Out of a particularly difficult vintage, Villa Maria's 2012 Hawke's Bay Reserve Syrah, is a shining star.

The winery collected nine gold medals and the trophy for Champion Sweet Wine during New Zealand's International Wine Show, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland.

Hawke's Bay is credited with four of the wins having produced grapes for their Reserve Chardonnay 2013; Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2010; Cellar Selection Organic Merlot 2013; and of course the highly-praised Reserve Syrah, 2012.

"Hawke's Bay is doing consistently well for Villa, I would be disappointed if we didn't get anything," general manager of Winemaking and Viticulture Alastair Maling said.


"I think what it's showing is that Chardonnay always features and Syrah is becoming a regular occurrence - that's a really good symbol of how good the Gimblett Gravels are, that we can win those kinds of awards."

It's even more exciting when taking into account overseas entries, including those from Australian wineries, who produced a lot of Syrah, or Shiraz as it's called across the ditch.

The secret to success was not only in the Bay's moderate climate, but a vitaculture team dedicated to producing fantastic grapes.

"It's not too hot, it's not too cold, New Zealand wines are unique for their natural acidity but it is the ripeness that gives it a real fullness of flavour, and Hawke's Bay shines in that area."

Being recognised with gold medals from wines made in the particularly cold difficult vintages of 2011/2012 was extra special.

"Those medals reflect the work being put in at the vineyard."

Results were decided by a panel of more than twenty experts, overseen by chief judge Bob Campbell, MW.

Now in its tenth year, the New Zealand International Wine show is the biggest in the country with more than 2000 entries from around the world.


It recognises wines that are or will be sold in New Zealand and was organised by Kingsley Wood of First Glass Wines of Auckland.

"It's getting tougher and tougher out there, more people are entering, it's competitive, to get pulled out for nine golds is great," Mr Maling said.

The awards were accepted by Villa Maria's Auckland-based winemaker, Dave Roper, who said the wins were the result of a group effort.

"As a winemaker it is always an honour to receive an award, not only is it recognition for the team, it also confirms we're producing some great wines for our customers to enjoy," he said.