Craggy Range Winery staff celebrated with, well, a glass of lunchtime wine, as they found they were sitting at number 17 among the World's Best Vineyards.

This year, the winery placed among some of the world's most respected wineries such as France's Mouton Rothschild & Château Margaux, Italy's Antinori, the United States Opus One and Australia's Penfold.

It is one of two New Zealand wineries to make the list alongside Rippon in Central Otago.

Craggy Range director Mary-Jeanne Peabody said they were "thrilled" to have been recognised. Last year they placed 11th.

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"Since starting Craggy Range 21 years ago we have always aspired to sit alongside the great wineries of the world, so to be on the list is amazing."

The winery found out they had made the list about a week ago but were not told where they ranked until this week.

General manager Aaron Drummond said wineries are nominated for the awards by a committee of wine industry professionals. There are 18 chairs who have nominated up to 36 judges each.

The judges vote for the top seven vineyards they have visited from anywhere in the world. There is no set judging criteria but it is instead about the "total experience".

Craggy Range general manager Aaron Drummond said the placing is rewarding for the winery. Photo / File
Craggy Range general manager Aaron Drummond said the placing is rewarding for the winery. Photo / File

Drummond said they are pleased to be recognised with an award which looks at the total experience.

"There are lots of awards in the industry but a lot of them are based on one wine in a vintage ... the nice thing about this is that it is based on 500 people's opinion of your winery, your wine quality and the experience that you offer over a longer period of time.

He said judges may have visited the wineries both fairly recently and years ago.

"For us it's quite rewarding ... this is the sense that we are on the right path.

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"There's no ultimate wine prize, the industry is always changing and you always have to be evolving."

He said the winery has had a strong focus on evolution and innovation from the start in 1998.

"While we are on the right track, we can always improve and will continue to increase our efforts, especially regarding quality and sustainability, both from an environmental and a community perspective".

He hopes that the win will also reflect well on the region where he said there is "some great wines being produced and some great wineries".