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Sacred Hill Winery Takes Out Top Wine Award

Wednesday 20th October

Sacred Hill Winery takes out top wine at the fourth annual
Hawke’s Bay A & P Mercedes-Benz Wine Awards

A Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Merlot has taken out the Champion of Champions wine at last night’s award ceremony at Waikoko Gardens at the Hawke’s Bay Showgrounds for the 2004 Hawke’s Bay A & P Mercedes Benz Wine Awards, while its winemaker takes away an original commissioned trophy piece by New Zealand re-owned artist David Trubridge.

The Sacred Hill Winery – Helmsman Cabernet Merlot 2002 was awarded the top prize in front of 360 guests, as well as being named the top Tremains Bordeaux Blend of the show by a panel of international and national judges.

The Champion of Champions Winemaker Trophy went to Sacred Hill Winery winemaker Tony Bish.

The winner of the Bluewater Hotel Museum Class was Squawking Magpie for their 1999 Chardonnay. Trinity Hill Winery did outstandingly well with their Homage Syrah 2002 winning the Reserve Champion Wine as well as best Syrah, while their reds shone with Gold in the Coffey Davidson Merlot category, for their Gimblett Road 2002, and best Pinot Noir in the class, for their High County Pinot Noir 2003.

First time entrants Church Road took out the Haulage Transport Sweet Wines Category with their Montana Virtu Noble Semillon 2000. Villa Maria took home two Trophies for the best Merlot and Chardonnay categories, with their Villa Maria Reserve Merlot 2002 and Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2002.

After careful consideration by a panel of judges lead by Geoff Wilson, Sue Cranswick from Esk Valley Estate was chosen as the Cellar Door Personality of the Year 2004.

And the students had their day too, with the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT) syndicate of Barker / Taylor taking home the trophy for best student wine with their Botrytised Chardonnay 2003. While Gordon Forshaw was the winner of the A & P Society Young Vintner of the Year Scholarship, awarded to a third year student studying at EIT, giving them a split of $3500 from the Hawke’s Bay A&P Society as well as paid vintage work at Craggy Range for the winner.

The awards received nearly 300 entries this year, above the previous record of 292 last year. Chairman of Judges Steve Smith (MW) attributes the increase in entries to the awards gaining momentum and acknowledgement within the wine industry.

“What sets this wine competition apart from others is that it is regionally based – all wines entering the show, apart from the student wines, must use at least 85 percent Hawke’s Bay fruit. But this obviously doesn’t restrict it to wineries based within Hawke’s Bay.”

For further information surrounding the awards, including a description of each category, please check out the website on


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