Blackenbrook Vineyard’s 2020 Pinot Blanc has received the Trophy in the ‘Other White Wine Varieties’ class from the New Zealand International Wine Show. This is the winery’s second vintage of Pinot Blanc and second trophy in prestigious competitions honouring alternative white wines.
The New Zealand International Wine Show (NZIWS) is the largest wine competition in the country. This year Bob Campbell MW chaired a panel of senior judges who awarded a record number of gold medals. The judges included leading winemakers, several Masters of Wine, and many key industry personnel, most of whom have been involved in major wine competitions for more than a decade. Judges expressed delight to see a New Zealand made Pinot Blanc topping the ‘Other White Wine Varieties’ class.
Owner and winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach noted that 2020 was a near-perfect season for grape-growing generally, and the Pinot Blanc vines benefitted from another year in the ground to deepen their roots.
“The 2020 Pinot Blanc is a superbly balanced wine from what has been a stellar year for winemaking all-around. The Pinot Blanc fruit came pristine off the vine, a real joy to work with. You can taste the minerality in the wine from roots that have found their way deeper into the soil, continually searching for moisture and nutrients,” commented Schwarzenbach.
“Wine drinkers will notice that minerality as well as a zing from the combination of floral and spicy notes. It’s slightly more acidic, which means it’s fresher to drink. And it will be equally good for cellaring.”
Last year’s inaugural Pinot Blanc vintage won the Trophy in the New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition in the ‘Other Aromatic’ category. Schwarzenbach was confident that this new product, matured in stainless steel to allow the fruit’s natural flavours to shine, would be pleasing to Kiwi wine lovers. In fact, it was such a good vintage, he held some back in old barrels and added it to the 2020 vintage.
“Our family, the vineyard team, and the folks who hand-picked our grapes under extreme pressure ahead of the pandemic lockdown are all due immense thanks. We are honoured to win the Trophy and humbled by the accolades we are getting for this varietal,” expressed Schwarzenbach.
“I’m not surprised, however, that the Pinot Blanc is attracting awards and interest, though. We felt confident this particular grape, by growing it in our terroir and climate with our natural approach, would produce incredible wines for our customers to drink now and later.”