Central Otago wine claims top national award

Young Viticulturist of the Year, Annabel Bulk. PHOTO: ODT FILES
Young Viticulturist of the Year, Annabel Bulk. PHOTO: ODT FILES
A Central Otago pinot noir won top prize - from 1400 wines entered - in the revamped New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards.

Central Otago's Bannockburn area can also lay claim to the top Young Viticulturist of the Year.

The event was held in Wellington on Saturday evening, and more than 450 people attended.

Family-owned Maude Wines, near Wanaka, won the New Zealand Wine of the Year Champion trophy for its Maude Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017. It also scooped the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Pinot Noir trophy and the Best Wine - Central Otago regional trophy.

Bannockburn-based Carrick Winery was the other Central Otago winner, gaining the Best Organic Red Wine trophy for its Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015, as well as the Best Organic White Wine trophy for its Carrick Bannockburn Riesling Central Otago 2017.

Other awards included Young Viticulturist of the Year, won by Annabel Bulk, an assistant viticulturist at Felton Road winery in Bannockburn.

Chairman of judges Warren Gibson said the Maude Pinot Noir 2017 was a "very classy'' example of pinot noir in this year's competition.

He described it as being a delicious and complex young wine, with beautiful refinement, powdery tannins and "loads of controlled power''.

Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen, of Maude Wines, Central Otago, won the top prize, the New Zealand Wine...
Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen, of Maude Wines, Central Otago, won the top prize, the New Zealand Wine of the Year Champion trophy. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Maude Wines first planted vines on its Mt Maude Vineyard in 1994.

Mr Gibson said the gold medal list and resulting trophies reflected that New Zealand's evolving wine industry was beginning to display a very strong relationship between variety, style and wine region.

"This link appears far more dramatic than in past awards and suggests we're beginning to find a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry,'' he said.

The Young Winemaker of the Year award was won by Greg Lane, from Marlborough winery Grove Mill, while the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2018 were Mark Nobilo, Jane Hunter and Ivan Sutherland.

More than 100 wineries from around the country between them entered 1400 bottles of wines for the awards, up by about 50 on last year.

This was the first year the annual awards had been held since a revamp of the competition, which has, under various guises, taken place for the past 43 years. Last year, it was run as two competitions, but it has now been combined into one.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

 

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