Blackenbrook Vineyard scores another impressive industry accolade

Multi-award winning Blackenbrook Vineyard scores another impressive industry accolade

P1050675-1Multi-award winning Tasman winemaker Daniel Schwarzenbach of Blackenbrook Vineyard has scored another impressive industry accolade by winning a gold medal and the trophy for Best Gewürztraminer at the prestigious annual Bragato Wine Awards held in Napier on 27 August.

This is the fifth ‘best wine in class’ award at a national competition for the family owned and run vineyard and it cements Blackenbrook’s reputation for producing outstanding aromatic wines.
Bragato Wine Awards are noteworthy because they recognize the grape grower rather than the vineyard and are awarded by fellow viticulturists.

“We put our heart and soul into our wines,” said Daniel Schwarzenbach speaking from Germany where he is currently judging wine at the Mundus Vini International Wine Awards. “Accolades such as the Bragato trophy tell us that we are achieving something really special here. We are humbled by this recognition from our peers.”

Producing beautiful Gewürztraminer is the realization of a long-cherished dream for the Schwarzenbachs. “Before starting our vineyard I worked as a cellar hand for Alsace’s Domaine Zind-Humbrecht, one of the top Gewürztraminer producers worldwide,” said Daniel. “It was a fantastic experience and I couldn’t wait to get home to our patch of Tasman paradise to start planting our own aromatics.”

Ursula Schwarzenbach said that achieving another national award is a very proud moment for a small vineyard in a very competitive industry. “Gewürztraminer is a variety that we have been working really hard on and it’s very exciting to see that our work is paying off in the glass.”

20150817_150843 Daniel & Ursula Schwarzenbach, Blackenbrook Vineyard (1)Ursula and Daniel Schwarzenbach

About Blackenbrook Vineyard:

Blackenbrook Vineyard is in Tasman near Nelson (New Zealand) and is owned by Daniel and Ursula Schwarzenbach. All Blackenbrook wines are 100% sustainably produced and accredited by Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand. Its white and rosé wines are vegan, certified by the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. Blackenbrook Vineyard’s wine is available for sale directly from the Blackenbrook website

Awards and accolades for Blackenbrook:

• Bragato Wine Awards 2015: Trophy for best Gewürztraminer for Blackenbrook Gewürztraminer 2014

• Bragato Wine Awards 2014: Trophy for best Pinot Gris for Blackenbrook Pinot Gris 2013

• New Zealand International Wine Show 2008: Trophy for best Pinot Gris for Blackenbrook Reserve Pinot Gris 2008

• New Zealand International Wine Show 2007: Trophy for best Sauvignon Blanc for Blackenbrook Sauvignon Blanc 2007

• Bragato Wine Awards 2007: Trophy for best Sauvignon Blanc for Blackenbrook Sauvignon Blanc 2007

“Blackenbrook is one of the highest-achieving wineries on the Nelson scene with a reputation for aromatic white wines – Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc – that are rich and full of personality.” – Michael Cooper (renowned wine critic)

Media enquiries:
Ursula Schwarzenbach
Ph 03 526 6888 or 027 434 0697

Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2015 Results

A Night of Celebration at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards 2015

An Auckland Chardonnay and a Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot shine at this year’s Romeo Bragato Wine Awards.

Grown by Brett Donaldson, the Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2013 won the coveted Bragato Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard Wine and the Bill Irwin Trophy for Champion Chardonnay. “The Bragato Trophy went to this beautifully handled Chardonnay because in simple terms – it was exceptional. The wine had a sense of place and it was a pleasure to savour and taste” said Chairman of Judges Ben Glover.

Villa Maria’s Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013, made from grapes grown on the Vidal Vineyard by Phil Holden won the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine. “This was just a beautifully crafted wine – well done to all on allowing the fruit to shine with deft and subtle winemaking” said Mr Glover.

The Bragato Wine Awards, held each year as part of the New Zealand Winegrowers Romeo Bragato National 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 in Hawke’s Bay last night.

