Marlborough wines claim top awards

03:20, Mar 11 2014
George Geris
Cheers:Villa Maria chief winemaker George Geris and Marlborough viticulturist Stuart Dudley celebrate their trophy win with a glass of their 2010 Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough Pinot Noir

Villa Maria scored a hat-trick across the ditch on Saturday night, when its Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough Pinot Noir from their 2010 vintage was awarded three of the 26 trophies up for grabs at the 2014 Sydney International Wine Competition.

As well as winning Best Pinot Noir, the wine also took home the titles Best Red Wine of the Competition and Reserve Champion Runner Up to the Best Wine of the Competition.

Villa Maria chief winemaker George Geris said receiving three trophies was a huge achievement: "2010 was one of the best years for our pinot noir. The vineyards were beautifully balanced - not too heavy."

They had no idea their pinot noir would win a trophy, let alone three: "We never expected it. It's amazing and great for Villa and Marlborough."

The fruit for the wine was grown by one of their contractors, John Rutherford. His vineyard is located in the foothills of Ben Morven Valley.

Mr Geris said the Marlborough team celebrated the win with a few glasses of pinot last night.


Villa Maria was not the only winery to do well.

Yealands Estate received a trophy (Best Value Dry White Table Wine) for their Land Made Series Pinot Gris 2013.

Yealands Estate chief winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington, who attended the award ceremony in Sydney, said she was very surprised when they named Yealands pinot gris as a trophy winner.

"We are all very, very excited. It has come at a good time, right before the 2014 vintage.

"It has motivated the team. It is even more of a testament to the work they do."

Saint Clair Family Estate also walked away with a trophy - for Most Successful Entrant of the Competition. This was the second time Saint Clair had won the award.

They won nine medals at the Sydney wine competition for their rieslings, sauvignon blancs, pinot noirs and gruner veltliner.

Saint Clair Family members Tony and Kate Ibbotson attended the ceremony to receive the awards.

Mr Ibbotson was unavailable for comment yesterday but said in a statement that he was "thrilled" to receive the trophy on behalf of the team at Saint Clair Family Estate.

Ara Wines were also received a trophy win for the Best Sauvignon Blanc Wine.

Their trophy-winning wine, Ara Select Blocks Sauvignon Blanc 2012, was picked from their single estate vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The fruit was chosen from small parcels off individual blocks of the oldest vines within the vineyard.

Ara Wines chief winemaker Jeff Clarke accepted the trophy on behalf of the team on Saturday.

''The Sydney International Wine Show is dedicated to matching great wines with food, and that is exactly what we strive to achieve when crafting the Ara Select Blocks wines - a beautiful pairing with quality cuisine.''

Ara Wines also walked away with two medals for their sauvignon blanc and their pinot noir.

In total, Marlborough wineries took home six trophies and 93 medals from the international wine competition.

This story has been updated from the original.

The Marlborough Express