Waimea strikes gold at wine awards

TOP TIPPLE: Waimea Estate's Ben Bolitho and Trudy Shields.
TOP TIPPLE: Waimea Estate's Ben Bolitho and Trudy Shields.

Waimea Estates has capped off a stellar year, winning Nelson's only two gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The family-owned winery's gewurztraminer 2012 and gruner veltliner 2012 were among 97 wines out of 1367 entered to win gold in what is widely regarded as the country's premier competition.

They are now in the running to take trophies for the top wines to be announced at an awards dinner on November 24.

Waimea general manager Ben Bolitho said he was ''over the moon'' with the company's latest success, as the judging had been tough.He was particularly excited to pick up a gold for gruner veltliner, a relatively new Austrian-style wine, which had a lot of potential. They plan to plant another 1.4 hectares of the variety next year.

They had also done well to repeat their success with gewurztraminer because this year had been a difficult vintage with a greatly reduced yield, he said. Waimea won a trophy at the awards in 2010 for its gewurztraminer, while its 2011 vintage has also done well in other competitions.

Mr Bolitho said Waimea had enjoyed a great year, winning a swag of awards and taking its overall tally up to 106 gold medals and 20 trophies.