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Gastronomy and Wine Portal


MUNDUS VINI: Highlights from the Spring Tasting 2024

15.03.2024, News

Over six days, the Saalbau in Neustadt, Germany, hosted a remarkable tasting event that attracted over 250 wine experts from 55 countries. Set in the heart of the Pfalz, the second largest wine-growing region in Germany, this gathering showcased wines from 45 nations. Among them were entries from lesser-known winelands like Uzbekistan (earning one Silver medal), Poland (marking the second Gold medal for a Polish wine), as well as Kazakhstan, Colombia, and Morocco.

Eastern European wines captivate with their distinctive flavors and remarkable quality, leaving a lasting impression at the Spring Tasting of MUNDUS VINI. From the rolling hills of Romania to the picturesque vineyards of Moldova and Ukraine, these wines showcase the region’s rich winemaking heritage and innovative techniques. Meanwhile, top producers from across the globe also dazzle with their exceptional creations, demonstrating the diversity and excellence of the global wine industry. 


So, the results are out for the 34th Grand International Wine Award MUNDUS VINI: standout wineries this year include R&A Pfaffl (Best Producer Austria), DGB (South Africa), Vinaria Purcari (Moldova), Anecoop (Spain), and Fantini Group (Italy). Together, their wines earned a total of 163 awards in Silver, Gold, and Grand Gold categories.


Italian wines have achieved remarkable success, earning a total of 639 awards (12 Grand Gold, 370 Gold, 257 Silver) from the discerning jury, showcasing their consistent quality. Spain follows closely in second place with 535 awards (7 Grand Gold, 302 Gold, 226 Silver), trailed by Portugal (352 awards), France (296 awards), Germany (193 awards), and Austria (105 awards). The continued success of “New World” countries is evident once more, with South Africa receiving 95 awards, Chile securing 55 awards, and Australia earning 50 awards, bringing the total to 288 accolades.

In recent years, MUNDUS VINI has observed a remarkable enhancement in the quality of wines originating from Eastern European countries. This year, Moldovan wines particularly stood out, garnering 3 Grand Gold, 56 Gold, and 37 Silver awards, while Georgia, Romania, and North Macedonia followed closely with 83, 71, and 42 awards, respectively.


Christian Wolf, Director Degustation comments: “As the Director of Degustation, I believe that the Spring Tasting serves as an excellent gauge for the quality of wines from the latest vintage entering the market. During the world’s premier trade fair for wines and spirits, ProWein in Düsseldorf, visitors will have the opportunity to taste approximately 350 award-winning wines from March 10 to 12, 2024. On the first day of the fair, the Board of MUNDUS VINI will host an awards ceremony to honor wine producers whose wines have received prestigious accolades such as “Best of Show” or “Best Producer.” This moment holds great significance for both the board and myself, because during the tasting only the intrinsic quality of the wines matters. With limited information provided to the jury, such as vintage and grape variety, their focus remains solely on evaluating the quality”.


In this year’s competition four Ukrainian women participated as a jury, with three of them representing Drinks+ and Wine Travel Awards.


Olga Pinevich-Todoriuk, Editor-in-chief of Drinks+ magazine: “In my commission with the colleagues from Portugal, Greece and Germany we had an unforgettable experience tasting unique wines made from Gouveio and Viosinho grapes. These lesser-known grape varieties showcased their distinct flavors and characteristics, offering a delightful journey for the palate. Another Tasting wines from Greece, particularly Mavrodaphne and Xinomavro, at MUNDUS VINI was a delightful adventure! These Greek varietals truly stood out with their rich flavors and unique profiles, offering a glimpse into the diverse terroir and winemaking traditions of Greece. Mavrodaphne’s luscious sweetness and Xinomavro’s bold character left a lasting impression, showcasing the remarkable potential of Greek wines on the international stage. It was a true pleasure to explore the depth and complexity of these exceptional wines! And of course most of them were awarded by gold medals. Thanks Mundus Vini Family for this wonderful experience and your perfect organization of tastings and the events.”


Iryna Diachenkova, co-founder of Drinks+ Media Group: MUNDUS VINI is a benchmark for excellent organization and professionalism. But the most important thing about it is a particularly warm human relationship, respect and attention to all its participants on the part of the organizers, who highly value the work of each winemaker, the international panel of judges and their own team. MUNDUS VINI has a wonderful tradition of presenting all team members to the judges and greeting these amazing people on stage. And at the 34th MUNDUS VINI Spring Tasting, a new ceremony was born, rewarding the judges who have been collaborating with the competition for more than 15 years. 


