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.
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.
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.