For the winemaking crew at Clearview Estate there was plenty of reason to toast success at the New Zealand International Wine Show awards dinner staged in Auckland last weekend when they scooped the Champion Chardonnay Trophy.
But the toasts continued when the ultimate award was announced. The Clearview Reserve Chardonnay 2015 which took the trophy for that class earlier in the evening was declared the Champion Wine of the Show, beating off 24 other trophy winners and the 2050 wines entered.
The ultimate trophy completed a trifecta of awards for the 2015 chardonnay at the country's largest wine competition, having also taken a gold medal.
"We are absolutely delighted," Clearview co-owner and co-founder Helma van den Berg said.
"Our reserve chardonnay is always a winning wine but this 2015 vintage is especially appealing, not just to wine judges but our regulars and a whole host of new customers who are loving the vibrant fruit and oak characters," she said.
The supreme winning wine came from a mix of ages.
The fruit was from vines planted 29 years ago as well as some newer ones at the winery's Te Awanga vineyard.
Equally delighted co-owner and winemaker Tim Turvey said the chardonnay reflected the unique terroir of the vineyard to its fullest extent and paid tribute to the skills and dedication of the vineyard team led by Grant Houston.
"In 1992 our first release of reserve chardonnay using fruit from these same vines won a trophy, so it's gratifying to know we have maintained the quality and consistency of our flagship wine over that time," Mr Turvey said.
The coastal vineyard landscape provided what winemaker Matt Kirby called "special" attributes.
For him and fellow winemaker Rob Bregmen the timing was good. Both began with Clearview in 2015 so were on board in time for that vintage.
"This award reflects the quality of the 2015 vintage and proves again the attributes of this special coastal area," Mr Matt Kirby said.
The Clearview Reserve Chardonnay 2015 was one of four Hawke's Bay wines to pick up one the prestigious trophies as best of their class.
Esk Valley took out Champion Rose with its Hawke's Bay Rose 2016, the trophy for Champion Commercial White Wine went to Delegat's Crownthorpe Terraces Chardonnay 2015 and Villa Maria took the trophy for Champion New Zealand Syrah with its Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Syrah 2014.