Central Otago wines' successes in several recent national and international wine awards are not to be sniffed at, but rather tasted and savoured.

Several wineries have won trophies and Best in Show awards, while many more have earned medals.

Wanaka's Mt Maude's Maude pinot noir Central Otago 2017 won the regional trophy for best wine in the New Zealand Wine of the Year awards, which replaced the Air New Zealand Wine awards and the Bragato Wine awards.

The awards attracted 1300 entries.


Results were announced in early October and winners of the eight major trophies will be announced at a formal dinner in Wellington on November 3.

The same wine also won the champion pinot noir (Mike Wolter memorial trophy) varietal trophy, while Queensberry's Archangel Vineyard's Lace rose Central Otago 2018 won the champion rose varietal trophy.

The New Zealand International Wine Show, was held in Auckland on October 13, and attracted more than 2000 entries from all over the world.

Matt Connell Wines, using grapes sourced from vineyards in Bendigo and Lowburn won the New Zealand champion wine of show, and the New Zealand champion pinot noir for their 2017 Rendition Central Otago.

In addition, Earnscleugh Vineyard's Three Miners Miner's Rights Central Otago pinot gris 2017 won the champion pinot gris trophy, and Domain Road won a champion rose trophy for their rose Domain Road Central Otago pinot noir rose 2018.

Rockburn Wines' Devil's Staircase 2018 Central Otago pinot gris and 2018 Central Otago pinot noir received gold medals.

Central Otago wines were also successful in the Decanter Asia Wine Awards 2018.

More than 3000 entries from 37 countries were judged in Hong Kong in September and the results were released earlier this month.


Cromwell's Wild Earth 2016 pinot noir won a platinum best in show award, with only 20 entries in the whole competition being considered best in show.

Amisfield's 2015 pinot noir and Rockburn's 2016 pinot noir both won platinum medals.

Bendigo vineyard's Madam Sass Central Otago pinot noir rose 2018 won the champion rose section and Alexandra's Shaky Bridge Pioneer Series Central Otago pinot noir 2017 won the champion pinot noir title in the recent New World Wine Awards.

Rockburn's general manager Rebecca Poynter, of Cromwell, said she was delighted at the success of the wines in the Decanter awards and they entered so they could benchmark themselves against the industry.

''It is a truly global show,'' she said.

Rockburn Wines has distributors in China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries

''The Asian market is a big growth market for new world wines.''

She said the successes were positive for their product, both nationally and internationally.

Wild Earth's marketing and sales manager Elbert Jolink said the 2016 growing season was relatively warm with fewer frosts and little disease pressure in spring and late autumn, which contributed to the quality of the vintage.

''Summer was relatively dry with good periods of warm days and cool nights,'' Mr Jolink said.

''Pinot noirs from this vintage are powerful and richly fruited, with great ageing potential.

''For me personally the main reason that I think it's such a good wine is also because Jen Parr made it.

''She's a spectacular winemaker and a great person and we're really happy to have her as our winemaker.

''The 2015 vintage, which was the first vintage she made for us, was already a stunner, the 2016 is also truly fantastic,'' he said.

- Southern Rural Life