Fewer golds from smaller vintage
Marlborough is yet again the big winner in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.
The medals have been announced following three days of deliberation and tasting of more than 1300 wines.
A total of 794 medals were awarded, including 80 gold medals, 221 silver medals and 493 bronze medals.
Marlborough won 41 gold medals, slightly down from last year’s tally of 44.
But the number of gold medals awarded across the board were down from last year’s total of 91, and NZ Wine global events manager Angela Willis said the number of entries were down from last year.
‘‘We were down 50 or so entries because of the smaller vintage, so we’re dependent on nature,’’ Willis said.
Pinot noir was also a big winner again in this year’s edition of the awards. The new chair of judges Warren Gibson said the pinot noir wines predominantly came from Central Otago, but Marlborough and Martinborough were also in the mix.
‘‘Marlborough has performed very strongly [overall] this year ... but it is good to see Central Otago
"We were down 50 or so entries because of the smaller vintage, so we're dependent on nature." NZ Wine global events manager Angela Willis
and Hawkes Bay bringing in plenty of gold medals too,’’ Gibson said.
Hawkes Bay suffered the biggest drop from the regions as it received 14 gold medals, down from 24 last year.
Twenty pinot noir wines were awarded gold and despite the category being well ahead of the rest, Gibson said wines in other categories were ‘‘exceptional’’, particularly from chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot, cabernet and blends.
The ‘best of the best’ trophywinning wines will be announced at an awards dinner on November 25 at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Napier.
The Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show will also be announced at the same dinner.