The gold medal winners from the 2011 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, judged 25-27 October have been announced. Steve Smith MW in his final year of his tenure as chairman led judges which included Michael Hill Smith MW from Australia, Charles Metcalfe from the U.K. and Joe Czerwinski from the U.S. to award 83 gold (5.57%), 230 silver (15.45%) and 386 bronze (25.95%) medals from 1489 wines entered. Sustainable wines accounted for 77% of the gold medal winners.
Pinot Noir once again led in the gold medal standings with 17 awarded, followed by 14 for Sauvignon Blanc and 10 for Chardonnay. The aromatic whites also performed with success, 8 Rieslings, 7 Pinot Gris and 5 Gewurztraminers also taking gold. 6 dessert wines were awarded gold medals. As can be expected, Marlborough led in the regional stakes, with 32 gold medals, followed by 22 for Hawke’s Bay and 12 for Central Otago. Nelson performed creditably with 6 gold awards for wines from that region.
Yet again, the Villa Maria group was supreme with 16 golds to Villa Maria wines and one gold for a Vidal label, thus taking over 20% of the gold medals. Saint Clair and Mud House both took three gold medals.
Sustainability is one of the key issues being promoted by the New Zealand wine industry and this is recognised by the awarding of ‘Pure’ medals for wines that are 100% sustainably grown and produced. The Elite Pure Gold and Pure Gold wines go on to compete for the Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy. The trophies will be announced at the awards dinner on 12 November. For a list of the wines eligible for each of the 19 trophies, click here. For the full results, go to the Wine Show website by clicking here.