Marlborough wine industry to celebrate, after trying times during COVID-19 lockdown

Marlborough wine maker Sophie Parker-Thomson.
Marlborough wine maker Sophie Parker-Thomson. Photo credit: Supplied

The wine industry reacted well to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is now keen to celebrate the wines that resulted from that period, Wine Marlborough says.

Strict lockdown rules struck at the start of this year's harvest, requiring the industry to adapt rapidly to workforce requirements in order to get the fruit off the vines in time.

Entries open today for the 2020 Marlborough Wine Show.

The competition is the country's largest regional wine show, and a chance to highlight all of Marlborough's styles from Sauvignon Blanc to Pinot Noir, Rosé to Pinot Gris and Chardonnay to Gewurztraminer, with special emphasis on sub regional diversity.

Two special awards would also be handed out: The Coterie Provenance Award for the best single vineyard current release wine, and The Marlborough Museum Legacy Award for the company with the highest scores for three vintages of the same variety over a 10-year period.

Competition director Marcus Pickens said 2020 had not been an easy year for anyone in the industry and the show would be a good opportunity to celebrate coming through one of the most trying vintages to date.

Local winemaker Ben Glover was to lead the team of judges, with this year's guest judge being New Zealand Master of Wine, Emma Jenkins.

Entries close on 18 September, with judging scheduled to begin on 14 October at the Marlborough Convention Centre.

Pickens said they were prepared to operate and deliver the wine judging competition safely under alert level 2 guidelines, should they be in place at the time.

Winners will be announced at a celebration lunch on 30 October.