China refreshes its record of medal wins at Decanter World Wine Awards 2023


China continues to break its record medal haul, achieving the highest-ever percentage of medals awarded at the world’s leading wine competition.

Image: Decanter World Wine Awards 2023
Image: Decanter World Wine Awards 2023

Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA) today releases full results in its 20th year, celebrating continued growth before a trusted global audience of both consumers and trade.

A record number of 18,250 wines were judged from 57 countries – up from 54 countries in 2022. The judging panel’s 236 experts (including 53 Masters of Wine and 16 Master Sommeliers) represent 30 different nations. Signifying that DWWA is now internationally back after the pandemic, almost half of the judges had travelled from abroad to join the process.

A total of 274 Chinese wines from 14 regions were awarded a medal, a 17% increase from last year, and following a continuous upward trend since 2020.

Nine Chinese wines were awarded Gold medals (95-96 points) at DWWA 2023, alongside 83 Silver medals and 182 Bronze.

This year’s awards also saw a visible uplift in average quality; 63% of the wines entered from China received a Bronze medal or above, up from less than half (49%) five years ago.

Ningxia triumphed with 40% of the medals won while Xinjiang made a headstart among the top scorers with three Gold medals.

The Golds

Seven dry red wines from Xinjiang, Ningxia and Shandong made up the majority of the country’s Gold medal haul this year.

The highest scores (96 points) among Chinese wines went to Puchang Vineyard’s 2017 Viaseres Reserve Saperavi from Turpan, Xinjiang, Lansai Winery’s Yu Moli Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 from Helan Mountain East, Ningxia and Chateau Changyu Castel’s Reserva Cabernet Gernischt 2019 from Yantai, Shandong.

Tiansai Vineyards of Yanqi, Xinjiang excelled with two Gold medals, awarded to its Skyline of Gobi Grand Reserve Marselan 2017 and T50 Syrah 2020 respectively.

As a solid source of Gold-winning icewines in the last few years, Northeast China delivered two Gold medals in the 2023 awards; Yajianggu Winery’s Icewine Vidal 2017 from Tonghua, Jilin Province, and Sanhe’s Cailonglin Jinding Icewine Vidal 2017 from Huanren, Liaoning Province.

The evolution of Chinese wines at DWWA

Decanter World Wine Awards results are telling of the quality evolution of wines from China.

At DWWA 2011, a Bordeaux blend from Ningxia, China won a ground-breaking top accolade (equivalent to today's ‘Best in Show’) for the nation. The wine, namely Helan Qingxue’s Jia Bei Lan 2009, instantly drew attention from across the wine world to the quality potential of Chinese wines.

Since then, China’s medal haul increased at an unprecedented speed - from only 11 medals won a decade ago to this year’s 274 medals, with a third (92 wines) achieving over 90 points.

Image: DWWA 2023 judging week.
Image: DWWA 2023 judging week.

Varietal diversity

Not only international red varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah made it above 95 points this year. Besides two Cabernet Gernischt (Carmenere) wines from Shandong, a Marselan (French-originated cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache) and a Saperavi, both from Xinjiang, were awarded Golds in the 2023 competition.

Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre and Malbec also demonstrated their potential in Chinese wine regions with successful reds above 90 points.

On the white wine front, Shacheng Winery presented a floral, Silver-winning dry white with its 1976 Century-Old Vine Longyan 2022 from Huailai, Hebei Province. The Longyan grape (‘Dragon Eyes’) is a Vitis vinifera believed to have been planted in China for over 800 years.

From Taiwan, Weightstone Winery achieved a Bronze for its white wine using the indigenous aromatic variety Musann Blanc.

Although Vidal is still the driving force behind most quality icewines from the nation, among this year’s top sweet wines, Riesling played the leading role with Sunvalley Vineyard’s 2011 Icewine from Liaoning achieving 94 points.

Image: DWWA 2023 judging week. Credit: Ellen Richardson
Image: DWWA 2023 judging week. Credit: Ellen Richardson

Regional performances

Ningxia again leads the quality race of Chinese wines with 110 Medals (2 Golds, 36 Silvers).

Xinjiang, with three Golds and 39 medals in total, marches shoulder-to-shoulder with Shandong which took home 37 medals, including two Golds. Hebei follows closely with 31 medals (9 Silvers).

With their icewine range, Liaoning (11 medals) and Jilin (8 medals) of Northeast China again secured a solid position in this year’s DWWA.

Visit for a full list of winners.

2023 DWWA: award-winning Chinese wines:

· Gold and Silver I (94 points and above)

· Silver II (92-93 points)

· Silver III (90-91 points)

· Bronze I (88-89 points)

· Bronze II (87 points)

· Bronze III (86 points)

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