with 100-point-pattern based on replicable documentation. www.par-system.de
PIWI International e.v Association promotes the information exchange between research organizations, growers, refiners of PIWI grape varieties and wine producers. Many fungus-resistant grape varieties have been put into practice during the last years, some of them on a trial base. There is a big information demand about this type of grape, namely detailed feature characterization, manual for the best possible winemaking, degustations, marketing exchange and how to better inform final consumers. Besides arranging of congresses and study groups, the initiation of the International PIWI Wine Award is an essential part of the PIWI activities. www.piwi-international.de
WINE System AG, based in Frasdorf, under the guidance of CEO Gisela Wüstinger, consults wine growers and retailers since 1999. WINE System AG provides a wide range of expert services for creating and improving internet presence. WINE System AG offers a comprehensive database which is well accepted in the industry. Informative bottlenecktag has been developed by WINE System AG in order to provide better product promotion in the retail. WINE System AG is co-developer of the international PAR-System for wine, bread, cheese, olive oil and organizes tastings during annual PAR organic wine award, PIWI wine award, PAR award South Africa and PAR Greek wine award. www.winesystem.de
WINE System AG
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WINE System AG
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