The Winestate Wine of the Year Awards was hosted for the second time at The Rees Hotel in Queenstown on Friday.

“We chose to back this preeminent event due to its utmost integrity given it really is one of the toughest peer reviews of the fruits of our wine industry,” said Mark Rose, chief executive of The Rees.

“No-one blind tastes as many varietals as this. They audit such a massive quantum. Couple that with the credibility of the judging panel that includes the Head of the Wine Institute of Australia – and you know you’ve got the quintessential Australiasian ‘go-to guide’ for the best of the best."

Winestate is Australasia’s oldest wine magazine, first going to press in 1978. The competition judges 10,000 New Zealand and Australian wines over 16 award categories. The comprehensive blind tasting is also free of any commercial affiliations or incentivising.

“This embodies serious tasting. We don’t sell any wine so there’s no conflict of interest. If you win an award in this context, you really have earnt it,” said publisher Peter Simic.

“The Rees embodies excellence with a phenomenally professional and strong wine culture. It’s known as a stalwart supporter of the industry so having the competition here was a superb fit.”

For the second year running, Villa Maria took out the top prize for its 2018 Hawke’s Bay Reserve Chardonnay. The judging uses a star rating system that reflects a range rather than a specific point score.

Subject to availability for a limited time only The Rees will be offering the Wine of the Year Villa Maria, Reserve Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay, 2018 in True South Dining Room its international award-winning restaurant featuring a seasonal menu created by New Zealand culinary Olympian, executive chef Corey Hume.

Official results: Winestate ‘Wine of the Year’ awards 2019

These are winners of a final taste-off between the top 5 wines in each class. With RRP $ values.

Top Sparkling
1st, Brown Brothers, Patricia, King Valley, Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay, 2012, $56.00
2nd, Chateau Yaldara, Adelaide Hills, Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, 2015, $50.00
3rd, Centennial Vineyards, Limited Bowral, Blanc de Blancs, NV, $39.00
4th, Centennial Vineyards, Brut Traditionelle Southern Highlands, Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot
Meunier, NV, $35.00
5th, Centennial Vineyards, Southern Highlands, Brut Rosé, NV, $35.00

Top Alternative Whites
1st, Artwine, In the Groove Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills, Gruner Veltliner, 2019
2nd, Eccentric Wines, Adelaide Hills, Gruner Veltliner, 2017, $25.00
3rd, Hand Crafted by Geoff Hardy, Adelaide Hills, Fiano, 2019, $25.00
4th, Symphony Hill Wines, Granite Belt, Vermentino, 2019, $30.00
5th, Tahbilk, Museum Nagambie Lakes, Marsanne, 2013, $23.95

Top Riesling
1st, Reillys, Watervale Clare Valley, Riesling, 2018, $25.00
2nd, Patrick of Coonawarra, Coonawarra Wrattonbully, Aged Riesling, 2014, $39.00
3rd, Jim Barry, Lodge Hill Clare Valley, Riesling, 2019, $25.00
4th, Eldredge Vineyards, Spring Gully Clare Valley, Riesling, 2019, $20.00
5th, Taylors, St Andrews Clare Valley, Riesling, 2018, $40.00

Top Sauvignon Blanc
1st, Yealands Estate, Single Block L5 Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, $27.95
2nd, Yealands Estate, Single Vineyard Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, $21.99
3rd, Vavasour, Marlborough Awatere Valley, Sauvignon Blanc, 2018, $23.00
4th, Mount Riley, Limited Release Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, $17.00
5th, Lobethal Road, Adelaide Hills, Sauvignon Blanc, 2019, $22.00

Top Pinot Gris/Grigio
1st, Cockfighters Ghost, Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills, Pinot Gris, 2017, $25.00
2nd, Ceres, Swansong Central Otago Bannockburn, Pinot Gris, 2018, $28.00
3rd, Esk Valley, Hawke's Bay, Pinot Gris, 2019, $20.00
4th, Amadio, Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills, Pinot Grigio, 2018, $25.00
5th, Te Henga, Marlborough, Pinot Gris, 2017, $17.00

Top Semillon
1st, Coolangatta Estate, Shoalhaven Coast, Semillon, 2009, $50.00
2nd, Coolangatta Estate, Wollstonecraft Shoalhaven Coast, Semillon, 2011, $35.00
3rd, McGuigan, Bin 9000 Hunter Valley, Semillon, 2013, $25.00
4th, Coolangatta Estate, Wollstonecraft Shoalhaven Coast, Semillon, 2009, $50.00
5th, Pokolbin Estate, Phill Swannell Hunter Valley, Semillon, 2009, $50.00

