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Central Otago’s Peregrine Wines scoops top trophies at NZ awards

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Central Otago premium wine producer Peregrine Wines was a shining light at the New Zealand Wine of the Year 2019 awards, scooping up three out of eight top trophies.

The annual awards are the official wine competition of the industry, aimed at celebrating vineyard excellence and regionality, organics, single vineyard, provenance and commercial volumes.

Peregrine shone in the organics awards in particular, taking out Champion Organic Red Wine with its Peregrine Pinot Noir 2017 and Champion Organic White Wine for its Peregrine Riesling 2018. The winery also took home the Champion Open Red Wine trophy for its Saddleback Pinot Noir 2018.

Owned by the McLachlan family, first-generation owner Lindsay McLachlan is at the helm as chairman and takes the lead on the organic vineyard practices at the Peregrine Estate. He works closely with his son, Fraser, who having spent most of his school holidays in the vineyard is now the CEO, responsible for the day-to-day operations of Peregrine.

The McLachlans are understandably thrilled with their trophies, announced at the awards dinner held in Blenheim this weekend.

The organic awards are particularly significant for the winery, given that the trophy-winning organic red is the first certified organic pinot noir under the Peregrine label.

Peregrine is no stranger to recognition, having received three major trophies for its 2009 Pinot Noir at the 2010 awards and Fraser describes the awards as "a true reflection of the enormous amount of passion and effort our team pour into our wines from ground level right through to the marketplace."

"We’re delighted to have been recognised by the industry for not one, but three wines in our portfolio," he says.

Peregrine Wines produced its first vintage in 1998 and conversion to organics began in 2009. While some of the range has been certified organic for a number of years, when the pinot noir became fully organic with the 2017 vintage the entire Peregrine range was certified as a result.

The McLachlans see organic farming as "fundamental" to every aspect of Peregrine Estate, integrating crop and livestock farming with vineyard management while focussing on nurturing healthy, living soils.

"Our organic farming approach provides the highest-quality fruit from our estate vineyards which we’re proud to craft into our fully-organic Peregrine range," says Fraser.

Central Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA) recently announced the results of a new survey that reveals it as the leading organic wine region in New Zealand.

The members survey after the 2019 harvest, aimed at assessing the level of certified organic and biodynamic vineyards in Central Otago, showed that 17% (320 hectares) of vineyard land in Central is now fully certified in organic and biodynamic production with another 6% (115ha) in the official three-year organic conversion process.

This means 23% of the region’s vineyard land is currently being farmed under certified organic or biodynamic practices.

Known as a specialist multi-award-winning Pinot Noir house, Peregrine also produces excellent Rosé, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and sparkling wine.

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