Hawke's Bay continues to stamp its champion mark on the landscape of full-bodied red wines, with the top varietal and regional trophies going to the Bay in the build-up to the New Zealand Wine Awards which will be staged on November 16.

The first round of trophies was announced this week with 13 varietal and seven regional winners. The all go in competitive pursuit of the eight major trophies, including New Zealand Wine of the Year, at the national event.

It was a great result for Villa Maria which picked up the region's Best Wine Trophy with its Cellar Selection Syrah Hawke's Bay 2018.

They also took out the Champion Syrah varietal trophy with that wine.


Villa Maria also stepped up with their Cellar Selection Viognier Hawke's Bay 2018 to take the Champion Other White Wines varietal award.

In the Champion Merlot, Cabernet and Blends Saint Clair Pioneer Block 17 Plateau Cabernet Merlot Hawke's Bay 2018 took the varietal trophy.

Chair of Judges for the New Zealand Wine Awards, one of the region's leading winemakers Warren Gibson, said he was extremely pleased to see a strong relationship between variety, style and regions within the trophy winners of this year's awards.

"More than ever we are finding a true sense of place in our very youthful wine industry," he said.

He said the Bay had clearly demonstrated its strength in the full-bodied red category with the two varietal awards picked up.

The New Zealand Wine Awards event is being held at the Marlborough Lines Stadium in Blenheim.

As well as recognising the New Zealand Wine of the Year competition winners the event will feature other industry achievements including the inaugural Cellar Door of the Year, Young Viticulturist of the Year, Young Winemaker of the Year and the New Zealand Winegrowers Fellows for 2019.