Medals from the competitions 2015 under the patronage of the OIV

Who is the winner?

In 2015, there have been thirty one wine competitions with patronage of the International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV) organized worldwide. The organizers awarded 9548 medals to winemakers from fifty six countries. Mostly, there has been just one competition held in a country, except for France (4), Switzerland (3), Italy (3), Spain (2) and Portugal (2).

The winners

Winemakers from Spain were the most successful - they acquired 1479 medals. Followed by French with 1368 and Italian with 1087 medals. Together with fourth Germany and it’s 879 medals, the top four countries obtained half of all awarded medals. Producers from Portugal secured 748 medals - that is half of what Spaniards got. Overall, countries from the Old world are leading the charts.
Winemakers from the New world are occupying seventh (Argentina), eleventh (Chile) and fifteenth (Australia) place. In the first third, we may find Canada and South Africa. In the middle, there are United States, New Zealand and Brazil. And the last third is where Uruguay and Mexico appears.
Just few of nearly ten thousand medals awarded went to countries like Japan, Peru, South Korea, the Netherlands or Taiwan. And Andorra, Colombia, Liechtenstein, Poland and United Kingdom obtained just a single medal from OIV competition each.

Success per competition

German winemakers succeeded at 29 OIV competitions. That is nearly all of them and still, they secured just a fourth place in total medals awarded order. They are followed by French (24), Italian (23) and Spanish (22). Then there is Slovakia (19), Romania, Australia (17), Czechia (16), Hungary (14) and the top ten is closed by Portugal and Argentina (13). 

Medals from one competition

Once Spaniards and Swiss succeeded at the OIV competition, they, on average, won 67 medals. Portuguese and French are behind with ten medals less and another ten less were acquired by Italy. Moldovans obtained nearly 42 medals per competition, Germans got 30 and winemakers from Greece, Argentina and Russia secured between twenty and thirty medals from each competition they scored at.

The larger wine-producing country, the more medals?

Did country which is responsible for 5 % of global wine production obtained 5 % of all medals awarded at OIV competition? Was it more or less?
By far, the most successful is Switzerland. The ratio of swiss share on global wine production to all OIV medals acquired is 1 to 21. It’s followed by Cyprus (1:19), Slovakia (1:16) and the Netherlands (1:15). Then there is Czechia (1:9) and Luxembourg (1:7).
Let’s take a look at the wine producing giants. For Portugal and Germany, this ratio is 1:3, Spain as well as Georgia have only 1:1,2 and both France and Italy lag behind their production (1:0,8 and 1:0,6).
Particularly striking is disproportion of viticulture giants such as China (1:0,16) and United States (1:0,08). Neither China, neither US are members of OIV.

Success on the domestic scene

Winemakers scores more often at local competitions. Is this phenomenon crucial? For each country, let’s subtract medals obtained at domestic competitions from all medals acquired. How would the result look like?
In front, just the order has changed. Italy is first, Spain second, Germany third, France fourth and Portugal is in the fifth place. In the next fifth, there are Chile, Australia (with no competition under the patronage of the OIV), Slovakia, Romania and Switzerland.

Who was successful at home?

So who benefits from national competitions the most and the least? For example Russia acquired major part of medals awarded at its competition in Moscow (86 %). Quite successful at the domestic competitions are also Israel (80 %), Switzerland and Moldova (77 %) and Croatia (75 %). Then there is France, which has two thirds of its medals from domestic competitions, Hungary, Canada and Spain (44 %). On the other side of this rank, there are Germany and Czechia with roughly thirty percent and Slovakia with twenty percent. Last place is occupied by Italy, whose winemakers got just 14 % of their medals from domestic competitions.


Yes, most of the OIV medals go to the biggest wine-producing countries. But not because they score at the domestic OIV competitions. However, there are certain countries, for example Russia, which are able to get the most out of the national competitions.
Also it is true that producers from the Old world are much more successful than those from the New world.
And compared to the share of global wine production, winemakers from small wine-producing countries acquire multiple times as much medals as wine-producing giants. So, share on global wine production does not correspond to the number of medals acquired.
However, we may spot huge differences among proportionally more successful small countries. Those less successful may just be jealous of their more successful competitor’s “contest policy”. See Switzerland, Cyprus and Slovakia.
If obtained medals contribute to better business results, then winemakers from small wine-producing countries benefit from this advantage much more, compared to their share of global wine production. And winemakers from new world benefit much less.

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