2011 Upper North Island Wine Competition

Press Release – University of Auckland

Ti Point Vineyard’s 2010 Ti Point One Merlot Cabernet franc and Omaha Bay Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot gris, both from Matakana, were named the champion red and white wines of the 2011 Upper North Island Wine Competition at Old Government House on Saturday …2011 Upper North Island Wine Competition

Ti Point Vineyard’s 2010 Ti Point One Merlot Cabernet franc and Omaha Bay Vineyard’s 2009 Pinot gris, both from Matakana, were named the champion red and white wines of the 2011 Upper North Island Wine Competition at Old Government House on Saturday evening.

Wines from Northland, Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty are eligible for the competition and 100 wines were entered by 33 winemakers. Gold medals were awarded to six wines, and silver and bronze medals went to 12 and 35 wines, respectively.

“The wines were a pleasure to judge this year,” said Bob Campbell MW in his report as Chairman of Judges. “The high-points were thrilling and the absence of faults pleasing.”

The competition, organised by the Wine Science Programme at The University of Auckland, is now in its second year. It was established to meet the need for greater recognition of the region, and its unique and historic contribution to the New Zealand wine industry. It is run along similar lines as other competitions but has several important points of difference.

“The competition is a real collaboration between the University and wine makers,” says Mr Randy Weaver, head of the University’s Wine Science Programme. “It is unique in providing feedback to winemakers, as well as celebrating their successes – in addition to a standard sensory evaluation and technical notes, the judges provide detailed comments on each of the wines in competition.”

Already, feedback from the inaugural competition has been used as the basis for a workshop in which University wine scientists and Northland winemakers discussed issues raised by the judges and how to address them. “We anticipate holding more workshops of this kind in future,” says Mr Weaver.

“The competition is of enormous benefit, firstly due to the feedback to the entrants that gives a clearer understanding of why their wine was awarded the mark it got, and secondly in limiting entrants to the Upper North Island the wines are judged fairly with their peers in a broad, but similar geographical and environmental area,” says Ben Dugdale, winemaker at Karikari Estate and an Upper North Island Wine Competition committee member and judge.

Mr Dugdale says that winemakers from his region see the competition growing in future and strengthening the links between producer and the University. “Having a relationship with the University opens pathways for the producers in terms of knowledge and information as well as giving students valuable options in terms of possible employers or direct feedback in terms of real issues that face the industry.”

The University collects data on all of the wines in competition for detailed analysis. The long-term goal is for its researchers to learn about regional and sub-regional differences between wines and the consequent challenges for winegrowers and winemakers, so that this information can be fed back to the industry.

The competition is also a valuable opportunity for top wine science students to gain experience as associate judges, who may discuss the wines with the judging panel but whose marks do not contribute to the overall score.
Notes

2011 Upper North Island Wine Competition results

Champion red wine: Ti Point Vineyard’s 2010 Ti Point One Merlot Cabernet franc (Auckland – Matakana)

Champion white wine: Omaha Bay Vineyard, Pinot gris 2009, (Auckland – Matakana)

Gold medal wines:
Cable Bay Winery, Syrah 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Marsden Estate, “The Winemakers Daughter”, Merlot 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Omaha Bay Vineyard, Pinot gris 2009, (Auckland – Matakana)
Peacock Sky Vineyard, Cabernet sauvignon, 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Ti Point Vineyard, One, Merlot / Cabernet 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)
Ti Point Vineyard, Matriarch, Syrah 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)

Silver medal wines:
Ake Ake Vineyard, Chambourcin 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Karikari Estate, Pinotage 2010 (Northland – Far North)
Karikari Estate, Syrah 2010 (Northland – Far North)
Marsden Estate “Black Rocks” Chardonnay 2009 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Marsden Estate, Vigot, Syrah 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Matavino, Viognier 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)
Obsidian Vineyard, Weeping Sands, Cab/Merlot 2008 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Obsidian Vineyard, Tempranillo 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Omata Estate, Syrah 2009 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Ransom Wines, “Cosmos “Chardonnay 2008 (Auckland – Matakana)
Struggler’s Ridge Vineyard, Syrah 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Ti Point Vineyard, Merlot/Cabernet 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)

Bronze medal wines:
Ake Ake Vineyard, Reserve Chardonnay 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Coxhead Creek Vineyard, Cabernet franc 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)
Goldie Wines. Chardonnay 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Goldie Wines, Island Red 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Hilltop Estate, Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet franc, 2009 (Waikato – Hamilton)
Hilltop Wines, Late Harvest Flora 2011, (Waikato – Hamilton)
Hyperion Wines, “Helios”, Chardonnay 2010 (Auckland – Matakana)
Hyperion Wines, “Midas” Malbec, 2009 (Auckland – Matakana)
Karikari Estate, “Hell Hole”, Cab franc/Cab sav/Merlot, 2008 (Northland – Far North)
Karikari Estate, “Toa”, Cab franc/Malbec, 2007 (Northland – Far North)
Karikari Estate, “Toa iti”, Malbec/Cab franc, 2008 (Northland – Far North)
Lochiel Estate, Chardonnay 2010, (Northland – Mangawhai)
Lochiel Estate, Merlot/Malbec, 2009 (Northland – Mangawhai)
Mahurangi River Winery, “Field of Grace” Chardonnay 2009 (Auckland – Matakana)
Marsden Estate, Pinot gris 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Marsden Estate, Reserve Pinotage, 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Millar’s Vineyard, Gewurztraminer 2011 (Northland – Mangawhai)
Millar’s Vineyard, Syrah 2010 (Northland – Mangawhai)
Millar’s Vineyard, Viognier 2010 (Northland – Mangawhai)
Miro Vineyard, Pinot gris 2011 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Miro Vineyard, Rose 2011 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Mountain Landing, The Landing, Chardonnay 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Mountain Landing, “The Landing”, Syrah 2010 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Obsidian Vineyard, Chardonnay 2010 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Obsidian Vineyard, Weeping Sands, Merlot, 2009 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Okahu Estate, Merlot/Cabernet 2006 (Northland – Far North)
Omaha Bay Vineyard, Syrah 2008 (Auckland – Matakana)
Omaha Bay, “The Imposter”, Flora 2009 (Auckland – Matakana)
Peacock Sky, Chardonnay 2011 (Auckland – Waiheke Island)
Sailfish Cove Wines, “Poor Knights” Reserve Port (Northland – Tutukaka)
Sailfish Cove Vineyard, “The Cabernets” 2005 (Northland – Tutukaka)
Struggler’s Ridge Vineyard, Rose, 2011 (Northland – Bay of Islands)
Ti Point Vineyard, Ruby Rose, 2011 (Auckland – Matakana)
Waimarie Wines, Muriwai Valley Syrah, 2008 (Auckland – West Auckland)
Waitapu Estate, Syrah 2008 (Northland – Far North)
2011 committee and judges:

Committee: Wine science programme, University of Auckland: Randy Weaver, Gerard Logan, and Jan Robertson; regional wine industry: Ben Dugdale (Karikari Estate), Stephen Nobilo (Waimarie Wines), and Mark Compton (Winemaker)

Judges: Bob Campbell MW (Chairman); Simon Nash MW; Richard Robson (Matakana and Goldridge Estates); Ben Dugdale (Karikari Estate); Mike Wood (Obsidian Estate); Ross Parsonage (The University of Auckland); Mark Compton (Winemaker)

Associate Judges: Anna Farquhar; Sarah McDonald; Katie Parish; Stephanie Rowe; Shona White (UNIWC Director); Jan Robertson (Chief Steward)

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