Gold medals announced for 2016 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

26 October 2016

Following three days of judging over 1,400 wines, 91 gold medals have been awarded in this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the most pleasing aspect of this year’s awards was the spread of gold medals across a number of varieties and regions.

“Pinot Noir was once again the star performer with 17 golds. Predominantly the wines came from Marlborough and Central Otago, but a Hawke’s Bay Pinot Noir was also in the mix.”

“The top wines from other categories were exceptional, particularly from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Syrah, and the quality of Hawke’s Bay Merlot and Cabernet-based wines took a big step up this year hailing from strong 2013 and 2014 vintages.”

In addition to the 91 gold medals, 268 silver medals and 614 bronze medals were awarded by the judges, bringing the total number of medals awarded across the 17 different classes to 973.The ‘best of the best’ elite gold and trophy winning wines will be revealed at a black tie dinner in Auckland on 12 November. The dinner marks the 30th anniversary of the partnership between New Zealand Winegrowers and naming rights sponsor Air New Zealand.

NOTES TO EDITOR

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are a celebration of excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country's 1,600 grape growers and winemakers, has owned and organised the competition for the past 40 years.

The following lists the gold medal winners and the trophies they are eligible for at the black tie dinner on 12 November:

Gold medals by varietal
Sparkling – 3
Gewürztraminer – 2
Pinot Gris – 8
Riesling – 6
Sauvignon Blanc – 14
Chardonnay – 13
Sweet White Wine – 5
Rosé – 5
Pinot Noir – 17
Merlot, Cabernet and Blends – 8
Syrah – 6
Other Varieties – Single – 4
Total – 91

Gold medals by region
Gisborne – 2
Hawke's Bay – 26
Wellington / Wairarapa – 1
Nelson – 2
Marlborough – 44
Canterbury – 3
Otago – 13
Total – 91

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Champion Pinot Noir
Gold
Brennan B2 Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Eradus Single Vineyard Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Giesen Single Vineyard Ridge Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Lake Chalice The Nest Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Lowburn Ferry Home Block Pinot Noir Central Otago 2014
Nanny Goat Vineyard Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Osawa Winemaker's Collection Pinot Noir Hawke's Bay 2014
Rocky Point Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Scott Base Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Thornbury Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Tohu Awatere Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015

Rabobank New Zealand Champion Chardonnay
Gold
Brancott Estate Letter Series "O" Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Brightwater Vineyards Chardonnay Nelson 2015
Clearview Estate Coastal Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2015
Coopers Creek SV 'Limeworks' Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2015
Giesen The Fuder Clayvin Chardonnay Marlborough 2014
Leveret Estate Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2014
Te Kairanga John Martin Chardonnay Martinborough 2015
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2015
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Chardonnay Gisborne 2015
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2015

Label and Litho Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Gold
Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Fairhall Downs Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Giesen The August Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Hunter's Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Peregrine Sauvignon Blanc Central Otago 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Quay Connect Champion Other White Styles
Gold
Leveret Estate Viognier Hawke's Bay 2015
Nautilus Albariño Marlborough 2016

Fruitfed Supplies Champion Syrah
Gold
Alpha Domus The Barnstormer Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015
Mission Barrique Reserve Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015
Mission Jewelstone Syrah Hawke's Bay 2014
Te Awa Single Estate Syrah Hawke's Bay 2014
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke's Bay 2014

Guala Closures New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Gris
Gold
Mount Riley Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Petane Station Esk Valley Single Vineyard Pinot Gris Hawke's Bay 2015
Stoneleigh Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Thornbury Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Tinpot Hut Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Waipara Hills Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2015

Plumm Glassware Champion Gewürztraminer
Gold
Lawson's Dry Hills Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2015
Whitehaven Gewürztraminer Marlborough 2016

Coast FM Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends
Gold
Church Road McDonald Series Cabernet Sauvignon Hawke's Bay 2014
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot Hawke's Bay 2013
Crossroads Winemakers Collection Cabernet Merlot Hawke's Bay 2013
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Merlot Hawke's Bay 2015
Te Awa Single Estate Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Hawke's Bay 2014
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Hawke's Bay 2014

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Gold
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015
Saint Clair Premium Riesling Marlborough 2015
Vidal Estate Dry Riesling Marlborough 2015

WineWorks Limited Champion Sparkling Wine
Gold
Daniel Le Brun Methode Traditionnelle Blanc de Blancs Marlborough 2011
Deutz Cuvee Blanc De Blancs Methode Traditionnelle Marlborough 2013
Verde Brut Gisborne NV

Wine-Searcher Champion Sweet White Wine
Gold
Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2014
Riverby Estate SV Noble Riesling Marlborough 2015
Seifried Winemakers Collection Sweet Agnes Riesling Nelson 2016
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Late Harvest Riesling Marlborough 2015
Wairau River Reserve Botrytised Riesling Marlborough 2016

Liquorland Champion Rosé
Gold
Akarua RUA Pinot Rosé Central Otago 2016
Domain Road Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé Central Otago 2016
Whitehaven Pinot Rosé Marlborough 2016

New World Champion Open White Wine
Gold
Babydoll Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Brancott Estate Terroir Series Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Esk Valley Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Giesen Riesling New Zealand 2015
Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2015
Hunter's Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Leefield Station Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Mount Riley Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Peregrine Sauvignon Blanc Central Otago 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 20 Cash Block Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Saint Clair Premium Riesling Marlborough 2015
Stoneleigh Latitude Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016
Stoneleigh Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Thornbury Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Chardonnay Marlborough 2015
Waipara Hills Pinot Gris Waipara Valley 2016
Wairau River Pinot Gris Marlborough 2016
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2016

Dish Magazine Champion Open Red Wine
Gold
Alpha Domus The Barnstormer Syrah Hawke's Bay 2015
Church Road McDonald Series Merlot Hawke's Bay 2013
Jackson Estate Vintage Widow Pinot Noir Marlborough 2014
Nanny Goat Vineyard Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015
Yealands Estate Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015

Rangitikei Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Gold
Archangel Chardonnay Central Otago 2015
Beach House Riesling Hawke's Bay 2016
Maude Mt Maude Vineyard Dry Riesling Central Otago 2016
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2014
Waipara Hills Equinox Riesling Waipara Valley 2015

Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Gold
Abbey Cellars Testament Cabernet Merlot Hawke's Bay 2013
Church Road McDonald Series Marzemino Hawke's Bay 2014
Grey Ridge Pinot Rosé Central Otago 2016
Marisco The Craft Series The Journey Pinot Noir Marlborough 2013
Matua Single Vineyard Merlot Hawke's Bay 2013
Mission Reserve Cabernet Franc Hawke's Bay 2014
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir Marlborough 2015
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah Hawke's Bay 2013
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Taylors Pass Pinot Noir 2014
Wet Jacket Rosé Central Otago 2016

For further information contact:
Sarah Szegota, Communications Manager, New Zealand Winegrowers
Mobile: +64 (0)21 453 668
Email: sarahj@nzwikne.co2mj