Two chardonnays, two golds, competition on for winemakers
15 September 2014
Two chardonnays, two golds, competition on for Clearview Estate winemakers
Two 2013 chardonnays from Clearview Estate Winery each took out a gold medal at this year’s New Zealand International Wine Show announced today (Monday 15 September) setting in place a friendly rivalry between the two winemakers responsible.
The Clearview Estate Reserve Chardonnay is the winery’s flagship award-winning wine produced every vintage for 27 years since the first by winemaker and co-founder Tim Turvey. Tim and fellow founder Helma van den Berg were responsible for grafting and planting the original vines that still provide the majority of the fruit for the Reserve Chardonnay.
The Reserve Chardonnay is regarded as the epitome of New World flavour with a five star rating from New Zealand’s leading wine critic and writer Michael Cooper. It has won at least one gold medal or five star rating, or both, every year and this win takes its tally to nearly 60 awards.
The Vineyard Selection Chardonnay, on the other hand, is the new kid on the wine list. This is the third vintage and first gold for the second member of the Clearview winemaking team, Barry Riwai, who has been a winemaker at the Te Awanga, Hawke’s Bay winery since 2005.
An accomplished wine judge, Barry was keen to make a leaner style of chardonnay with characteristics more in the vein of traditional Old World chardonnay. He had experience of such wines while judging here and in Australia. With this gold and an earlier silver at this year’s Romeo Bragato Awards, the Vineyard Selection Chardonnay is now an established contender.
Each vintage Barry hand selects the grapes he will use from within Clearview’s Te Awanga vineyards, choosing some more modern and some older clones that provide a different flavour profile. These vines are then given a different viticulture treatment through the season to ensure they produce the lighter, more typically Old World flavours required. For instance, only minimal leaf plucking is practiced so that bunches remain partially shaded, enhancing the citrus and mineral characters and flavours.
“Without a doubt, 2013 was a fantastic vintage for Hawke’s Bay and we are expecting there to be many accolades and awards for not just ours but many Hawke’s Bay wines as they come to market,” says Charles Gear, Clearview Estate general manager sales and marketing.
“I can see that there will be some fun times ahead around our smoko table as the results of the various wine competitions come out. Maybe I can set up a secret bet amongst the rest of us to see which winemaker comes out on top at the end of the wine awards!”
Clearview Estate’s Coastal Gewurztraminer 2013 won silver at the same wine show and there were four bronzes awarded for several of their other wines.
Established by Tim Turvey and Helma van den Berg in 1989, Clearview Estate continues as a family owned and operated business – handcrafted wines are grown, produced and bottled onsite. Renowned for award-winning Chardonnays and full bodied red wines, and the rustic and iconic ‘red shed’ restaurant that pioneered vineyard seaside dining in 1991 by combining a cellar door and lunch restaurant in a leafy vineyard setting.
Situated on the coastline of Hawke's Bay at Te Awanga, the Estate enjoys a unique microclimate, virtually frost-free with a warm, extended growing season and refreshing sea breezes. Clearview Estate focuses on quality; producing wines of great fruit intensity with a strong commitment to sustainability in all aspects of the business.