The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Pinot Noir takes top spot at NZ Wine of the Year™ Awards

A Central Otago Pinot Noir has won the top prize at the inaugural New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards.

The Maude Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017 won the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion trophy presented by O-I New Zealand, as well as scooping up the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Pinot Noir trophy and the Best Wine – Central Otago regional trophy, at the New Zealand Wine Awards Dinner held in Wellington on the 3rd November.

Chair of Judges Warren Gibson said the Maude Pinot Noir 2017 was very classy example of Pinot Noir in this year’s competition.

“A delicious and complex young wine, juicy and light on its feet” said Mr Gibson. “Showing beautiful refinement, powdery tannins and loads of controlled power. Pure class.”

The producer of this champion Pinot Noir, Maude Wines, is a family-owned wine company who first planted vines on their Mt Maude Vineyard in 1994. They produce award-winning wines from their winery amidst the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago.

Sarah-Kate and Dan Dineen of Maude Wines.

The revamped New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards competition focuses strongly on celebrating the grape grower and their single vineyard wines, as well as championing New Zealand wine excellence on a larger scale, with a particular lean towards vineyard excellence and regionality.

“The gold medal list and resulting trophies show that our evolving wine industry is beginning to display a very strong relationship between variety, style and wine region. This link appears far more dramatic than in past awards and suggests we are beginning to find a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry”, said Mr Gibson.

The evening, emceed by Jesse Mulligan and Kanoa Lloyd, recognised the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards winners, as well as other industry achievements including Young Viticulturist of the Year, Young Winemaker of the Year and the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2018; Mark Nobilo, Jane Hunter and Ivan Sutherland.

Eight trophies were announced at the dinner, including; New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion presented by O-I, Best Single Vineyard White Wine, JF Hillebrand Best Single Vineyard Red Wine, Label and Litho Ltd Best Open White Wine, QuayConnect Best Open Red Wine, Best Organic White Wine, Best Organic Red Wine and Best Wine of Provenance. This year’s competition saw almost 1,400 wines entered.