The first round of trophies has been announced in the 2019 New Zealand Wine of the Year™ competition, with thirteen varietal trophies and seven regional trophies awarded.
In the varietal trophies, Central Otago shone with their Pinot Noir, while the aromatic white wines were strongly dominated by Marlborough, who also secured the Chardonnay bragging rights.
Hawke’s Bay once again demonstrated its strength in the full-bodied red category, with local wines from Saint Clair Estate and Villa Maria taking out the Champion Merlot, Cabernet (and Blends), and Champion Syrah trophies respectively.
Seven regional trophies were awarded to the top wines from Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury and Central Otago.
In a plot twist, the winner of the Best Wine – Marlborough was not a Sauvignon Blanc. The honour instead went to Isabel Estate Winery for their renowned 2018 Wild Barrique Chardonnay. The winner of the Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy was just over the hill in Nelson, where family owned winery Seifried Estate picked up the accolade for their 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.
Chair of Judges for the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Warren Gibson says he was extremely pleased to see a strong relationship between variety, style and wine region in the trophy winners of this year’s Awards. “More than ever we are finding a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry.”
Other individual highlights were achieved by the smaller wine regions with varietal and regional trophies being awarded in the Gisborne region for Champion Sparkling wine, and Best Wine – Wairarapa going to Martinborough Vineyard for their Te Tera Sauvignon Blanc.
The final act will be the awarding of the eight major trophies for the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ competition. These will be announced at the New Zealand Wine Awards dinner on Saturday 16 November and include; New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion (presented by O-I New Zealand), Best Single Vineyard White Wine, Hillebrand New Zealand Best Single Vineyard Red Wine, Label and Litho Limited Best Open White Wine, QuayConnect Best Open Red Wine, Best Organic White Wine, Best Organic Red Wine and Best Wine of Provenance.
More information on New Zealand Wine of the Year can be found at https://www.nzwine.com/nzwy/