Bragato Wine Awards 2015 Trophy Results:

Bragato Trophy and Champion Single Vineyard Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2013
Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland
Brett Donaldson

Richard Smart Trophy and Champion Domaine Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Phil Holden

Friedrich Wohnsiedler Trophy Winner and Champion Riesling
Thornbury Waipara Riesling 2015
Waiata Vineyard, Waipara
Royce McKean

Brother Cyprian Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Gris
Church Road Pinot Gris 2015
Matapiro Estate, Hawke’s Bay
Max Bixley

Champion Gewürztraminer
Blackenbrook Nelson Gewürztraminer 2014
Blackenbrook Vineyard, Nelson
Daniel Schwarzenbach

Champion Other White Wine
Saint Clair Marlborough Premium Grüner Veltliner 2014
Hawkesbury Farm Ltd, Marlborough
Robert & Heather Goulter

Champion Sweet Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Semillon Botrytis Selection 2011
Hammond Vineyard, Marlborough
Rob Hammond

New Zealand Wine Cellars Spence Brothers Trophy Winner and Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Sauvignon Blanc 2015
Stoneleigh, Marlborough
Rod Brailsford

Champion Sparkling Wine
Akarua Vintage Brut 2010
Akarua Wines, Central Otago
Mark Naismith

Bill Irwin Trophy Winner and Champion Chardonnay
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Chardonnay 2013
Ihumatao Vineyard, Auckland
Brett Donaldson

Champion Rosé
Whitehaven Rosé 2015
Whitehaven Wine Company Limited, Marlborough
Sioban Harnett

Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Pinot Noir
Maude, Mt Maude Vineyard, Pinot Noir 2014
Mount Maude Vineyard, Central Otago
Terry Wilson

Tom McDonald Memorial Trophy Winner and Champion Classical Red Wine
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
Vidal Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Phil Holden

Alan Limmer Trophy Winner and Champion Syrah
Talisman Syrah 2013
Elms Vineyard, Hawke’s Bay
Peter Yealands

For a full list of medals click here.

Note: To be awarded the Bragato Trophy – Champion Single Vineyard Wine, a minimum of 95% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.

To be awarded the Richard Smart Trophy – Champion Domaine Wine, a minimum of 85% of the grape juice content must come from a single vineyard.

For further information please contact:
Ben Glover
Chair of Judges
Bragato Wine Awards
029 520 8288

Introducing No.1 Assemblé From No.1 Family Estate

Assemblé is the new release from the pioneer of Marlborough Methode Traditionelle, Daniel Le Brun – owner and winemaker of Nº 1 Family Estate. It is the first wine in New Zealand to be labeled as “Methode Marlborough” instead of Methode Traditionelle.

Bob Campbell MW, and also winemaker Daniel Le Brun “Sabraged” and released the wine on Friday August 14 at the official opening of Wine AKL at Shed 10, Queens Wharf.


In 1980 Adele and Daniel Le Brun began the journey of establishing Marlborough as a home of world class Methode Traditionelle. Today, Marlborough enjoys a reputation for producing consistent and exceptionally high quality wines.

As Nº 1 Family Estate’s reputation has grown, so has the number of friends and colleagues producing fine Methodes Traditionelle wine in Marlborough. With this peer group building regional success, Marlborough deserved a regional brand for traditional sparkling wine – a statement and an assurance of quality.

Methode Marlborough is a society of 10 highly regarded Marlborough producers established to ensure the quality and heritage of Marlborough’s finest Methode Traditionelle. Assemblé is the first to use the brand Méthode Marlborough with others in the group soon to follow.

All Methode Marlborough wines follow strict criteria: they must be made exclusively from Marlborough grown Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier as a blend or alone, the varieties are recognised as the benchmark for Champagne and Methode Traditionelle producers globally. In production, Methode Marlborough wines must follow the traditional method of secondary fermentation in the bottle, followed by the intricacies of riddling and of ageing for a minimum of 18 months on lees before disgorging.

“The words Methode Marlborough are on the bottle as an assurance to consumers and producers alike of 100% commitment to crafting wines of the finest quality. We are confident that Methode Marlborough will become a globally recognised standard of quality in traditional sparkling wine and make a significant contribution to the future of the New Zealand wine industry and, importantly, to distinguish the difference from sparkling wines produced by tank fermentation (Charmat), the use of other non-traditional grape varietals and also the method of introducing bubbles by a system which pumps C0? into the wine, similar to that of soft drink production” says Adele Le Brun.

f43284ec-493c-455b-bbf3-1d530f9e1373Assemblé (pronounced ASOM-BLAY) the first wine released under Methode Marlborough is from Nº 1 Family Estate, a boutique Methode Champenoise winery, situated on Marlborough’s “Golden Mile” – Rapaura Road – established in 1997 by Adele and Daniel Le Brun. It is the only New Zealand winery dedicated solely to producing premium Methode Traditionelle.

