Mission Estate winemaker Paul Mooney was a happy man back in May when the Jewelstone label turned gold at the International Wine Challenge competition staged in London.

He was smiling again last month when Jewelstone was again read out as the winners of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

In a way he has done the Jewelstone double - as the May gold medal was for the 2013 Jewelstone Syrah while the recent Pure Elite Gold and Trophy win was for the 2014 Jewelstone Chardonnay.

It took out the trophy for Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine and for Mr Mooney it was especially satisfying as Mission had worked hard on creating world-class chardonnays.


The winery has a long association with the variety and it was Mr Mooney who crafted New Zealand's first whole bunch pressed and barrel fermented chardonnay more than 30 years ago.

It had never looked back.

"We rely heavily on hand harvesting and whole bunch pressing for our barrel fermented chardonnays," he said.

"We believe these traditional French techniques produce wines that over-deliver in all the key sensory attributes."

Sales and marketing manager Dean Smith said the chardonnays were offering fine texture and personality which is what consumers were after.

The chardonnay approach echoed the way he also approached the making of syrah.

After arriving at the Mission in 1979 he had initially been mentored by winemaker Brother John, who had learned the art of winemaking in Bordeaux during the 1960s.

"We still use many of the original philosophies that the Brothers applied to making Mission Estate wines and this will always be something that we will continue to do."