Gold medals announced for the inaugural New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards

Following three days of judging over 1300 wines, 77 gold medals have been awarded in the inaugural New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards.

Chair of the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards Warren Gibson says he was very pleased to see a spread of gold medals throughout the majority of the New Zealand’s wine regions. The larger areas of Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago took out the lion’s share of the awards but golds were also given to Gisborne, Martinborough, Nelson, Canterbury and North Otago.

“The gold medal list shows that our maturing and evolving wine industry begins to display a very strong relationship between variety, style and wine region. This link appears far more dramatic than in past awards and suggests we are beginning to find a true sense of place.”

Marlborough dominated the Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Sparkling and aromatics classes. Central Otago similarly was prominent in Riesling and Pinot Noir, as has been the recent norm. Chardonnay was shared between Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough and the full-bodied red classes were very strong and as expected, dominated by Hawke’s Bay.

“The average quality of the wines was very high, particularly considering the recent challenging vintages in a number of regions”, said Mr Gibson.

In addition to the 77 gold medals, 236 silver medals and 601 bronze medals were awarded by a team of 29 judges. There was a total of 914 medals awarded across 16 classes, including the newly introduced Provenance Class, in which wines were judged over three vintages.

The 77 gold medal winning wines are now vying for the 13 varietal trophies and 11 regional trophies with the winners of these trophies announced on Wednesday 24 October.

The final act will be the awarding of the eight major trophies for the New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards. These will be announced at the New Zealand Wine Awards dinner on Saturday 3 November and include; New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Champion, Best Single Vineyard White Wine, Best Single Vineyard Red Wine, Best Open White Wine, Best Open Red Wine, Best Organic White Wine, Best Organic Red Wine and Best Wine of Provenance.

More information on New Zealand Wine of the Year™ Awards can be found at