Chardonnay takes champion title
A chardonnay made from grapes grown in the crater of an extinct volcano was named the champion wine at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards in Blenheim last night.
The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011, grown by Brett Donaldson in a South Auckland vineyard, also won champion chardonnay and the sustainability awards.
The annual awards recognise the role of grape-growers and viticulturists in producing high-quality wines.
Marlborough grape-growers were among those recognised for viticultural excellence at the awards dinner at the Marlborough Convention Centre.
Yealands Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012, grown by Peter Yealands, won the Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy; No 1 Family Estate Cuvée Remy NV, grown by Daniel Le Brun, won the Champion Sparkling Wine Trophy; and the Esk Valley Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011, grown by Jerome Waldron of Waldron Vineyard, was awarded the Champion Riesling Trophy.
Six judges tasted and marked the 534 entries at the weekend for characteristics including colour, aroma, palate and structure.
Judging chairman Olly Masters said the overall quality of wines was high.
"The nature of the Bragato Wine Awards, with a higher proportion of smaller producers and lower-volume wines, does allow a great range of styles to show well."
As well as the trophies, 49 gold medals, 109 silver and 226 bronze medals were awarded.
The winners of the Markham's Young Viticulturist of the Year were also announced after they delivered a three-minute speech to the 300 delegates at the awards dinner, held at the Marlborough Convention Centre.
The winner was Braden Crosby, of Borthwick Estate in Martinborough, with runner-up Matt Duggan, of Treasury Estate in Marlborough.
Recipients of the Bragato Trust Fellowship Study Grant were also announced. Dan Andrews received the $3500 EIT Undergraduate Award, Jackie Sammonds received the $7000 Lincoln Postgraduate Scholarship and Dr Mark Krasnow was awarded the $13,000 EIT Research Fellowship.
Central Otago viticulturist Robin Dicey was made a Fellow of New Zealand Winegrowers at the dinner last night.
The 2012 trophy results are:
Champion wine and Bragato Trophy: Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011; Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland; Brett Donaldson.
Reserve champion and Richard Smart Trophy: Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010; Rockburn Wines, Central Otago; Chris James, Richard Bunton and Paul Halford.
Sustainability Trophy: Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011; Ihumatao Vineyard; Brett Donaldson.
Champion sauvignon blanc and Spence Brothers Trophy: Yealands Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012; Yealands Estate; Peter Yealands.
Champion chardonnay and Bill Irwin Trophy: Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2011; Ihumatao Vineyard; Brett Donaldson.
Champion sparkling wine: No 1 Family Estate Cuvée Remy NV; No 1 Family Estate, Marlborough; Daniel Le Brun.
Champion dessert wine: Pasquale Shrivel 2011; Kurow Estate and Riverside Vineyard, Oamaru; Antonio Pasquale.
Champion riesling and Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy: Esk Valley Marlborough Dry Riesling 2011; Waldron Vineyard, Marlborough; Jerome Waldron.
Champion pinot gris and Brother Cyprian Trophy: Greystone Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2011; Greystone Wines, Waipara Valley; Bruce Thomas and Nick Gill.
Champion other white wine: Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño Bell-Ringer 2012; Bell Vineyard, Gisborne; Doug and Delwyn Bell.
Champion pinot noir and Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy: Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010; Rockburn Wines, Central Otago; Chris James, Richard Bunton, Paul Halford.
Champion classical red wine and Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy: Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Merlot 2010; Mere Road, Hawke's Bay; Paul McEvoy.
Champion merlot: Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Merlot 2009; Omahu Gravels Vineyard, Hawke's Bay; Phil Holden.
Champion syrah: Mills Reef Elspeth Gimblett Gravels Syrah 2010; Trust Vineyard, Hawke's Bay; Paul McEvoy.
Champion other red wine: Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Malbec 2009; Omahu Gravels Vineyard, Hawke's Bay; Phil Holden.
- The Marlborough Express