Tag Archives: South Africa

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The world cup of wine

There are many competitions which allow New Zealand wines to compete against those from other countries. Because much of our wine is exported it’s useful to see how they stack up against the competition.

Pre-judging the judges

I’ve just finished selecting New Zealand’s entries for the 13th Six Nations Wine Challenge held in Sydney each year. The competition started as a head-to-head match between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Chile, Argentina and the United States were added more recently.

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Pinot progress

I’ve just completed my annual Pinot Noir tasting. A total of 275 wines were submitted by wineries in every region south of Gisborne. The best were better than ever and the same applies to the wines at the other end of the quality scale. I was surprised and gratified by the enthusiasm for our most prestigious, if not most prolific, varietal wine during a recent trip through Asia, Europe and the US. Pinot Noir lovers are enthusiastic. They are quick to appreciate exciting wines from emerging regions.

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Winning wines

Does Australia make better wine than New Zealand? To answer that you’d have to pick the very best wines from both countries and get professional judges to compare them in a blind tasting. I’ve done exactly that each year for the past eleven years. The score so far is nine wins to Australia and two to New Zealand. The two countries go head-to-head once a year at a competition that started as the Tri Nations Wine Challenge with the best wines from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and has evolved into the Six Nations Wine Challenge by adding wines from Chile, Argentina and the United States.