Wine showcase lures 500 entries

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE: Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin and Wine Competition co-director Belinda Jackson toast day one of the judging at the Marlborough Wine Show.
CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE: Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin and Wine Competition co-director Belinda Jackson toast day one of the judging at the Marlborough Wine Show.

Judges began tasting more than 500 Marlborough wines yesterday for this year's Marlborough Wine Show.

The two-day event, now in its fourth year, is on at the Marlborough Convention Centre in Blenheim.

It was set up by the Wine Competition, which was founded by Belinda Jackson and Margaret Cresswell of Blenheim.

Jackson said the event was established in 2011 to show the sub-regional and style diversity of Marlborough sauvignon blanc and showcase the region's other grape varieties and wine styles.

Three panels of judges, led by Ara Wines chief winemaker Jeff Clarke, will taste 515 wines over two days. Clarke is joined by New Zealand Master of Wine Jane Skilton and international judge Waston's Wine general manager Jeremy Stockman of Hong Kong.

This year, the Marlborough Museum Legacy Award will be awarded for the second time.

Marlborough Museum chief executive Steve Austin said the award was about celebrating excellence over time.

"We need to worship the ashes and keep the flame alive."

Wine was Marlborough's icon and the Marlborough Wine Show was a "unique learning opportunity to develop knowledge across the industry".

The award is presented to a wine company for three outstanding vintages of one wine within a 10-year period. Last year's winner was Johanneshof Cellars' Gewurztraminer.

This year, 16 wine companies were in the running for the award.

All leftover wine would be available for wine industry people to taste between 5pm and 6pm tonight at the Marlborough Convention Centre. Entry is by gold coin donation, with proceeds going to Marlborough Riding for the Disabled.

Any unopened wine would be donated to the Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust, then auctioned

from 6pm tonight at the Marlborough Convention Centre.

Money raised from the auction would go towards funding industry research and development projects through grants and scholarships.

Medals and trophies would be announced at an awards dinner on November 8.

The Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award would also be announced.

The Marlborough Express