Medals from the competitions 2016 under the patronage of the OIV. Who is the winner?

Who is the winner?

In 2016, there have been thirty three wine competitions with patronage of the International Organization for Vine and Wine (OIV) organized worldwide. 
The organizers awarded 11.735 medals to winemakers from fifty seven countries. Mostly, there has been just one competition held in a country, except for France (4), Switzerland and Italy (3), Germany and Chile (2). The summary is without the results of three non-European competitions. These results we have not obtained.

The winners

Winemakers from Spain were the most successful - they acquired 1.885 medals. Followed by Italian with 1.668 and France with 1.606 medals. Together with the Portuguese and their 1.234 medals in fourth place this quartet obtained 55% of all medals awarded globally.

Overall, countries from the Old world are leading the charts. Winemakers from the New world are occupying seventh (Chile) and on the fourteenth and fifteenth (Argentina and Brazil) place.
Just few of nearly eleven thousand medals awarded went to countries like Netherlands, Bolivia, South Korea, Poland, Belarus and Tunisia. Winemakers from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Colombia, Taiwan, Jordan and Liechtenstein obtained just a single medal from OIV competition each.

Success per competition

German winemakers succeeded at 22 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 (19), Italian and Spanish (18). Then there are Portuguese, Slovaks and Czechs (16). On the other places are Chile and Australia (15).

Medals from one competition

Once Spaniards succeeded at the OIV competition, they, on average, won 105 medals. Italians are behind with ten medals less and another ten less were acquired by Frensch and another thirty less Portuguese and Germans. Winemakers from Austria obtained nearly 19 medals per competition, from Slovakia 18 and producers from Czechia and Hungary 17.

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 Netherland. The ratio of Netherland share on global wine production to all OIV medals acquired is 17 to 1. It’s followed by Slovakia (15:1), Czechia (8:1), Cyprus (5,5:1) and Luxembourg (4,5:1).
Let’s take a look at the wine producing giants. For Portugal (3,5:1) and Germany (3,1:1), Spain has the ratio only 1,04:1 and France and Italy or Chile lag behind their production (0,8:1).
Particularly striking is disproportion of viticulture giants such as China (0,14:1) and United States (0,05:1). 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 the order has no changed. Spain is first, Italy second, France third, Portugal fourth and Germany is in the fifth place. In the next fifth, there are Chile, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria and Argentina. 

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 (85 %). Quite successful at the domestic competitions are also Switzerland (83 %), Israel (78%), Slovenia (74 %), Croatia (73 %) and Brazil (72 %).
Winemakers from Canada, Portugal and Czech won one third of the domestic medals and placed the last quarter of this ranking. Italy, Spain and Slovakia are concluding the list with the share one quarter of the domestic medals.


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.” 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.