The trophy winners of the 2011 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards were announced at the awards dinner last night. The trophy results were a confirmation of the dominance of the Villa Maria group in wine judging competitions in this country. The result was no surprise considering the gold medal results announced immediately after the judging conducted at the end of February, where 25 of the 119 golds went to Villa Maria, Vidal, Esk Valley and Thornbury wines, all under the umbrella of the Villa Maria group, owned by Sir George Fistonich. It is notable that the 17 Villa Maria labelled gold medals ranged from the widely available ‘Private Bin’ wines to the limited production ‘Reserve’ and ‘Single Vineyard’ releases.
The Champion Wine of the Show was the Villa Maria ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay 2009. Villa Maria also took the Champion Viognier, Champion Cabernet Sauvignon& Merlot, and Champion Syrah awards. The Vidal ‘Reserve’ Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2009 took the Champion Chardonnay Trophy adding to the result. Villa Maria was also announced ‘Winemaker of the Year’, the award given jointly to Alastair Maling MW, the Group Winemaker and Nick Picone, Senior Auckland Winemaker. And possibly as much a highlight as the trophy awards, Sir George Fistonich was inducted to the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame for services to the wine industry.
Following are the trophy winners: