Local winemaker wins top award

A Western Bay winery has been awarded top honours in an international wine competition.

Morton Estate Wines has won a gold medal for its Blanc de Blanc 2000 in the Sparkling Wine category of the annual Spiegelau International Wine Competition.

The Katikati winery was awarded one of seven gold medal in the category.

A Hawke's Bay Syrah took the top spot at the international competition, announced at the awards ceremony in Auckland last night.

The Vidal Reserve Series Hawke's Bay Syrah 2010 took out the Champion Shiraz/Syrah award and the Champion Wine of the Show.

Judges described the winning wine as deeply coloured with anose of ripe, sweet tobacco and a gentle hint of cedar, powerful, yet with a luscious silky texture.

The Vidal Reserve Series, which is part of the Villa Maria group, was made by winemaker Hugh Crighton. The wine retails at around $30 a bottle.

Now in its second year, the Spiegelau International Wine Competition attracted more than 1,100 New Zealand and offshore entries including wines from Spain, Portugal, France, South America and Italy.

At the awards 16 trophies were awarded, including Champion Wine of the Show and Champion Wine Producer, which was awarded jointly to Mount Riley and Villa Maria.

Chief judge Mike DeGaris, of Sydney, said each judging panel sampled hundreds of wines over the three days and went through more than 3,000 style-specific Spiegelau glasses in the process.

"We saw a diverse range of wines, many of outstanding quality. The Methode Traditionnelle, Riesling, Chardonnay and Shiraz/Syrah classes were highlights and many of these wines come at a very affordable price point.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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