Top Chardonnay
1st, Villa Maria, Reserve Hawke's Bay, Chardonnay, 2018, $32.00
2nd, Robert Stein, Reserve Mudgee, Chardonnay, 2017, $40.00
3rd, Villa Maria, Reserve Hawke's Bay, Chardonnay, 2017, $32.00
4th, McGuigan, Personal Reserve Hunter Valley, Chardonnay, 2018, $80.00
5th, Tempus Two, Pewter Poppy's Block Hunter Valley, Chardonnay, 2017, $40.00

Top Rose
1st, Allandale Wines, Classic Dry Hilltops, Grenache Shiraz Rosé, 2018, $30.00
2nd, Koonara Wines, Emily May Limestone Coast, Sangiovese Rosé, 2019, $19.95
3rd, Murray Street, White Label Barossa Valley, Rosé, 2018, $25.00
4th, Nepenthe, Winemakers Select Adelaide Hills, Tempranillo Rosé, 2018, $25.00
5th, Pete's Pure, Euston, Rosé, 2018, $14.99

Top Alternative Red
1st, Z Wine, Roman Old Vine Barossa Valley, G.S.M., 2018, $38.00
2nd, Kalleske, Buckboard Barossa Valley, Durif, 2018, $26.00
3rd, Cirami Estate, Riverland, Saperavi, 2018, $20.00
4th, Z Wine, Rustica Barossa Valley, Grenache, 2019, $20.00
5th, Vinos For Chinos, Clare Valley, Malbec, 2018, $19.00

Top Pinot Noir
1st, Rob Dolan, Signature Series Yarra Valley, Pinot Noir, 2017,
2nd, Ballewindi, Mornington Peninsula, Pinot Noir, 2018, $28.00
3rd, Home Hill, Estate Huon Valley Tasmania, Pinot Noir, 2018, $45.00
4th, Home Hill, Kelly's Reserve Huon Valley Tasmania, Pinot Noir, 2018, $75.00
5th, Cooks Lot, Iconique Barrique Orange, Pinot Noir, 2016, $50.00

Top Merlot
1st, Mount Avoca, Estate Pyrenees, Merlot, 2018, $37.95
2nd, Bird in Hand, Adelaide Hills, Merlot, 2017, $45.00
3rd, Leconfield, Coonawarra, Merlot, 2018, $26.00
4th, Taylors, Clare Valley, Merlot, 2018, $19.00

Top Cabernet
1st, Angas & Bremer, Langhorne Creek, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, $20.00
2nd, d'Arenberg, The High Trellis McLaren Vale, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, $20.00
3rd, Grounded Cru, Inc McLaren Vale, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, $38.00
4th, Reillys Clare Valley, The Dancer Clare Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2016, $70.00
5th, Artwine, The Good Life Single Vineyard Clare Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2017, $40.00

Top Shiraz
1st, Z Wine, Poole Old Vine Barossa Valley, Shiraz, 2016, $120.00
2nd, Tenafeate Creek, Judgement One Tree Hill, Shiraz, 2016, $100.00
3rd, Mount Avoca, Estate Old Vine Pyrenees, Shiraz, 2017, $37.95
4th, Krondorf, Symmetry Barossa Valley, Shiraz, 2016, $49.99
5th, Jim Barry, Lodge Hill Clare Valley, Shiraz, 2016, $25.00

Top Sweet White
1st, Longview, Epitome, Adelaide Hills, Late Harvest Riesling, 2018, $25.00
2nd, Villa Maria, Reserve Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection, Marlborough, Botrytis Riesling, 2016, $36.99
3rd, d'Arenberg, The Noble Mud Pie, Adelaide Hills McLaren Vale, Botrytis Viognier Sauvignon Blanc
Semillon Pinot Gris, 2017, $20.00
4th, K1 by Geoff Hardy Adelaide Hills, Autumn Harvest Riesling, 2018, $25.00
5th, d'Arenberg, The Noble Botryotinia Fuckeliana, Adelaide Hills, Botrytis Sauvignon Blanc (375ml), 2017, $20.00

Top Fortified
1st, Morris Wines, Old Premium, Rutherglen, Rare Muscat, NV, $90.00
2nd, Morris Wines, Cellar Reserve, Rutherglen, Grand Muscat, NV, $50.00
3rd, Talijancich Wines, Julian James Liqueur Shiraz 1981 Solero Blend No.1, Swan Valley, Liqueur Shiraz,
NV, $65.00
4th, Buller Wines, Calliope, Rutherglen, Grand Muscat, NV, $75.00
5th, 919 Wines, Reserve Collection, Riverland, Pale Dry Apera, NV, $35.0