Universal human values, culture and humanism are inseparable from wine. In his welcoming speech Christoph Meininger, the founder of Meininger, addressed the words of support to Ukraine and Israel. These words are especially valuable in these turbulent times when the world is torn apart by military conflicts.


250 wine experts from all over the world took part in the spring session of Mundus Vini 2024. My commission included representatives from different countries: Germany, Switzerland, France, Taiwan and Ukraine. Our flights mainly consisted of very high-quality European wines from Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain. All eight Chenin Blancs from South Africa were also predictably good. But the real favorites among the white still wines for me were the 2023 Austrian wines with elegant filigree made from Muscat varieties with residual sugars up to 4 g/l and from 4 to 12 g/l. And we can say that the set of magnificent Tempranillos of different vintages from 2019 to 2023 from Ribera del Duero, where eight of the nine wines received scores of over 90 points and a well-deserved Mundus Vini gold, became a source of pride for Spanish winemakers. 


The last day of the competition was a special judging mission: several commissions tasted only non-alcoholic wines that day. Non-Alcoholic is an important growing segment, represented at the tasting by two categories: De-alcoholized still wine and sparkling beverages from de-alcoholized wine. Wine types: White, Rose, Red. Based on residual sugar, non-ferrous wines are divided into less and more than 40 g/l. 


The organoleptic parameters by which non-alcoholic wines are evaluated are somewhat different from traditional ones. For example, the degree of masking of green-of flavors in aroma and taste, the level of vinousness in taste are assessed, and the aroma of cooked grape juice is not welcomed.

According to the statistics of my commission, Germany is definitely the European leader in the non-alcoholic segment; Spain, Italy and France were represented by several samples, while Switzerland and Luxembourg each showed us one wine. These wines demonstrated that a lot of attention is paid to the overall quality of the product. Therefore, among the 39 samples of Non-Alcoholic tasted by our commission, many wines received the scores corresponding to the Silver medal and several received Gold medal ratings.”


Victoria Makarova, contributing editor for Wine Travel Awards: “MUNDUS VINI does feel like a family. When you are there, you are dealing with top-notch professionals from, literally, all over the globe — scientists, professors, oenologists, sommeliers, winemakers, buyers and importers, journalists and influencers. It’s an amazing cross-cultural experience where you can basically reach anyone, exchange opinions and ideas, and make new friends in the wine community. I would also like to compliment the wonderful MUNDUS VINI team and their leader, Christian Wolf. Everything they did was perfectly organized, smooth and stress-free (or so it seemed). 

My commission was blessed by several very good flights of Italian whites (Pinot Grigio, Garganega, Fiano, Cataratta, Insolia), fresh, fruity and sophisticated rose sparklings from DO Cava, wonderful Albariños and very elegant Tempranillos from Rioja, as well amazingly diverse and-high quality wines from Portugal, my absolute favorites being blends with Alicante Bouschet, which is the “father” of an important Ukrainian red variety Odesa Black.


Speaking of Ukrainian wines, I am very happy to greet our medalists: SHABO Winery, one of the leaders of Ukrainian winemaking, has won several awards: Limited Edition Muscat Ottonel nat. semisweet 2021 — gold medal; Cabernet Reserve 2022 — gold medal; Grande Reserve Cabernet-Merlot — 2022 gold medal and Best of Show Ukraine; Limited Edition Cabernet-Merlot (Kakheti technology / aged in qvevri) 2022 — silver medal.

Château Chizay, the treasure of Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), has won gold for their signature dessert wine Troyanda Karpat 2021 (aged for 24 months) and silver for the new release, Troyanda Karpat Red. A young and talented Odesos Winery from Odesa has won gold for Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 2021.


I would also like to mention an Italian winery from Marche, Tenuta Manoylo (Societa Agricola Morescо), the winner of grand gold and best of show Marche title for their Marche IGT Sangiovese 2021, and silver for Falerio DOC Pecorino 2021. We are especially happy to celebrate the success of this winery because it is a Wine Travel Awards nominee, and because the current owners of this estate are the Manoylo family from Ukraine. 

I do hope that more and more Ukrainian wineries will be participating in the MUNDUS VINI competitions in the future, bringing more grand gold, gold and silver to Ukraine. It was a great pleasure for me to welcome my dear colleagues from the MUNDUS VINI team at the Wines of Ukraine stand at ProWein and organize express-tastings for them. Their opinions, advice and appreciation were extremely important for Ukrainian winemakers. That‘s what the Family is for, after all!“


Photo Credit: AD LUMINA