The award, presented to the Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum Gewürztraminer, recognises a variety which makes up less than 1 per cent of wine production at the winery.
Winemaker Heather Stewart says it was an honour for the winemakers, viticulturists and the grower to receive an award for a wine they had put so much effort into.
“There are so many amazing aromatic wines produced in New Zealand, as our cool maritime climate is ideal for creating varietal aromatics in the grapes, and New Zealand’s aromatic wines are internationally acclaimed and iconic,” she says.
“As winemakers we are especially happy when our small varieties, such as Gewürztraminer, Grüner Veltliner and Viognier win awards, as we treat them as our pet projects, with trials, experimentation and creativity involved, so a lot of our soul goes into making them.”
Heather describes the Lone Gum Gewürztraminer as being a very unique wine in the Saint Clair portfolio, with exotic, luscious and aromatic characteristics including lychee, mandarin zest, rose petal, spice characters and a hint of sweetness on the palate.
Gewürztraminer is a food-friendly wine, particularly complimenting spicy food, and while it is not a mainstream variety, those who try it tend to love it, Heather says.
“Our advantage in Marlborough is that due to our cool climate we can leave the Gewürztraminer grapes hanging on the vine for a long period of time, allowing the intense varietal flavours to develop … the exotic fruits and spice characters combine to make a wine that really compliments the aromatic flavours and heat of Asian cuisine. I also love Gewürztraminer in the sunshine with an antipasto platter.”
Saint Clair Family Estate also picked up a Gold Medal for the Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.
“Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc is Saint Clair’s flagship wine, and the best Sauvignon Blanc that we feel we can produce each vintage, so we are really happy that it continues to be recognised in top international wine competitions,” Heather says.
Saint Clair Family Estate Awards; New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition 2017:
Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum Gewürztraminer 2016
Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Lone Gum Vineyard, Omaka Valley, Marlborough. Photo by Rachel at RT Photography.