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Church Road Chardonnay triumphs home and away – Seven trophies in one week

Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand

For immediate release                                                                 17 October 2019

Last night’s announcements of trophies at the global IWSC and local Hawke’s Bay wine show brought the triumphant tally of seven trophies awarded to CHURCH ROAD GRAND RESERVE CHARDONNAY 2018 in the last week – an incredible result for any wine.

The embargo was lifted yesterday for the 2019 International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), held in London, and it was revealed that the Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018 had been awarded the prestigious IWSC Mission Hill Chardonnay Trophy.  It is the first New Zealand chardonnay to win the trophy since 2013, a triumph for Church Road and for New Zealand chardonnay overall. The IWSC has been recognising and rewarding the very best wines and spirits in the world for the past 50 years.

At the awards dinner last night for the 2019 Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayley’s Wine Awards, the same wine won four trophies including “Champion Wine of Show” and “Champion Chardonnay”, recognising it not only the best Chardonnay but also the best wine from the Hawke’s Bay region, which is home to Church Road since the winery was founded there in 1897.

The outstanding quality of the 2018 Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay has not only been recognised on a world stage and its home region, but also amongst its new-world rivals.

Last week, the 2018 Grand Reserve Chardonnay was awarded the ‘Chardonnay Trophy’ and ‘White Wine of Show’ at the Six Nations Wine Challenge held in Australia. This challenge invites the top 100 wines from each of the six new world wine-producing countries (Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa and Chile) to submit their wines, which are then judged blind by the panel.

Church Road Chief Winemaker Chris Scott said it was an honour to have the 2018 Grand Reserve Chardonnay recognised by both an international and local audience.

At Church Road, we’re on a constant journey to keep learning how we grow and craft our wines to be their very best, and this chardonnay is no exception. We only create our Grand Reserve wines in exceptional vintages, and 2018 proved to be exactly that for chardonnay in Hawke’s Bay,” Chris said.

The 2018 Hawke’s Bay vintage suited chardonnay perfectly, with a warm summer and then milder temperatures over harvest, producing well balanced fruit.

The 2018 Grand Reserve Chardonnay was handpicked from two low-cropping vineyards, Tuki Tuki and Terraces, both in the Tuki Tuki Valley. The 2018 vintage is the first time that chardonnay fruit has been harvested from Terraces vineyard since it was converted from red grape varieties. This is a ripe chardonnay that maintains its balance and elegance, with fine texture, length and a refreshing acidity.

It’s exciting to see that New Zealand chardonnay is building its international reputation, and we’re humbled that Church Road is part of this with these award wins. Chardonnay is such a hotly contested variety because such a broad range of styles can be created across many wine regions globally, which makes it all the more pleasing to see our wine from Hawke’s Bay earn its place among world leading examples,” Chris said.

The 2018 Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay is available at leading wine retailers in New Zealand at RRP NZ$39.99.

The full list of trophies won by Church Road Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2018 are:

  • International Wine & Spirits Competition 2019 – IWSC Mission Hill Chardonnay Trophy
  • Six Nations Wine Challenge 2019 – Chardonnay Trophy
  • Six Nations Wine Challenge 2019 – White Wine of Show
  • Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayley’s Wine Awards 2019 – Champion Chardonnay
  • Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayley’s Wine Awards 2019 – Champion Export Wine of the Show
  • Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayley’s Wine Awards 2019 – Champion Commercial White/Rose Wine
  • Hawke’s Bay A & P Bayley’s Wine Awards 2019 – Champion Wine of the Show


Notes to Editors:

About Church Road

Church Road Winery, renowned for being the first in New Zealand to craft exceptional quality Bordeaux style red wine, pioneered the creation of the Hawke’s Bay wine industry. Church Road wines are crafted using the most exceptional quality fruit from vineyards across Hawke’s Bay, together with traditional winemaking techniques to create highly acclaimed award-winning wines. These techniques have been evolved by working throughout the 1990s with winemakers from Domaines Cordier, a respected French winery of its day.

In a New Zealand first, French oak cuves used to ferment premium wines, were installed in Church Road Winery in 1995. Church Road Winery is one of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, founded in 1897 on the same site it stands on today. Church Road is committed to sustainable practices and is accredited under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ) scheme.

Please enjoy Church Road wines responsibly.

For more information please contact:

Annabel Herbison, Public Relations Manager, Pernod Ricard New Zealand


T: +64 21 597 826

CHURCH ROAD is a trademark of Pernod Ricard Winemakers New Zealand Limited.

Enjoy Church Road wines responsibly.

I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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