22 October 2019
The ‘gold of golds’ Champion Trophy Medal was awarded to Nelson winery Blackenbrook Vineyard for their first-ever vintage of Pinot Blanc at this year’s New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition in the ‘Other Aromatic’ category.Held last week at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in Canterbury, the New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition, in its 16th year, focuses on aromatic wines, such as Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Viognier, and other varieties, including Muscat, Verdelho, Arneis, Rose and Sauvignon Gris, made in an aromatic style from any internationally recognised region.
Blackenbrook’s 2019 Pinot Blanc was launched only last month, quickly receiving 4.5 stars from Michael Cooper MA ONZM, author of the annual New Zealand Wines: Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide. Blackenbrook owners Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach are thrilled at the reception their newest wine has received.
“Balance and clean varietal characters in our wines are really important to us,” Daniel says. “It’s always rewarding to receive recognition for the hard work our vineyard team and family have put into creating our signature wines, like the Pinot Blanc. With only 11 hectares of Pinot Blanc grapes planted throughout New Zealand, mostly used for blending, we knew it would be a challenge to introduce an unfamiliar wine to Kiwis.
“And yet, they have embraced it. Sales have been brisk, the feedback from customers very positive, and now this wonderful Trophy Medal – all in a few weeks, what an amazing ride! After many years of planning, tending the young vines and anticipating the new style it is gratifying to see people’s eyes light up when they take their first sip.”
Read more about how Blackenbrook created its latest wine, the 2019 Pinot Blanc, on its website. All of Blackenbrook’s wines can be purchased at www.blackenbrook.co.nz.
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On a gentle north-facing slope near Tasman Village, you’ll find Blackenbrook Vineyard, a small volume, high quality winery on a 20ha block owned by Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach. Blackenbrook Vineyard produces seven grape varieties: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and the Italian red variety Montepulciano. Blackenbrook Vineyard is accredited by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
It is a winery designed by a working winemaker. In this region, vines grow into Moutere clay soils and the mild maritime climate sweeps over the hillsides. The vineyard was first planted in the spring of 2001 and the first vintage was launched in 2004. Healthy soil, strong vines and sustainability are the focus of the vineyard management. Daniel, also the winemaker, strives for minimal interference with natural processes, which has resulted in pure and genuine wines. Most of Blackenbrook’s white varieties – including the 2019 Pinot Blanc – are completely unfined and vegan.