At this time we are also taking the opportunity to introduce our new Nº 1 Family Estate company logo, which depicts the iconic archway on the front of our winery building. Assemblé is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, a non-vintage Methode Marlborough brut by winemaker Daniel Le Brun. RRP $32 to $36.

Key stockists include: Glengarry Wines, Fine Wine Delivery Company, selected Liquorland and Superliquor stores, selected New World and Countdown supermarkets and selected fine wine retailers throughout New Zealand.

Please contact Heidi Bulfin for images and further detail.
Phone 03 572-7230
Mobile 021 544 576

Adele Le Brun is available for interview and comment on Assemblé and Methode Marlborough.

USA now largest export market for New Zealand wine.

The USA has over taken Australia to become New Zealand wine’s largest export market by value according to the 2015 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers. Now valued at $372 million, up 13%, the US market accounted for around one quarter of wine exports in June year end 2015.


Significant potential for further growth in North America and other markets is cited in the Report, as the wine industry advances towards its goal of $2 billion of exports in 2020. “We expect further growth in export value in the year ahead, but volume growth will be constrained due to the smaller 2015 harvest” said Steve Green, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Mr Green highlighted that in order to achieve continuing value growth, New Zealand wine must maintain focus on enhancing its reputation as a distinctive, quality product. “Our premium reputation remains the greatest collective asset for New Zealand wine, and underlies the high average price our wine commands in global trade”.

New Zealand wine exports reached a new record of $1.42 billion in June year end 2015, up 7% on 2014. Wine is now New Zealand’s sixth largest export good by value.

The 2015 Annual Report can be accessed HERE and is available at

For further information contact:
Steve Green, Chair
New Zealand Winegrowers
027 2083194
Philip Gregan
Chief Executive Officer
New Zealand Winegrowers
021 964564

2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition Trophies Announced

Trophies were announced on Friday night at a special awards dinner to celebrate the results of the 2015 Spiegelau International Wine Competition. Held at a prestigious central Auckland location, over 100 wine industry guests enjoyed the gold medal wines and a chance to hear first-hand which wines had been awarded the trophies.


New Zealand, Australia and France were recipients of trophies, while Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013 was awarded the ultimate award of the Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show. Commenting, Chief Judge Mr Mike DeGaris of Sydney said, “The Chardonnay class was very strong resulting in 14 gold medals,” He continued, “This wine is outstanding – an exceptionally worthy winner.”

Villa Maria was awarded the Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Producer, with almost 20% of their show entries receiving gold medals as well as the trophies for Champion Sweet Wine and Champion Rose. The medals were earned across all the major wine styles, continuing to demonstrate the company’s winemaking leadership.

The second annual Wine Competition Ltd Award for Portfolio Excellence was again won by Auckland-based distributor, EuroVintage.

The list of trophies is as follows:

Gow Langsford Gallery Trophy for Champion Sparkling Wine:
Piper Heidsieck Cuveé Brut

Champion Gewurztraminer:
Spy Valley Gewurztraminer 2014

Champion Pinot Gris:
Mud House Marlborough Pinot Gris 2014

Champion Riesling:
Peregrine Riesling 2010

Scenic Hotel Group Trophy for Champion Sauvignon Blanc:
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Macvine International Trophy for Champion Chardonnay:
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013

Wine Competition Ltd Trophy for Champion Other White:
Matawhero Church House Chenin Blanc 2014

Champion Sweet Wine:
Villa Maria Reserve Marlborough Noble Riesling Botrytis Selection 2013

Champion Rose:
Villa Maria Private Bin Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2015

Champion Pinot Noir:
Maude Pinot Noir 2014

Champion Merlot:
Sileni Estate Selection ‘The Triangle’ Merlot 2013

Champion Cabernet Sauvignon:
Shingleback Davey Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Champion Shiraz/Syrah:
Krondorf Growers Barossa Shiraz 2013

Champion Other Red:
Flying Solo Grenache Syrah 2014

Champion Fortified:
Buller Fine Old Muscat

Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Wine of the Show:
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2013

Spiegelau Trophy for Champion Producer:
Villa Maria

Wine Competition Ltd Award for Portfolio Excellence: