Eveline Harvey is nzherald.co.nz's travel editor.

New Zealand wines win top international awards

Two New Zealand wines have been named among the best in their classes at the annual International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London.

Clifford Bay
Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008 was awarded the International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and Kennedy Point Waiheke Syrah 2007 won the equivalent award for a syrah.

Clifford Bay's award-winning wine was made by winemakers Glenn Thomas and Stu Marfell from grapes grown in Marlborough's Awatere Valley.

Vavasour Wines Limited CEO Peter Scutts said he was delighted with Clifford Bay's accolades, particularly the international award which he described as "the supreme award for a sauvignon".

"There is one other competition in the UK which is not quite as big (as the wine challenge)... and we won the equivalent trophy in that award in 2007 with our Vavasour wine," he said.

"We were delighted with our 2008 vintage and the Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc has been getting better and better.

"It's great to see one of the world's elite competitions, with an outstanding judging panel, recognising this."

The International Wine Challenge is one of the world's largest and most influential independent wine competitions.

More than 9500 entries were received this year and were judged by more than 300 wine experts including Masters of Wine, winemakers, senior wine buyers and wine writers.

Both the Clifford Bay sauvignon and the Kennedy Point syrah also won other trophies, with the former taking out the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and the New Zealand White Wine Trophy and the latter winning the New Zealand Red Trophy and the New Zealand Syrah Trophy.

Full list of NZ trophy winners at this year's IWC:

New Zealand Chardonnay Trophy: Ata Rangi Craighall Chardonnay 2007

Wairarapa Pinot Noir Trophy: Gladstone Vineyards Gladstone Pinot Noir 2007

Central Otago Pinot Noir Trophy: Hinton Estate Vineyard Barrel Selection 2007

New Zealand Red Trophy, New Zealand Syrah Trophy and International Syrah Trophy: Kennedy Point Waiheke Syrah 2007

Hawkes Bay Syrah Trophy: Mission Estate Reserve Syrah 2007

Marlborough Pinot Noir Trophy and New Zealand Pinot Noir Trophy: Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir 2007

New Zealand White Trophy, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and International Sauvignon Blanc Trophy: Clifford Bay Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2008

* To see the full list of results, click here.

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