A Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay won the top prize at the 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards held at the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale. Vidal Estate won the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy for its Vidal Legacy Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013. The wine also won the Rabobank New Zealand Limited Champion Chardonnay Trophy.
Vidal Estate, which is one of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, went on to win a third trophy, the Waitoa Free Range Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine Trophy, for its Vidal Legacy Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2012.
Chair of Judges and Master of Wine, Michael Brajkovich, said the Vidal Legacy Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013 stood out in a very strong line-up of varietal trophy winners.
“The Champion Wine of the Show is a very good example of the new wave of Chardonnay style we are seeing in New Zealand, but still borrows from the great white Burgundy tradition,” Mr Brajkovich said. “It has vibrant peach and nectarine fruit aromas seamlessly integrated with smoky toasted oak.” Vidal Estate was established in 1905 by pioneer Anthony Joseph Vidal who converted stables in Hastings to produce wine. Today these stables are home to the Vidal Estate barrel room.
The second highest accolade of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, was awarded to Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012. This wine also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy.
This year’s competition saw 1,552 wines entered into 16 different classes. The entries were judged by an independent panel of 26 expert wine judges, including two international judges. The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are a celebration of excellence in New Zealand winemaking and are widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition. The competition is owned and organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,600 grape growers and winemakers.
Source: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2014 (http://www.airnzwineawards.co.nz/default,1245,press-releases.sm)