The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Royal Easter Show Wine Awards winners revealed

The Royal Easter Show Wine Awards took place at The Pullman Hotel in Auckland last week, with Hawke’s Bay Church Road taking home Champion Wine of the Show for its McDonald Series Chardonnay 2018.

Other notable winners included Church Road’s Chris Scott who was named Winemaker of the Year and Whitehaven Marlborough ‘Greg’ Awatere Valley Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019 which was named Champion Export Wine.

Now in its 68th year, the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards is the country’s oldest wine competition and Awards Director Terry Dunleavy says the judges were impressed by overall general high quality of entries this year, particularly in the varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

“Not only was there an increase in the number of Gold Medals award to the top Sauvignon Blancs, but the wines revealed greater diversity of styles, more complexity and showed stronger evidence of the flinty, minerally flavours that the variety can achieve,” he says. “With Chardonnay, there was this year a less heavy-handed approaching to the winemaking, allowing the variety to better express New Zealand’s natural cool climate capacity to accentuate fruit flavours and varietal characters.”

Dunleavy says this year’s show demonstrated why there is such a demand from more than 100 countries throughout the world for New Zealand wines. “[The] clean and distinctive varietal characters distinguish our wines from those of older, longer established wine regions that sell for prices much higher than ours.

“Not only is our future as a wine export nation assured and capable of further growth, but when all the other goodies that we export come to a table overseas, it is only the bottle of wine with its label intact that proudly proclaims its country of origin,” he says.

The 2020 judging panel consisted of 22 judges, including eight associate judges in training and Jane Faulkner from Australia. For more information, head to

The winners… 

Champion Wine of the Show

Church Road McDonald Series Chardonnay 2018

Champion Sparkling

Petite Cordon by Maison Mumm NV

Champion Riesling

Wairau River Summer Riesling 2019

Champion Pinot Gris

Saddleback Pinot Gris 2019

Champion Rosé

Babydoll Rosé 2019

Champion Sauvignon Blanc

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Champion Wine, Other Varieties

Matawhero Church House Chenin Blanc 2018

Champion Pinot Noir

VALLI Bendigo Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018

Champion Gewürztraminer

Old Coach Road Nelson Gewürztraminer 2019

Champion Medium Sweet or Sweet Wine

Urlar Late Harvest Riesling Gladstone 2019

Champion Chardonnay

Church Road McDonald Series Chardonnay 2018

Champion Merlot & Blends

Esk Valley Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon & Blends

Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec 2018

Champion Export Wine

Whitehaven Marlborough ‘Greg’ Awatere Valley Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2019

Heritage Rosebowl

Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling 2009, 2014, 2019

Champion Syrah

Church Road Grand Reserve Syrah 2017

Best Presented Screwcap Wine Bottle

Lawson’s Dry Hills Pink Pinot 2019

Gold Medal for Winemaker of the Year

Chris Scott (Church Road)