rsz_image_-_anz_goldJudges have awarded a record 112 gold medals to wines from around the country at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

This is the highest tally of gold medals handed out since the national wine competition began in 1974. This year’s competition saw 1,552 wines entered into 16 different classes. In addition to the 112 gold medals, 226 silver medals and 411 bronze medals were also handed out, bringing the total number of medals awarded to 749.

Pinot Noir was the strongest performer in this year’s competition, winning 27 gold medals, followed by Sauvignon Blanc with 19 gold medals, Chardonnay with 17, and Riesling with 10.

Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said the Pinot Noir was “outstanding” with the excellent 2013 vintage contributing to 18 of the 27 medals. Brajkovich said there were exceptional wines across all classes. “The surge in popularity of Rosé wines is emphasised by a record number of entries and three very attractive gold medal winners,” he said.

New Zealand’s largest wine-producing region, Marlborough, led the way with its wines winning 50 gold medals. Hawke’s Bay also had a solid showing with a total 26 gold medals, followed by Central Otago with 20.

The competition is owned and organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,600 grape growers and winemakers.

More results, including the details of the Elite Gold medal and Trophy winners, and further analysis will be in the next issue of New Zealand Liquor News magazine.

Source: Air New Zealand Wine Awards

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