Czech chardonnay crowned world's best at international competition

A chardonnay from Josef Valihrach Vineyards has been named the world's best at the prestigious Chardonnay du Monde competition in France.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 20.03.2022 09:57:00 (updated on 20.03.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic has been long-renowned for its beer, but local vineyards have been getting more and more recognition in recent years. At the prestigious Chardonnay du Monde festival in France this month, a Moravian chardonnay took home honors of best in the world.

The winning chardonnay at this year's competition was Josef Valihrach Vineyards in Krumvíř, near the town of Břeclav in the Czech Republic's South Moravian region. Incredibly, it's the third time that the vineyard has won the international competition.

The Chardonnay du Monde festival in France is now in its 29th year, and the results of this year's competition were published earlier this week. A total of 546 wines from 32 countries competed for distinction at this year's awards.

Five wines from the Czech Republic were awarded medals, with three wineries winning silver and two taking gold. All winning Czech wines originated from vineyards in the South Moravian region.

Víno Lípa from Mikulov won silver for their late harvest 2019 Chardonnay Sur-Lie, while B\V Vinařství in Milotice won silver for a 2017 Chardonnay Reserva, and gold for their 2016 Reserva. The 2016 Reserva from B/V also placed fifth overall in the final rankings.

Josef Valihrach, meanwhile won a silver for their 2019 Chardonnay and gold for 2016 Chardonnay, which also rated first among the 546 wines in competition among the final results.

It's the third time Josef Valihrach Vineyards has come out at the top of the Chardonnay du Monde competition. The Czech vineyard previously won in 2014 and 2020.

"I am at a loss for words today. With great humility, I look at a Czech flag flying for the third time at the top of the table," Josef Valihrach writes on Facebook. 

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"This result means a lot to me. There is no competition that has stricter rules, not only for the evaluation itself, but also in the selection of judges. It really is the most strict competition in all respects, and I appreciate our success all the more."

This year's Chardonnay du Monde festival took place at the Château des Ravatys estate in Saint Lager near Lyon, France from March 9-11. A total of 56 wines were awarded gold medals. Full results can be found at the official competition website.

Czech wines have been getting increased recognition in recent years, and not only the whites. A Moravian merlot took home the top prize at a US competition in 2020, and a Pinot Noir was named world's best at the Mondial des Pinots in Switzerland last year.

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