A pinot noir drop produced from Wairarapa-grown grapes by Hawkes Bay vineyard Craggy Range has been awarded a gold medal in one of the world's top wine competitions.
New Zealand wines took home 25 medals from 27 wines entered - the highest proportion out of 16 countries in the Global Pinot Noir Masters competition, run by the United Kingdom trade magazine The Drinks Business.
The Craggy Range 2011 vintage Prestige Collection "Aroha" from the Te Muna Road vineyard in Martinborough, entered in the "oaked 30" ($58.50-plus) category, was the only New Zealand gold medal.
Also in that category, Tarras Vineyards of Central Otago received a silver medal for "The Canyon 2009".
Craggy Range director of wine Steve Smith said the gold medal - one of six in the category - was a strong endorsement for the family-owned winery's 10-year pinot noir programme.
"It's also an endorsement of the Te Muna Road sub-region as well as Martinborough, which is often the forgotten jewel in New Zealand's pinot noir crown."
Martinborough is in a climate similar to the renowned wine-producing regions of Burgundy and the Loire Valley in France and Marlborough in New Zealand.
However, the Te Muna Road grapes were at a higher elevation which delayed harvest by about a week.
Craggy Range was also one of six New Zealand wineries to be placed silver in the oaked and unoaked pinot noir 20-30 category.