Win for Waipara
Eat and Drink
Marlborough and Hawke's Bay vineyards took home most trophies at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, but one Waipara winery proved its pinot noir is a top drop, writes Abbie Napier.
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are considered the highlight of the wine awards calendar.
This year almost 1400 wines were entered across 16 different classes. While more than 650 medals were awarded, it is the 18 trophies awarded to winning wines in the 16 classes and two Champions of Show categories that are coveted by the industry.
North Canterbury winery Greystone Wines was honoured to win the prestigious Champion Pinot Noir award with its 2012 Pinot Noir.
Greystone's Nik Mavromatis says while the region is small, recognition of the quality wine it is producing is worldwide. The grapes for the winning pinot noir vines are grown on the clay and limestone slopes of the Waipara Valley.
Last month the same wine was ranked among the top 12 in New Zealand by Gourmet Traveller magazine.
Judges for the Air New Zealand wine awards, described the wine as "opulent and powerful".
Greystone winemaker Dom Maxwell received the trophy at the black tie awards dinner in Queenstown.
"We're lucky to have a team that gives its all, from the first cut for pruning to the bottle being sealed, and I think people appreciate that effort," he says.
Greystone also took home the Elite Gold medal for its Thistle Ridge pinot noir label.
Only 16 of the 18 trophies were awarded this year, the Champion Gewurtztraminer and Champion Other Red Styles being withheld.
Marlborough's Nautilus Cuvee Brut NV received the premier prize Champion Wine of Show, with Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012 declared Reserve Wine of Show.
Villa Maria also took Champion Chardonnay (Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2012), Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine (Single Vineyard Kaltern Chardonnay 2012), and Champion Merlot Cabernet and Blends (Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010).
This year's 25 strong judging panel included chair Michael Brajkovich (Kumeu River), Ben Glover (Mud House), Jim Harre and Anna Flowerday (Te Whare Ra Wines).
- © Fairfax NZ News
Where do you get the best beer in Christchurch?Related story: Top 10 craft beer pubs