New Zealand's best wine is a vibrant chardonnay hailing from the top of the South Island.
The 2016 Isabel Chardonnay Marlborough took the top spot at Air New Zealand's annual wine awards, as well as the champion chardonnay trophy on Saturday night.
It was announced on at the annual awards dinner in Hawke's Bay, where 15 other trophies were awarded for several varietals.
One of 1300 wines entered into the annual competition, the Marlborough chardonnay was lauded by chair of judges Warren Gibson for being "packed with flavour" and boasting a "beautiful balance of components with a rich finish".
Isabel Estate Vineyard planted its first vineyards in 1980, and had some of the oldest chardonnay vines in the region.
Chief winemaker Jeremy McKenzie said Isabel Estate's philosophy was to respect the land.
"Respect the soil where the grapes grow and allow the unique characters of each vineyard and variety to be expressed in the final wine," McKenzie said.
Four wine industry devotees were also honoured at the event, for their services to the country's wine industry, named fellows of NZ Winegrowers.
They included Babich Wine's Joe Babich, Geoff Thorpe of Gisbourne's Riversun Nursery, Matua Valley Wines co-founder Bill Spence and NZ Winegrowers stalwart Lorraine Rudelj.
NZ Winegrowers chair Steve Green said the four fellows each made significant contributors to the development and success of the New Zealand wine industry.
Reserve wine of the show, the second highest accolade, went to Dashwood's pinot noir Marlborough 2016. The wine also won the top spot in the pinot noir category.
Read more at source Stuff