New Zealand Winegrowers refreshes annual awards

New Zealand Winegrowers has refreshed its annual wine awards by merging two of the country’s biggest wine competitions into one major event in Auckland.

Taking place in Auckland in October, the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards will replace the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and the Bragato Wine Awards.

Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill will chair the awards

The refreshed competition aims to combine the best components of the two previous competitions, and will focus on rewarding grape growers and single vineyard wines as well as championing wine excellence on a larger scale.

Revered Hawke’s Bay winemaker Warren Gibson of Trinity Hill, who previously chaired the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, will take the helm at the new competition as its new chair, with Marlborough-based vintner Ben Glover working alongside Gibson as deputy chair.

“The New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2018 is more than an amalgamation of the previous two; it is the development of a new, fresh and exciting format,” Gibson said.

“The focus is strongly towards celebrating the entire New Zealand wine industry, with a particular focus on vineyard excellence and regionality,” he added.

Entries for the competition open on 1 August and the judging will take place during the first week of October in Auckland.

The winners will be celebrated at the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards on Saturday 3 November in Wellington.

“The opportunity to recognise the achievements of our grape growers and winemakers in one competition is exciting.

“The New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards will help us to continue building on New Zealand wine’s excellent global reputation,” said John Clarke, chairman of New Zealand Winegrowers.

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