Matawhero's 2017 pinot gris strikes gold

GOLDEN DAYS: Grower Fraser Briant and Matawhero Wines owner Kirsten Searle celebrate their gold medal at the New World Wine Awards for their Single Vineyard 2017 Pinot Gris. Picture by Strike Photography

GISBORNE wineries and vineyards have taken out a host of medals at one of the nation’s most influential awards.

Matawhero Wines was the big winner, claiming gold for its pinot gris.

The Matawhero Single Vineyard Gisborne Pinot Gris 2017 was awarded a gold medal at the annual New World Wine Awards after judges awarded it 96 out of 100 points.

The wine was further selected in the overall top 50 for the show.

The award followed the vineyard’s success at the Bragato Wine Awards and the poignant release of Irwin Chardonnay, said Matawhero’s Kirsten Searle.

“It’s been a fantastic few weeks. It gives our winery, the growers we work with and the other local winner a fabulous opportunity to showcase quality wine in Gisborne, and raise the profile of the local industry overall.

“This latest award puts the consumer first. These awards, perhaps unlike others in New Zealand, affirm that our wines will appeal to everyday Kiwis.”

Award rules state that all wines entered must retail for $25 or less a bottle and at least 5000 bottles must be available for sale.

Ms Searle said the award was a joint Gisborne effort as the wine was made from a French clone, ENTAV-INRA 457, imported by Gisborne grapevine nursery Riversun in 2005.

Riversun owner Geoff Thorpe said the clone stood out as a varietal “step-change” for New Zealand growers and winemakers.

“The smaller berries, the looser bunches and its wonderful flavours have allowed early adopters like Matawhero to craft outstanding pinot gris wines.”

The wine was made from grapes grown at the Briant vineyard in Patutahi.

Grower Peter Briant said the clone was low-yielding, early to ripen and able to handle the Gisborne weather conditions.

“It’s wonderful to be part of the team receiving this accolade and great to see another varietal out of Gisborne performing well, and adding more strings to our bow as a premium wine-producing region.”

Matawhero also claimed a bronze medal for its Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016.

The chardonnay category was a good one for Gisborne, with The Natural Wine Company taking out a silver medal with a score of 90, and a plethora of bronze medals going to Toi Toi Gisborne, Montana Bay Gisborne, Invivo Gisborne and Kim Crawford for their 2016 efforts.​

The 16-strong judging panel awarded 826 medals: 82 gold, 242 silver and 502 bronze.

Sauvignon blanc wines won the highest number of medals overall (129). New Zealand wines won eight of the 10 champion awards.

“The quality of wines entered overall was outstanding,” said independent judging panel chairman Jim Harre.

GISBORNE wineries and vineyards have taken out a host of medals at one of the nation’s most influential awards.

Matawhero Wines was the big winner, claiming gold for its pinot gris.

The Matawhero Single Vineyard Gisborne Pinot Gris 2017 was awarded a gold medal at the annual New World Wine Awards after judges awarded it 96 out of 100 points.

The wine was further selected in the overall top 50 for the show.

The award followed the vineyard’s success at the Bragato Wine Awards and the poignant release of Irwin Chardonnay, said Matawhero’s Kirsten Searle.

“It’s been a fantastic few weeks. It gives our winery, the growers we work with and the other local winner a fabulous opportunity to showcase quality wine in Gisborne, and raise the profile of the local industry overall.

“This latest award puts the consumer first. These awards, perhaps unlike others in New Zealand, affirm that our wines will appeal to everyday Kiwis.”

Award rules state that all wines entered must retail for $25 or less a bottle and at least 5000 bottles must be available for sale.

Ms Searle said the award was a joint Gisborne effort as the wine was made from a French clone, ENTAV-INRA 457, imported by Gisborne grapevine nursery Riversun in 2005.

Riversun owner Geoff Thorpe said the clone stood out as a varietal “step-change” for New Zealand growers and winemakers.

“The smaller berries, the looser bunches and its wonderful flavours have allowed early adopters like Matawhero to craft outstanding pinot gris wines.”

The wine was made from grapes grown at the Briant vineyard in Patutahi.

Grower Peter Briant said the clone was low-yielding, early to ripen and able to handle the Gisborne weather conditions.

“It’s wonderful to be part of the team receiving this accolade and great to see another varietal out of Gisborne performing well, and adding more strings to our bow as a premium wine-producing region.”

Matawhero also claimed a bronze medal for its Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2016.

The chardonnay category was a good one for Gisborne, with The Natural Wine Company taking out a silver medal with a score of 90, and a plethora of bronze medals going to Toi Toi Gisborne, Montana Bay Gisborne, Invivo Gisborne and Kim Crawford for their 2016 efforts.​

The 16-strong judging panel awarded 826 medals: 82 gold, 242 silver and 502 bronze.

Sauvignon blanc wines won the highest number of medals overall (129). New Zealand wines won eight of the 10 champion awards.

“The quality of wines entered overall was outstanding,” said independent judging panel chairman Jim Harre.

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