[8 October/The Country]

Chardonnay was coming back into the spotlight, and won at the New World Wine Awards. Chairman of Judges, Jim Harre, said while a record number of rose wines entered the awards, it was the chardonnay that pleased the judges. He noted it was a nice win from a judging point of view. He said people tended to have pre-conceived ideas about it, however it had now reached a good middle ground. He noted it could be developed quite a bit by winemakers, and it wasn’t unusual to see it come out on top. Chardonnays from Hawke’s Bay or Gisborne had stonefruit characters, while South Island ones had more of an acidic taste. He added it was great because it could be paired with many meals. The Wither Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2017 was selected as the Champion White Wine for the competition and its amazing value. Winemaker, Jack Cornes, said the winning wine was the core chardonnay in is range, and was what they were most proud of.