Judging for the Royal Easter Show was a close-run thing – back in February we’d just come out of another Level-3 lockdown in Auckland which had restricted travel, leaving organisers to have several possible scenarios planned. It’s been a while since the judging, and of course, no actual Royal Easter Show was held in this COVID-19 affected year. The Awards and lunch was held at Orakei Bay – a languid four-hour affair over multiple courses, with the winning wines tasted against matched dishes.
The Bayleys Real Estate Champion Wine of the Show was Tohu Whenua Awa Chardonnay 2017 – which also won the Champion Chardonnay Trophy.
Other wines that caught my eye were Church Road Blanc de Blancs 2016 – the winner of the Rapid Labels Trophy for Champion Sparkling; Delta Hatters Hill Pinot Noir 2019 which won Rural News Group Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir (and was my favourite wine of the afternoon); and Seifried Nelson Sauvignon Blanc 2020 which won a couple of awards including Mainfreight Trophy for the Champion Export Wine.
Winemaker of the Show was Bruce Taylor – Tohu Winery. Michael Brett was the 2021 inductee into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame. A special mention must go to Leigh Ashworth, simply because he was sat next to me and was thrilled to win the first Trophy for Junction Wine in the Pinot Gris category.
Expect to see full results online soon.