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Delhi Wine Club
Fratelli wins First Real Medal at IWC London

Posted: Monday, 20 May 2013 17:20

Fratelli wins First Real Medal at IWC London

May 20: Although Indian wines have been ‘Commended’ increasingly for the last five years at the International Wine Challenge at London, this is the first time that an Indian wine has won a ‘real’ medal by winning a Bronze for their Chenin Blanc 2012. It also leads the pack with three more 'Commended’ wines, the same honour being shared by Sula and a surprise entrant from Bangalore-based Alpine Winery for one wine each

If the Olympics had a ‘Commended’ medal, our sprinter Milkha Singh would have got it when he missed getting the Bronze by a whisker at the Rome Olympics in 1960. Similarly, P.T. Usha would have won it for the 400m hurdle in Los Angeles in 1984. But the ‘real’ medals are only Gold, Silver and Bronze-the Commended being a mere Consolation Prize assuaging the hurt feelings of wines unable to make the grade, even though there are naturally more than only one Gold, Silver or Bronze.

It is the first time that an Indian wine has won a medal-even if it is a Bronze (we do rejoice and fete the athletes when we win one at the Olympics-we give cash prizes but only for these three). If one were to consider the ‘Commendation’ as a medal, as the producers feel, Fratelli has set a record by winning a total of 4-their Sette 2009, Chardonnay 2009 and Merlot 2012 getting the ‘Commended’ stamp of approval. Sula Dindori Reserve Viognier 2012 and the surprise entry, Vindiva Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from the new Alpine Winery from Bangalore have won one such recognition each. For details click here

The total number of ‘commended’ wines has been consistently three every year since 2008 but went up to 5 last year. Therefore, it is an encouraging sign that the professional judges at an international level feel that more Indian wines are getting up the quality ladder.

Although the organizers of international wine competitions might take umbrage at the producers playing trumpets on the terraces of their wineries for the ‘Commended’ wines, it does mean that the wines cited as ‘Commended’ or ‘Recognized’ are better than the others not getting a real medal and are an excellent motivation factor for the wineries to move up the quality chain, so as to encourage them to participate in the years following as one can see from the example of Fratelli which was ‘Commended’ for the Chenin Blanc in IWC 2012 and 2011 as well.

The International Wine Challenge was started in 1984 by Charles Metcalfe and Robert Joseph (who later also started India Wine Challenge which was given up after three attempts). There are six jury chairmen - Tim Atkin MW, Oz Clarke, Charles Metcalfe, Sam Harrop MW, Derek Smedley MW and Peter McCombie MW. Unlike the other major wine competitions like Mundusvini and Concours Mondial de Bruxelles where the jury chairmen are international, IWC has all UK-based judges (McCombie is a kiwi but has been a resident of UK for over a decade, where he has his own business) though with impeccable professional credentials. 

The concept of blowing the trumpet (and the drums, guitars or whatever else is available) was initiated by the erstwhile (though still breathing) Indage Vintners which monopolized such ‘Commendations’ and won 3 such awards five years ago in 2008 for their Chantilly Chenin Blanc 2007, Ivy Brut NV and the Marquise de Pompadour. Curiously, the IWC website lists the company as Champagne Indage.

International Wine Challenge is a well-recognized, respected, international wine competition known for professionalism and is very useful for those who like to enter the UK market although it may have spill-over effects too. Fratelli is also participating at the London Wine Fair, says Kapil Sekhri, co-owner of Fratelli Wines. He is obviously quite elated and says quality has been their immediate, medium term and long term goal. To get a Commendation in the maiden attempt in 2010 was creditable but following up with another Commendation for 2011 and now a Bronze, is truly a marvelous feat and we congratulate our winemaker Piero Masi for having done such a wonderful job.’

Congratulations to the winners. Well done, Fratelli! But our message to the wineries participating at International Wine Challenge or other competitions like the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition etc. is the same as before - Go for Gold!

Subhash Arora

(Disclosure- I have been a regular judge at Mundusvini, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles and HKIWSC wine competition for several years now. I have been kindly invited by the IWC as a judge also but due to practical problems have been unable to accept the invitation so far-editor)

Fratelli has been lauded with many distinguished awards for their consistency, quality standards and excellence at the best of International platforms. The awards come in after being present for just two and a half years in the market, a remarkable achievement for the brand.

The house of Fratelli has been steadily gaining International recognition and bringing Indian wines to the forefront.

Being the second largest most distributed wine brand in India, Fratelli is now present in 12 states with 12 varietals on offer and also exports to 4 countries – Italy, United Kingdom, Netherlands & Japan.

For more information, log on to :

Subhash Arora

Tags: International Wine Challenge, Sette 2009, Sula Dindori Reserve Viognier 2012, Vindiva Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Fratelli, Piero Masi, Hong Kong International Wine and Spirit Competition



Subhash Arora Says:

Yes Ravi. You did win the Bronze medals at HKIWSC last year and we had mentioned it in delWine along with the pictures of the bottles in Here are the excerpts from that article:
<Ravi Gurnani of York Winery was beaming with joy as he learnt that York Chenin Blanc 2012 and York Sauvignon Blanc 2012 had won a Bronze medal at HKIWSC as he had entered the wines for the first time. His reasons were not hard to understand- his younger brother Kailash Gurnani who graduated from Adelaide University in Australia had come back as winemaker and this was his first vintage. ‘To be awarded in the very first year of his taking over the winemaking is no mean achievement and we are absolutely thrilled about it,’ says Ravi.>
Then we had another article a few editions earlier: in which we had mentioned that ‘York Winery was awarded a Bronze each for their Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc.’
As I have explained to another reader, this article focused on IWC as it was the first time a medal was won at this completion-International Wine Challenge. If you got the gist of the article, we did mention that the producers have been giving too much importance to the ‘Commended’ they have been getting during the last 6 years. I hope one of you producers  brings in a Gold- soon. THAT will be the moment to be really proud of. Whether it is IWC or HKIWSC or any other recognized international competition like IWSC, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, Mundusvini or Vinitaly or the like, rest assured it will be the headline news in delWine and the ‘golden’ winery will be featured. So, Go for that Gold! Subhash Arora

Posted @ May 25, 2013 11:10


Subhash Arora Says:

The article was anchored around IWC in which an Indian winery got a 'real' medal, even if it was a Bronze. I checked records going back to 2008, We are not talking about Decanter, IWSC, Vinitaly, HKIWSC or any other competition which are all very respecectable interantaional competitions. When an Indian winery gets the first Gold, we will totally shower all our flowers on that winery-whichever one it is (soon I hope!). And that could be in any recognised interantional competition. Thanks for the comment. Subhash Arora

Posted @ May 25, 2013 10:24


Ravi Gurnani Says:

Its the first time an Indian wine has won a medal at IWC, London. However quite a few, 2 of ours included, have won medals at the HKIWSC in the recent past.

Posted @ May 24, 2013 11:42


Avinash Says:

There are other wineries also who have won 3 commended in a year and also the only red wine from India to get a medal in Decanter which was bronze. Praising just winery is a tad overwhelming.

Posted @ May 24, 2013 11:00


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