The annual New Zealand Wine & Cider Awards announced this year’s winners in Hastings on November 3 at the Toi Toi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre.
Tasman producer Peckham’s Orchard & Cidery’s “Stoke Red 2020” was crowned Champion Cider, along with the inaugural Champion Producer trophy.
Warkworth-based Lothlorien Winery won Top Fruit Wine with their Lothlorien Medium Sparkling Apple & Feijoa Fruit Wine.
As ever, the quality was extremely high, with 17 trophies, 22 gold, 25 silver and 35 bronze medals.
A total of 119 entries from 24 producers were judged over two days by a panel of six senior judges and two associate judges.
Chief judge, Merophy Hyslop, said it was nice to see producers innovating and implementing different techniques.
“We saw less technical faults, some new interesting ciders and producers test the boundaries with new and exciting products.”
Gabe Cook, an internationally-renowned cider expert, hosted this year’s awards evening.
“It’s great to see a real step up in the number of producers and the quality of cider being made,” said Gabe.
“I also love the fact that so many of the drinks are unique Kiwi: feijoa wine, boysenberry-flavoured cider and Pohutakawa-flavoured cider are drinks that could be made nowhere else in the world!”
The Fruit Wine & Cider Makers Association of NZ represents all commercial non-grape winemakers. Members include cider, fruit wine, vegetable wine, mead, alcoholic ginger beer, alcoholic kombucha and liqueur producers.
RESULTS: 2023 NEW ZEALAND FRUIT WINE AND CIDER AWARDS
Overall champions: Selected from the trophy winners in each category.
- NZ Champion Cider – Stoke Red 2020, Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard (Tasman)
- NZ Champion Fruit Wine – Lothlorien Medium Sparkling Apple & Feijoa Fruit Wine, 750ml, Lothlorien Winery (Warkworth)
- NZ Champion Producer – Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard (Tasman)
Trophy winners: Cider
- Best Modern Cider – Harvest Crisp Apple Cider, Harvest Cidery (Gisborne)
- Best Traditional Cider – Stoke Red 2020, Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard (Tasman)
- Best Pear Cider (Perry) – Pear Drop 2023, Elemental Cider (Ōtaki)
- Best Cider with Berry Fruit – Boysenberry, Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard (Tasman)
- Best Cider With Non-Berry Fruits – BLACK, Morningcider (Auckland)
- Best Cider with Spice, Botanicals or Honey – Pohutukawa Flower 2023, Elemental Cider (Otaki)
- Best Bottle-Fermented Cider – The Earl’s Drop Perry, Tee Pee Cider (Carterton)
- Best Specialty Cider – Roasted Apple, Peckham’s Cidery & Orchard (Tasman)
Trophy winners: Fruit wine
- Best Fruit Wine – Lothlorien Medium Sparkling Apple & Feijoa Fruit Wine, 750ml, Lothlorien Winery (Warkworth)
- Best Fortified Fruit Wine or Fruit Liqueur – Roaring Red Boysenberry, Ruahine Ports (Dannevirke)
- Best Mead – Rhapsody, Beehave Craft Meadery (Taupo)
- Best Kombucha – Berries Alcoholic Kombucha, Kombucha Bros (Nelson)
- Best Alcoholic ginger beer/lemonade – Hazy Ginger Beer, Zeffer Cider Co (Hastings)
- Packaging (fruit wine & Cider)– Ranga , Ranga Alcoholic Ginger Beer (Tauranga)
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