For instance, at the Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards, the show differentiates between Merlot, Merlot-Dominant Blends, and Cabernet Sauvignon-Dominant Blends, to any keen wine enthusiast all being quite different in their expressions. And fittingly, the show awards trophies for each of these categories. The varieties that are vital to the district’s surviival and success are scruitined with grater care, such as Chardonnay, Viognier and Syrah. This greater focus can also be seen in the Marlborough Wine Show being judged this week, where sub-regional provenance of Sauvignon Blanc is recognised and judged separately.
Regional wine shows usually employ local judges predominantly, and these people have a much finer appreciation of styles and developments within the region. (Of course, outside perspectives are engaged, and influential guest judges must be involved.) And the numbers of wines being judged at these regional shows are much lower, reducing time pressures on the judges. www.hawkesbaywineawards.co.nz