|Merchants' triumph at IWC Awards|
|Written by Laura Heywood|
|Wednesday, 12 September 2012 10:01|
The great and the good of the UK and international wine trade were out in force last night to celebrate the top medal winners and stars on the retail scene at the International Wine Challenge Awards Dinner.
Over 750 guests from the UK drinks industry, plus international producers and winemakers, gathered at the Hilton Park Lane to find out the results of the highly anticipated 2012 Champion wines, Merchant of the Year and Winemaker of the Year awards.
Hosted by radio personality Nigel Barden, and IWC co-chairmen Charles Metcalfe and Tim Atkin MW, the awards ceremony also paid tribute to pioneering viticulturist Dr Richard Smart, who was awarded the International Wine Challenge Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of the biggest winners of the night was independent retailer Cambridge Wine Merchants, who walked away with not only the Large Independent Merchant of the Year accolade, but also the title of IWC Merchant of the Year. Judges described Cambridge Wine Merchants' wine list as "phenomenal", and praised its diverse portfolio, commitment to training, successful mail-order and wholesale operations, move into the restaurant business, franchise model and knowledgeable staff.
To be crowned IWC Merchant of the Year, Cambridge Wine Merchants was up against all the other Merchant Award winners, including the likes of Slurp.co.uk, which won Direct Merchant of the Year for its "engaging and practical website" and social media model; Bottle Apostle, which took home the Small Independent Merchant of the Year award for its "well selected range of niche growers and friendly and well-educated staff"; and Tesco, which celebrated its Supermarket of the Year win, thanks to is latest tranche of consumer research and innovative offering.
Other winners included:
For coverage on all of last night's winners check out the latest issue of Harpers or go to the IWC website for the full results.