The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the premier wine competition in New Zealand. Every year, over 1500 contestants vie to win one of the trophies, with both large and small wineries taking part.
The top wine in each variety receives a gold medal, and all medal winners in each category are then judged again to decide the major category award. There are 14 individual variety trophies, as well as the top trophies: Champion Wine of the Show, Sustainable Wine, Best Open White Wine, Best Open Red Wine, Best Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine and Best Exhibition Red Wine. All sustainably grown and produced medal-winning wines can compete to win the Sustainable Wine of the Show Trophy.
Eligibility to enter for the trophies depends on the number of cases on sale at the time of the competition – large wineries selling more than 250 cases can compete for the Champion Wine of the Show, Best Open White Wine, Best Open Red wine or one of the 14 varietal trophies. Smaller wineries (50 or more cases) may enter the Exhibition categories, competing for Best Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine and Best Exhibition Red Wine.
This years top award winners:
Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy
Julicher Pinot Noir 2008
Bell Gully Champion Sustainable Wine Trophy
Olssens Annieburn Riesling 2009
Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine Trophy
Waipara Hills Southern Cross Selection Central Otago Pinot Noir 2008
New World Champion Open White Wine Trophy
Forrest The Doctors’ Riesling 2009
Corbans Viticulture Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine Trophy
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2006
Kapiti Champion Exhibition Red Wine Trophy
Georgetown Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
To view other awards, and find out stockists of the winners, visit the awards website www.airnzwineawards.co.nz