Hawke’s Bay once again demonstrated its strength in the full-bodied red category, with local wines from Saint Clair Estate and Villa Maria taking out the Champion Merlot, Cabernet (and Blends), and Champion Syrah trophies respectively.
Seven regional trophies were awarded to the top wines from Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne, Wairarapa, Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury and Central Otago.
In a plot twist, the winner of the Best Wine – Marlborough was not a Sauvignon Blanc.
The honor instead went to Isabel Estate Winery for their renowned 2018 Wild Barrique Chardonnay. The winner of the Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy was just over the hill in Nelson, where family-owned winery Seifried Estate picked up the accolade for their 2019 Sauvignon Blanc.