The 2012 Hawke's Bay winegrowing season wasn't a startling one, but it has turned out to be a scorcher for Trinity Hill that has wowed the judges at the prestigious Sydney International Wine Competition.
For the second time in three years the Fernhill winery has scooped the Best Wine of the Competition trophy in a competition dominated by entries from Australian wineries.
In 2012, the 2010 Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Syrah picked up the biggest prize of them all and last Friday night at the awards presentations in Sydney a delighted owner and founder John Hancock was on hand to hear the news the 2012 Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Chardonnay had come top.
He was equally delighted the wine had triumphed with a trifecta of accolades - as well as the Joy Lake Memorial Trophy for Best Wine of the Competition it also picked up the Wine Society of Australia Perpetual Trophy for Best White Wine and the Schenker Australia Perpetual Trophy for Best Medium Bodied Dry White Table Wine.
"I am extremely proud of our vineyard and our winery teams who have crafted such an amazing wine," Mr Hancock said as he savoured the result.
"To have received the Best Wine of the Competition award twice in three years is an incredible achievement."
He said the awards were notable not just for Trinity Hill, but for Hawke's Bay as well.
A fortnight ago after Villa Maria took out a string of awards, several involving Hawke's Bay wines, at the Easter Wine Show in Auckland, senior winemaker Nick Picone said the wins were notable in that they came from 2011 and 2012 vintages which had been tough for winemakers to work with - but that they showed success could be achieved against the grape-growing odds.
Trinity Hill's chief winemaker Warren Gibson agreed, saying while the 2012 vintage was "challenging" for the whole Bay region it was always possible to craft a fine wine. "We have some exceptional vineyard sites and a fantastic team to pull it all together - so we have shown that often production is more influential to making great wine than vintage."
Mr Hancock said it was equally satisfying that all the hard work out into a variety (chardonnay) that was hugely important to Trinity Hill had been recognised and the winemaking team had been "ably" led by Mr Gibson.
Alpha Domus, which is situated in the Bridge Pa "triangle" region and which began planting in 1991, picked up the Fesq and Company Perpetual trophy for Best Medium Bodied Dry Red Table Wine for its "The Barnstormer" Syrah 2012.
There was also more award success: Mission Estate for its Hawke's Bay Riesling 2013, Crossroads for its Milestone Series Pinot Noir 2012, Church Road for the 2012 Chardonnay, Sacred Hill for its 2012 Halo Chardonnay and CJ Pask for its Declaration Cabernet Merlot Malbec 2010 and Declaration Syrah 2010.