Quality of wine shines through at Air New Zealand Wine Awards· Press Releases
Nov 13th, 2013 | By Jayson Bryant | Category: Press Releases
New Zealand wineries have again impressed judges at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with wines of outstanding quality making up the 111 gold medal winners.
Pinot Noir was the strongest performer, winning 22 gold medals, while 20 gold medals were awarded for Sauvignon Blanc and 17 for Chardonnay.
The aromatics classes, consisting of Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier and Albariño, also shone in this year’s competition, bagging a total of 25 gold medals. The judges were impressed by the sparkling class, which was awarded 19 medals, including six gold.
Chair of Judges, Michael Brajkovich MW, said New Zealand winemakers are producing world-class wines across an exciting and diverse range of varieties.
“The bar is always being raised in the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and this year is no exception,” Michael says. “The wines in this competition seem to improve year on year, and this year there were some truly outstanding entries. It’s a good reflection of the evolution of the New Zealand wine sector.
This year’s competition saw 1,379 wines entered across 16 different classes. A total of 655 medals were awarded – 111 gold, 196 silver and 348 bronze. New Zealand’s largest wine-producing region, Marlborough, led the way in the gold medal count this year with its wines winning 55 gold medals. One hundred and nine silver and 180 bronze medals were also awarded to Marlborough wines, bringing the region’s total medal tally to 344.
Hawke’s Bay also had a strong showing with a total of 117 medals – 22 gold, 39 silver and 56 bronze. Central Otago won 82 medals –18 gold, 21 silver and 43 bronze.
Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards competition is well known for its rigorous judging process. It is considered the country’s most prestigious wine competition and is regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.
This year the judging panel consisted of 26 judges. They included two international judges, US wine writer Dan Berger and Swedish Master of Wine Madeleine Stenwreth, and 13 senior judges.
“The success of any wine competition really revolves around the quality of the people you have judging, and we are blessed to have the very best people,” Michael says.
The elite gold medal and trophy winners will be announced at an awards dinner on the 23rd of November in Queenstown.