Ed Carr has been named the global Sparkling Winemaker of the Year

July 10, 2024
By Cody Profaca

House of Arras’ Chief Winemaker Ed Carr has been named the Sparkling Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge 2024. In doing so, he has become the second non-Champagne winemaker to achieve the title in the award’s 40 year history. 

Reflecting on his win, Ed Carr said “I’m incredibly honoured to be named this year’s Sparkling Winemaker of the Year. It’s a challenge to describe the feeling, but I’m proud to be recognised amongst my peers for such a significant international award.” 

This year’s Sparkling Winemaker of the Year award, presented at a ceremony held overnight at The Oval in London, was decided by a judging panel of more than 500 experts from across 38 countries. Ed Carr’s 2024 win follows on from him becoming Australia’s first finalist in the IWC’s Sparkling Winemaker of the Year in 2022. To date, he is the only Australian winemaker to have been named as a finalist in the category.

“This endorsement from one of the world’s most respected wine competitions is a testament to this mission, and I’m thrilled to share this award with the team,” said Carr.

“Everything we do at House of Arras is based on our single-minded approach to crafting exceptional sparkling wine that speaks to Tasmania’s cool climate and ancient soils and is equal to the world’s best.”

In addition to Ed Carr’s win, the IWC also awarded House of Arras’ Blanc de Blancs 2014 the Australian Sparkling Trophy, with judges awarding it 95 points and describing it as “a great example of a sparkler tasting like a really serious wine in its own right with bubbles as an extra. This is a full body, pale peach, apple flesh Chardonnay. Gives a delightful uplift from a foaming cascade of bubbles.” Blanc de Blancs 2014 was also recently awarded a Platinum Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards with a score of 97. 

House of Arras’ flagship, the E.J Carr Late Disgorged 2006, also achieved a score of 95 points and a gold medal at the IWC 2024, with judges describing it as “a mature wine showing beautiful candy lemon peel, wax texture, quality, delicate yet intense classic cool climate expression.”

House of Arras received a further 10 medals at the IWC 2024, including six silver and four bronze. This follows on from other recent successes across its portfolio including its Grand Vintage 2015 being awarded the Sparkling Wine Trophy at Australia’s 2024 National Wine Show and a Platinum Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards with a score of 97. 

“2024 has been an outstanding year on the awards front, and I’m honoured to add this recent recognition from the International Wine Challenge to the mantle,” said Carr. 

The successes come at a time of changing ownership for House of Arras, which was purchased by DMG Fine Wines’ from Accolade towards the end of last year. Drinks Trade conducted an interview with the team from DMG Fine Wines and Ed Carr ahead of Drinks Trade Autumn edition #90, in which Carr indicated that there would be little change under new ownership. 

In the interview, Carr told Drinks Trade, “I don’t think there will be [much change]. The tirage, depending on the product, between four and 15 years is sort of locked in place. When Handpicked purchased this, they bought a lot of heritage and they bought stock. We know exactly what we’ve got of each product for each vintage for many years and they were all made to the style.

“The thing that we will need to do is to consolidate supply. We’re very much reliant on growers who have been brilliant, there’s no doubt about it, and we’ll continue to work a lot with growers I’m sure, but I think it’s William [Dong]’s philosophy that [we should] own a bit more, so maybe growth will be in more leased or joint ventures or purchased vineyards.” 

The full interview is available to read for free on page 18 of Drinks Trade Autumn here.

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