About us

Who we are

We've been awarding medals to the world’s best wines and spirits for 50 years

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019, the IWSC remains as relevant today as it did when wine chemist Anton Massel founded the original format, under the name Club Oenologique, in 1969.

A timeline of our history

A timeline of our history

Our experts

Our experts

The IWSC team

The IWSC team

Presidents & ambassadors

Presidents & ambassadors

Our history

Anton Massel created a wine and spirits competition based on subjective tasting judgement as well as strict chemical analysis. His aim – as it remains to this day –  was to reward excellence in wines and spirits worldwide, ensuring recognition for the very best wines and spirits.

The name was changed to the International Wine & Spirit Competition in 1978, and the categories were refined into those under which the competition runs today. We now receive entries from around 90 countries worldwide, with each sample grouped by type, judged blind alongside its category peers, and all entries treated with equal care and consideration.

The IWSC is proud to set the international benchmark for quality, standing out in the crowded world of drinks competitions with a permanent onsite cellar and hundreds of global experts – including buyers, producers, distillers, sommeliers, distributors and influencers – judging wines and spirits across seven months of the year.

*The original Club Oenologique name lives on in our new sister company, a luxury lifestlye consumer magazine.

The IWSC Foundation

The IWSC Foundation is a non-profit organisation and the charitable arm of the IWSC. It was established in October 2018 with the aim of advancing the causes that are key to the growth and long-term health of the wine and spirit industry globally.

Find out more