Huia Vineyard wins best biodynamic winery award in New York

Huia Vineyard owners Mike and Claire Allan have won best natural/biodynamic winery at the New York International Wine ...
DEREK FLYNN/FAIRFAX NZ

Huia Vineyard owners Mike and Claire Allan have won best natural/biodynamic winery at the New York International Wine Competition.

Marlborough organic winegrower Huia Vineyard has won a swath of international awards but the latest was the most surprising, owners Mike and Claire Allan said.

The couple, who have used biodynamic winemaking principals since 1996, won the Natural/Biodynamic Winery of the Year at the New York International Wine Challenge among more than 1000 organic and conventional made wines entered from 30 countries.

"We didn't realise there was an award until we were called at home by our sales agent in Denver, " Claire said.

The awards emblem featured the Statue of Liberty clasping a bottle of wine under one arm while raising a glass of wine in the other arm.

"It's a fun event, with New York humour," she said.

The winery has been recognised at wine shows in the past but not at the New York show which is now in its fifth year.

The most pleasing aspect of the win is that the recognition had come from people in the wine industry, she said.

It is the only international wine competition in the United States which used trade buyers from wine retailers, sommeliers, restaurant owners, hotel beverage directors, distributors and importers to judge the wine.

It is also reward for the stringent compliance requirements the small family-owned organically-certified winery followed to export 90 per cent of its product to 20 international markets.

The 35-hectare vineyard used no herbicides or pesticides to produce the wine varieties certified by the BioGro standard.

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"Our driving force is to be responsible with the land and be in balance with the environment to make wine with as little outside interference as possible," Mike Allan said.

"All wineries have different ways of doing things but our aim is to ultimately stick as little as possible in the wine."

Huia is one of seven organic or biodynamic winegrowers in the region which belong to the Marlborough Natural Winegrowers (MANA).

The New York competition also saw Giesen Brothers judged Marlborough Winery of the Year, and Staete Landt Vineyards awarded Marlborough Pinot Noir Winery of the Year.

 - The Marlborough Express

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