Trophy winners were:
- 2020 Devison Above the Flood GSM Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley, Best New World Red Blend
- 2019 L’Ecole No. 41 Perigee Estate Seven Hills Vineyard Walla Walla Valley, Best New World Bordeaux-style Blend
- 2021 Quady North Pistoleta Rogue Valley, Best New World White Blend
- 2021 Gray Monk Odyssey Pinot Gris Okanagan Valley, Best New World Pinot Gris
- 2019 Burrowing Owl Syrah Okanagan Valley, Best New World Syrah
- 2020 Mission Hill Vista’s Edge Cabernet Franc Okanagan Valley, Best New World Cabernet Franc
Many wine competitions can be dubious in nature. (More on that in a future article.) The Global Fine Wine Challenge, now in its 19th year and previously known as the Six Nations Wine Challenge and other monikers, is unique from other competitions in that wines must be nominated by area critics to be considered.
Additionally, there is a caps on the total number of wines that can be submitted in each category per country, typically 13-14, and the total number of wines in the competition, which is 600. Wines from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States are considered.
“I like the concept that country critics nominate wines that they think have potential for winning,” says Marty Clubb, co-owner and managing winemaker at L’Ecole No. 41 in Walla Walla Valley. “You know that all 600 wines entered are going to be superstar wines.”
This is not L’Ecole’s first time receiving such recognition. The winery previously received a trophy from the organization for best Bordeaux-style blend for its 2013 Ferguson Vineyard wine.
“Having taken this international trophy in this particular competition twice now in six years is pretty humbling,” Clubb says.
All of the wines in 2022’s Global Fine Wine Challenge were blind tasted by three judges: Toni Paterson, MW; Andrea Pritzker, MW; and Andrew Caillard, MW. The tastings took place between November 8th and 11th in Sydney, Australia.
For 2022’s Challenge, I nominated wines for Washington and Oregon. (Full disclosure, I received a small stipend for doing so.) Canadian wines were nominated by another individual. Nominated wineries, of course, decide whether to submit wines or not.
At Quady North in Jacksonville, Oregon, founder Herb Quady says he is also a fan of the Challenge’s format.
“It reminds me of the annual six nations rugby tournament, where countries go head to head in a round robin,” he says. Quady believes the impact of the international recognition, like other accolades, is cumulative over time.
“There is a kind of positive residual recognition attached to your reputation with each accolade,” he says. “Over time, the payoff is that you are considered one of your region’s most reliably good producers, and so you are considered more often for inclusion in a wine list, or visited by a writer, or, have the opportunity to chat over the phone with a well-regarded reviewer.”
While L’Ecole and Quady North are both brands with a lot of history, Walla Walla’s Devison Vintners is a newcomer, established in 2018. However, co-founder and winemaker Peter Devison has been making wine since 2002, and even made wine down under early in his career.
“I made wine in Australia. I know that side of the industry, which is very competitive, very global. It’s an honor to receive the recognition,” Devison says.
A complete list of trophy winners and runner ups at be found on the Global Fine Wine Challenge website.