UK, Greece, New Zealand Win Big at World Wine Awards

Smaller wine regions are producing big hits

Judges at this year's Decanter World Wine Awards tested and tasted more than 14,000 wines. Who were the biggest winners? Not who you would expect. Smaller market wine regions, like Greece and New Zealand, are toasting today as they celebrate big wins.

New Zealand and Britain took home medals in nearly every category they entered; New Zealand won in 92 percent of the categories they entered, Britain in 89 percent. The most notable winner from the U.K. was the Gusbourne Estate Blanc de Blancs 2007 for its regional sparkling wine in the U.K. sparkling over £10 category.

Greece was also a gold-medal winner; Gaia Wines, Lyrarakis, Estate Argyros, and Domaine Gerovassiliou all took home gold medals. Said Christelle Guibert, the awards tastings director, to the Guardian, "We consider Greek wines to be a bit of a hidden gem. What is exciting about these wines is that, as with other upcoming wine regions such as Croatia and Slovenia, it's their characterful native grape varieties which are winning medals, not just your everyday merlot and pinot grigio."

The up-and-comer wine regions of China also took home top prizes; of the 18 medals won, the Chateau Reifeng-Auzias won the gold medal for its 2010 cabernet.