Seventeen judges are about to immerse themselves in Marlborough wine as the Marlborough Wine Show sponsored by QuayConnect kicks off this week.
Those judges will be kept busy with entries in most categories well above previous years. Chief Judge Ben Glover said wineries are well aware of the importance of shows, particularly regional ones such as Marlborough.
“There is a huge emphasis on sub regional Marlborough in this show, as we believe it is vitally important to showcase the sub regions and the differences they impart on the wines,” he said.
Originally only Sauvignon Blanc was judged sub regionally. Then Pinot Noir was included and for the first time in 2022, sub regional Chardonnay will come under the taste test. Post Covid those sub regional stories have become even more important, Glover believes.
“People are wanting to draw a line in the sand about where their wine comes from.”
While most judges are local there are two guests who will be put through their paces. James Millton from Gisborne who is affectionately known as the father of biodynamics in New Zealand will be joined by Australian Master of Wine Annette Lacey. Glover noted that the international perspective is important.
“Annette has an important understanding of her marketplace and given Australia is our closest and one of our largest markets that’s important for our wine industry. I’m excited to judge with her and James.”
The Marlborough Wine Show director Marcus Pickens said entries for 2022 are up across the board with the numbers entered in The Coterie Provenance category seeing a huge rise.
“Last year we had 45 entries, this year we have 122. The Provenance trophy will be given to the best single vineyard current release wine.”
The Marlborough Museum legacy award has also seen substantial growth in entry numbers over time, for a wine producer who has the highest scores for three vintages of the same variety over a 10-year period. In total more than 550 wines have been entered into this year’s awards.
Glover who has just completed an overseas marketing trip says wine show results are important in the marketplace which is very different in 2022 than it was pre Covid.
“People are wanting to see more from Sauvignon Blanc and they are wanting to see more Marlborough varieties. Pre Covid it was all Sauvignon Blanc. Now there is real interest in other varieties. But it’s still hard out there and that is why it’s important to be able to deliver a clear and concise picture of all that is happening in the Marlborough wine world through something as detailed as the Marlborough Wine Show.”
Judging for the 2022 Marlborough Wine Show, sponsored by QuayConnect, will take place over three days, beginning on Wednesday 28th September. Medal winners will be announced on October 7 with trophies announced at a Celebration Lunch at the end of October.