From August 1st to 3rd, a 13-expert panel tasted a record number of 1,325 entries (60 percent of which from NZ winemakers) to determine this year’s New World Wine Awards champions. Judging has taken place at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, but winners will be officially announced in October.
Eligible wines needed to retail for $25 or less, and competing companies must have at least 5,000 bottles available for sale. The independent panel, chaired by Jim Harré, will award gold, silver and bronze medals; the best wines were re-tasted to elect the Champion wine of each varietal as well as the overall Champion White and Champion Red.
“The New World Wine Awards occupy an important niche, which recognises that wine lovers today are spoilt for choice, so they value having guesswork taken out of choosing an affordable wine that is also high quality as judged by independent wine experts,” said Harré.

Here are some quick facts:

  • 162 wineries entered their products this year, with the highest number of wines (388) coming from Marlborough;
  • the majority of international wine entries are from Australia (423, +25 percent on last year);
  • entries of rosé have increased by 80 percent in 2016;
  • judges will score each wine according to a 20-point system: gold medal wines score 18.5 and above, silver medal wines between 17 and 18 and bronze medal wines between 15.5 and 16.5.