Waipara Hills has received a Gold medal and a Top 50 ranking at the 2016 New World Wine Awards for its 2015 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Noir. According to winemaker Simon McGeorge, despite a frosty start, the 2015 season had a bright and warm summer, allowing for even fruit ripeness and full flavours.

“With its dark cherry and redcurrant fruit characters, enticing earthiness and a hint of French oak, this versatile wine can be enjoyed on many occasions,” said McGeorge.

The judges at the awards shared McGeorge’s descriptors, noting its ripe berry fruit and black cherry aromas, introducing a palate of plush fruit, well supported by oak.

The New World Wine Awards are judged by a panel of 13 independent expert wine judges that blind taste and judge each wine using the same internationally recognised 20-point scale as other wine competitions worldwide.

The only difference is that all wines entered must retail for $25 or less per bottle and at least 5,000 bottles must be available for sale.

“These Awards provide a unique focus on wines that are affordable and widely available, credited with a judging panel that is made up of New Zealand’s most experienced and well-regarded wine experts,” said McGeorge.