Hawke's Bay wines have picked up 35 gold medals at the New Zealand International Wine Show with Villa Maria's Bay vineyards coming through with 10 of them.

The 10 Bay golds were part of the 20 golds in total awarded to Villa Maria, to the delight of founder and CEO Sir George Fistonich who said such a result for a single company was pretty well unheard of.

"To be awarded 20 gold medals is testament to the quality and consistency we achieve relentlessly," he said.

"Our winemaking teams meticulously focus on quality in all areas and these results reinforce our unique ability to deliver exceptional wines across multiple price points, varieties and regions."

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Chardonnay was the leading variety for Villa Maria with five golds, and was also the leading variety across the board for Bay winemakers who picked up another 12.
Church Road Winery, Clearview Estate, Esk Valley Estate, Rod McDonald Wines, Vidal Winery, Kim Crawford, Delegat and Cooper's Creek (with Bay-grown fruit) all picked up golds for their chardonnays.

Merlot and merlot predominant blends picked up eight golds.

All up, Church Road took five golds including two in the merlot and merlot Predominant class, Esk Valley won four, Clearview Estate two, Sileni Estate two, Coopers Creek two, Delegat two, Mission Estate two, Vidals two, Rod McDonald two with Te Awa Estate and Kim Crawford also picking up a gold.

The annual awards drew more than 2050 entries from across the country and internationally from Australia, Argentina, Chile, France, Spain, Italy, Germany Portugal, USA, Taiwan and Israel.

The five-strong team of judges, lead by Bob Campbell MW, included Hawke's Bay's John Hancock.
All the gold medal winners now line up for the prestigious trophy awards which will be announced at the awards dinner on October 1.