L-R Dan and Sarah-Kate Dineen from Maude Wines

The inaugural New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards have been named with a Central Otago Pinot Noir taking the top prize.

The Maude Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017 won the New Zealand Wine of the Year Champion trophy presented by O-I New Zealand, as well as scooping up the Fruitfed Supplies Champion Pinot Noir trophy and the Best Wine – Central Otago regional trophy.

Chair of Judges Warren Gibson said the Maude Pinot Noir 2017 was a very classy example of Pinot Noir in this year’s competition.

“A delicious and complex young wine, juicy and light on its feet,” said Gibson. “Showing beautiful refinement, powdery tannins and loads of controlled power. Pure class.”

Maude Wines is a family-owned wine company which first planted vines on its Mt Maude Vineyard in 1994 among the stunning back drop of Lake Wanaka in Central Otago.

The revamped New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards focus strongly on celebrating the grape grower and single vineyard wines, as well as championing New Zealand wine excellence on a larger scale, with a particular lean towards vineyard excellence and regionality.

“The gold medal list and resulting trophies show that our evolving wine industry is 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 are beginning to find a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry,” says Gibson.

The New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards also celebrated other industry achievements including Young Viticulturist of the Year, Young Winemaker of the Year and the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2018; Mark Nobilo, Jane Hunter and Ivan Sutherland.

The New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards is the official national wine competition of the New Zealand wine industry, replacing the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and the Bragato Wine Awards, two of the industry’s major wine competitions.

This year’s competition saw almost 1,400 wines entered and a total of eight trophies awarded.

New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018

Best Organic White Wine: Carrick Bannockburn Riesling Central Otago 2017

Best Organic Red Wine: Carrick Bannockburn Pinot Noir Central Otago 2015

Best Single Vineyard White Wine: Isabel Estate Wild Barrique Chardonnay Marlborough 2017

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Best Single Vineyard Red Wine: Craggy Range Pinot Noir Te Muna Road Vineyard Martinborough 2016

Label and Litho Limited Best Open White Wine: Dashwood Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2018

QuayConnect Best Open Red Wine: Waipara Hills Pinot Noir Rosé Waipara Valley 2018

Best Wine of Provenance: Auntsfield Cob Cottage Chardonnay 2016, 2010, 2006

New Zealand Wine of the Year Champion Sponsored by O-I New Zealand: Maude Pinot Noir Central Otago 2017

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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