Stoneleigh’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 vintage was awarded the prestigious Trophy for Champion Sauvignon Blanc at the New Zealand International Wine Challenge for 2016.

Judging of the 2,050 entries took place in September and was chaired by Bob Campbell MW, with assistant chief judges Huon Hooke, Larry McKenna, Peter Cowley and John Hancock. The NZIWS is the largest wine competition in New Zealand.

“Sauvignon Blanc is our flagship varietal, so it is immensely rewarding to pick up this top honour as New Zealand’s best Sauvignon Blanc for our Stoneleigh wine that’s so accessible for all to enjoy,” said Stoneleigh winemaker Jamie Marfell.

Described by the judges as a ‘ravishingly juicy and fresh with mouth-watering flavours of gooseberry, grapefruit, summer herbs and passionfruit, with a flinty shimmer and a crisp, long tangy finish.

Stoneleigh wines credit their unique flavour to the stone-studded vineyards of the Rapaura sub-region in the north side of the Wairau valley in Marlborough. These ‘sunstones’ capture the heat of the sun during the day, and reflect it back into the grapes during the night, helping the grapes to develop rich, intense, award-winning flavours.