A Canterbury company has been fined $1.7 million for fraudulently blending and mislabelling wine.
Grown by Phil Holden, the Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012 won the coveted Bragato Trophy, and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay.
Chairman of judges Ben Glover says the "effortless class, poise and style of this exquisite wine" shone through.
The Bragato Wine Awards, held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato Conference, are awarded to the grower for viticultural excellence.
The competition recognises that growing excellent grapes is the foundation of making wines of true quality.
The trophies were presented at the Bragato Dinner last night.
During the dinner three wine industry pioneers were inducted as Fellows of New Zealand Winegrowers. Hermann and Agnes Seifried, Seifried Estate in Nelson, and Richard Riddiford, Palliser Estate in Martinborough were honoured with the title and recognised for making an outstanding contribution to the New Zealand grape and wine industry.
The young leaders of the wine industry were also celebrated with 27 year old Paul Robinson from Villa Maria, Hawkes Bay, announced as the winner of the Young Viticulturist of the Year.