The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Felton Road crowned Winery Of The Year NZ by The Real Review

Australian wine publication, The Real Review, has announced its ranking of the top wineries of New Zealand, with Bannockburn producer Felton Road being crowned Winery of the Year New Zealand 2024.

The results follow an intensive tasting of more than 3,500 wines with some big movements up and down the list, and a number of new entrants to the top wineries.

The list is independently ranked by The Real Review tasting team, led by critics Bob Campbell MW, Huon Hooke, including Stephen Wong MW and others.

Felton Road took the top position for the first time with winemaker Blair Walter saying the team is honoured to be awarded with first place.

“We’re blessed in Bannockburn with our four vineyard sites offering such consistent and distinctly high quality wines. We’ve been farming our vineyards organically and biodynamically for over 20 years now which brings additional harmony and nuance to the wines.”

Completing the top five ranking of this year’s list are Destiny Bay (#2, Waiheke Island), Church Road (#3, Hawke’s Bay), Ata Rangi (#4, Martinborough) and Craggy Range (#5, Hawke’s Bay).

Judge Stephen Wong MW says it’s heartening to see an increasingly diverse representation in the list of winemakers.

“The stellar results from Central Otago, the outstanding dominance of organic producers and smaller regions like the Wairarapa, North Canterbury and Waiheke punching aboout their weight class alongside the juggernauts of Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

“It is an exciting time for New Zealand wine across almost every style and grape variety. There is much cause for optimism.”

Released annually to highlight excellence in New Zealand wine, The Real Review awards the top New Zealand wineries that consistently produce excellent wine.

The Top Wineries list represents a national benchmark that shows where New Zealander’s favourite winery is placed amongst its peers.

This year has seen producers rise up the rankings significantly, with Fromm, Dog Point, Obsidian, Cloudy Bay and Black Estate all jumping from rankings below 50 into the top 30.

The representation of the different wine regions in the list and the high proportion of the top wineries with certified organic vineyards is also notable. Within the top 60, 34 wineries in total (56.7%) have some or all of their vineyards certified organic.

Marlborough leads the pack with 48 wineries on the list of 157, with Central Otago shining at 36 wineries. Auckland surprisingly has 13 entrants, 11 of which are on Waiheke Island.

A nod to women in wine, 35 of the listed wineries have female winemakers at the helm, representing over 21% of the total wineries on the list – an ever-increasing presence that continues to grow year-on-year.

Must-try wines from the Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024 traverse Chardonnay to Syrah styles, with Gibbston Valley China Terrace Chardonnay 2018, Felton Road Block 5 Pinot Noir 2022, Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir 2021 and Te Mata Coleraine 2022 being standouts.

Kiwi wine lovers will have the chance to sample more than 80 of this year’s leading wines at the Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024 Tasting – click here for info.

The Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024 Ranking:

  1. Felton Road
  2. Destiny Bay
  3. Church Road
  4. Ata Rangi
  5. Craggy Range
  6. Obsidian
  7. Villa Maria
  8. Dry River Wines
  9. Fromm Winery
  10. Trinity Hill
  11. Pyramid Valley Vineyards
  12. Hans Herzog Estate
  13. Bilancia
  14. Pegasus Bay
  15. Man O’War Vineyards
  16. Dog Point Vineyard
  17. Radburnd Cellars
  18. Blank Canvas
  19. Elephant Hill Estate
  20. Terra Sancta
  21. Giesen Wine Estate
  22. Greystone Wines
  23. Esk Valley
  24. Te Motu
  25. Valli
  26. Cloudy Bay
  27. Rippon
  28. Squawking Magpie
  29. Black Estate
  30. Paritua
  31. Gibbston Valley Wines
  32. Prophet’s Rock
  33. Neudorf
  34. Puriri Hills
  35. Astrolabe Wines
  36. Doctors Flat
  37. Rockburn Wines
  38. Two Paddocks
  39. Passage Rock Wines
  40. Carrick
  41. Mt Difficulty Wines
  42. Forager Wine
  43. Clearview Estate Winery
  44. Nautilus Estate
  45. Te Whare Ra Wines
  46. Greywacke
  47. Framingham
  48. Misha’s Vineyard
  49. Bostock Wines
  50. Smith & Sheth
  51. Rapaura Springs
  52. Quartz Reef

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