2018 Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards Winners Announced

The annual Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards wine awards were held in the picturesque Waikoko Gardens of the Showgrounds Hawke’s Bay Tomoana in Hastings. Now in its 18th year, the black-tie awards attracted a sell-out crowd of 500 of Hawke’s Bay’s winemaking and wine-loving community to celebrate the region’s winemaking champions. Church Road and Villa Maria Group were front runners of the night, picking up 6 and 9 trophies respectively with the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2017 taking out the prestigious “Champion Wine of Show”. New for this year was the Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers “Hall of Fame”, introduced to celebrate those who have demonstrated exemplary commitment, innovation and dedication to growing the Hawke’s Bay wine industry. The inaugural 2018 winner was John Buck, owner and founder of Te Mata Estate whose announcement was met with a standing ovation from the floor. Sally Jackson, General Manager of the Hawke’s Bay A & P Society who own and event manage the Bayleys Hawke’s Bay Wine Awards said they were very proud of the awards success to date. “This is New Zealand’s longest running regional competition and is vital to the overall objectives of the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society. By being able to facilitate the celebration of winemaking excellence in Hawke’s Bay we are also able to endorse the valued contribution of viticulture and the primary sector to the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of Hawke’s Bay which is really what the A&P Society is all about”. Rod Easthope, Winemaker and Owner of Easthope Family Winegrowers, in his second year as Chairman of Judges said that having judged many wine shows in New Zealand and abroad, it is fair to say that the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayley’s Wine Awards are the most exciting to be involved in. He stated, “The sheer diversity of wines from our vast region of differing soils and microclimates make for two full days of fascinating evaluation.” Easthope explained “There are two prime roles of a Wine Show, firstly to recognise the region’s best wines and secondly, to help promote the region’s best to the wine loving public here and in our export markets. This can’t happen without a thoughtfully assembled panel of judges. In the past, local winemakers dominated the panels, however, the trend in recent years is to utilise a greater diversity of wine experience, whether that be geographical or vocational. Having a balance of technical palates alongside commentators, who often have more contemporary knowledge of what works in the market, is now critical to ensure relevant results. We were fortunate to be able to assemble a panel of 13 judges from Hawke’s Bay, greater New Zealand and overseas who did a fantastic job selecting worthy winners” Official Results: Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards Champion Wine of the Show – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2017 Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayleys Wine Awards Reserve Champion Wine of the Show – Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2016 Jenny Nillson House of Travel Hawke’s Bay Cellar Door Trinity Hill Logan Stone – Champion Merlot – Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2015 No9 – Champion Re Blends Cabernet Sauvignon Dominant – Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels “The Gimblett” 2016 Bay Mazda Hawke’s Bay – Champion Red Blends Merlot Dominant – Te Awa Single Estate Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 Fluidex Transport Ltd – Champion Syrah – Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2016 Moore Stephens Markham’s – Champion Pinot Noir  – Best in Class: Sileni Estates Estate Selection Plateau Pinot Noir 2017 Great Things Grow Here – Champion Other Premium Red Varietals and Blends – Church Road 1 Malbec 2016 ATI Engineering Ltd – Champion Chardonnay – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2017 Hawke’s Bay Wine Company – Champion Sauvignon Blanc and / or Semillon – Best in Class: Church Road Sauvignon Blanc 2017 Somerset Smith Partners – Champion Pinot Gris – Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Pinot Gris 2018 Kauri NZ Ltd – Champion Premium White Varietals – Villa Maria Single Vineyard Braided Gravels Albariño 2017 Hurford Parker Insurance Brokers Ltd – Champion Sweet Wines – Leveret Reserve Hawke’s Bay Late Harvest Viognier 2016 Langley Twigg – Champion Outstanding Wine of the Provenance Class  – Sacred Hill Special Selection Riflemans Chardonnay 2016 / 2009/ 2006 Connec+ – Champion Rosé  – Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Rosé 2018 Wineworks HB – Champion Sparkling Wine – Church Road Blanc de Noir 2014 NZ Frost Fans – Champion Export Wine of the Show – Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2015 Vintech Pacific Wine Technologies – Champion Commercial White or Rosé Wine – Esk Valley Hawkes Bay Rosé 2018 O-I New Zealand – Champion Commercial Red Wine – Church Road McDonald Series Merlot 2015 EIT – Best Student Wine – Sanne Witteveen Methode Rosé Posted: 18 October 2018