27 Nov 2012

Judge praises 'stars' of NZ wine industry

9:35 am on 27 November 2012

Sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir remain the stars of the New Zealand wine industry.

Air New Zealand Wine Awards chief judge Michael Brajkovich says they are the best performers internationally and are going from strength-to- strength.

He says sauvignon blanc, which makes up half of New Zealand's wine production and 85% of exports, has developed a uniquely New Zealand and distinctly Marlborough taste profile.

But Mr Brajkovich says the improvement in the sophistication of New Zealand chardonnay has been paying dividends for the industry.

A pinot noir from Central Otago was judged the top wine at the awards, and Mr Brajkovich says the high quality of that variety has really put the industry on the world map.