Hawke's Bay wins big at the New Zealand Wine Awards   15 Nov 2019

A Hawke’s Bay Syrah has won the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion 2019 trophy, while a Hawke’s Bay winery has taken out the inaugural New Zealand Cellar Door of the Year Award. Trophies were announced at the New Zealand Wine Awards held in Blenheim last night.

The Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke’s Bay 2018 won the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion trophy presented by O-I New Zealand, as well as taking out the winejobsonline.com Champion Syrah trophy. Villa Maria also scooped up the Champion Wine of Provenance 2019 trophy with their Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah, Hawke’s Bay 2006/2013/2018.

Chair of Judges Warren Gibson described the winning wine as, “Immediately appealing and seductive on the nose. Delicious and savoury on the palate. Exceptionally well crafted.”

Further spotlight shone on the Hawke’s Bay region as local winery Church Road scooped up the inaugural New Zealand Cellar Door of the Year Award. The award was developed to recognise the outstanding visitor experiences that our wineries’ cellar doors offer both international and domestic visitors, with 32 submissions received across eight regions. Church Road Winery was awarded the trophy as their cellar door celebrated wine in the past and present with an eye on the future, with a wide range of different, immersive and interactive experiences available for visitors.

The refreshed New Zealand Wine of the Year™ competition aims to celebrate the entire New Zealand wine industry with a particular lean towards vineyard excellence and regionality. “The increasing relevance of organic grape-growing and a move towards a single vineyard focus in our industry has been rewarded in this format,” said Gibson.

This was highlighted as Central Otago winery Peregrine scooped up both Organic trophies on offer. The Champion Organic Red Wine 2019 was awarded to their 2017 Pinot Noir, while the Champion Organic White Wine 2019 trophy went to their 2018 Riesling. They were also awarded the QuayConnect Champion Open Red Wine trophy for their 2018 Saddleback Pinot Noir.

“These results reflect the enormous amount of passion and effort our team pour into our wines, from ground level right through into the marketplace, and we are delighted to have been recognised by the industry,” said Peregrine CEO Fraser McLachlan.

Seifried Estate from Nelson continued their winning streak, picking up the Label and Litho Limited Champion Open White Wine 2019 trophy for their 2019 Sauvignon Blanc. Their renowned wine first won accolades earlier this month when it was awarded the Antipodes Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy 2019.

The evening, emceed by Jesse Mulligan and Kanoa Lloyd, recognised the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ winners, as well as other industry achievements including Young Viticulturist of the Year, Young Winemaker of the Year and the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2019; Steve Green, Bob Campbell MW, and Annie and James Millton.

Eight New Zealand Wine of the Year™ trophies were announced on the evening; also including Champion Single Vineyard White Wine, and Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Single Vineyard Red Media Release 17 November 2019 Wine. This year's competition saw over 1,200 wines entered.

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