There has been good news and bad news recently for different wine awards in New Zealand as organisations scramble to re-organise events following the COVID-19 pandemic.

NZ Wine of the Year was cancelled for 2020 and will now take place in 2021.

NZ Winegrowers told TheShout NZ that due to the impact that COVID-19 had, and is still having, on the New Zealand wine industry, they need to re-prioritise their focus and therefore made the decision not to hold the competition in 2020.

However, the New World Wine Awards, The New Zealand International Wine Show 2020, the 2020 Hawke’s Bay Bayleys Wine Awards and The 2020 Marlborough Wine Show have all confirmed they are going ahead this year.

The New World Wine Awards are currently being judged but have been split into regional events this year.

More than 1200 wines will be blind-tasted over 10 days in the country’s biggest wine regions, including Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Wellington, with Auckland’s judging taking place this week in Westhaven, led by Chief Judge Jim Harré.

With these regional events a first in the awards’ 18-year history, the change to the system was designed to ensure the awards could continue safely and effectively during every COVID-19 Level, with the exception of Level 4, says a New World representative.

Entries are now open for The New Zealand International Wine Show 2020, with judging to be held at QBE North Harbour Stadium from September 21st – 23rd and an awards dinner to be held in Auckland on October 31.

In the regions, The Hawke’s Bay A&P Society has announced that the 2020 Hawke’s Bay Bayleys Wine Awards will be held on the 15th October 2020 at the Tomoana Showgrounds Hawke’s Bay.

“The event staff are working on some changes to the evening to ensure the sole focus is all about celebrating the achievements of the incredible wineries in Hawke’s Bay,” says the event’s Facebook page.

And entries for The 2020 Marlborough Wine Show open on 31 August with a celebration and trophy announcement on 30th October.

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