Winestate ‘Wine of the Year’ winners announced

New Zealand wines have won big at the Winestate Magazine ‘Wine of the Year Awards’ for 2018, held at The Rees Queenstown.

Industry leaders from around the country flew in including the winner of NZ Wine Company of the Year, Villa Maria Estate represented by industry stalwart, Sir George Fistonich.

“This is the first year the awards have been hosted at True South Dining Room at The Rees,” said Roman Lee-Lo, director of operations at The Rees. “We feel very privileged to host such high calibre of vineyards – it really was a gathering of the best of the best.”

The Rees presented the Best Pinot of the Year to Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Pinot Noir 2016, the pinnacle achievement after 400 small and large producers in Australia and New Zealand had been assessed across multiple judging’s in Australia and New Zealand.

Varietal character, complexity and vibrancy were what the judges were looking for in their ultimate decision. The judging panel included peer winemakers, Masters of Wine and industry experts. Up against stiff Australian producer competition, the New Zealand Pinot producer triumphed – so did many other varietals from New Zealand in record numbers.

The overall Wine of the Year went to Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 another Kiwi wine, judged by an Australian panel.

“This doesn’t happen very often at all,” said Peter Simic, publisher of Australia’s most respected and oldest wine magazine, Winestate. “Six awards were handed out to New Zealand which is a record from the total of 14 awarded.”