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Hawke’s Bay wine takes the champion’s crown

Hawke’s Bay further cemented itself as a hub of top-flight wines with the 2004 Gunn Estate Skeetfield Chardonnay taking the Champion of the Show award at the International Chardonnay Challenge in Gisborne on 21 October 2005. The 2004 Chardonnay headed off 460 others from Australia, South Africa, Canada and New Zealand, to take the coveted award.

Senior winemaker Tony Bish says the win tops an awesome run for the vineyard but he always knew it was a winner.

‘Right from the start I knew,’ he said. ‘When we finalised the blend, I said it was a gold medal wine.’

And he was right, the 2004 Skeetfield Chardonnay already has a clutch of gold medals and trophies to its credit and is in the running to take out the crown as champion Chardonnay in Australasia.

The grapes come predominantly from Allan Gunn’s 30-hectare vineyard in the Ohiti Valley. Allan is the brother of Gunn Estate winemaker Denis.

The vineyard is planted on the Gunn’s old skeet field. Allan’s father Digger was a national skeet field champion for many years. Both their father and grandfather practiced their skeet shooting on the field for many years. It has now been moved up the hill.

Allan was on hand to receive the award at a gala awards dinner in Gisborne.

About 300 cases of the Skeetfield Chardonnay, which was aged in premium oak barrels, were produced.


With its focus on the single varietal chardonnay, the International Chardonnay Challenge provides a unique opportunity for the promotion of the main wine style of the Gisborne region. The 2004 competition drew 355 entries from 145 different wineries.

The International Chardonnay Challenge is grateful for the support from premium 2005 sponsors: Riversun, Gilmours, Eastland Community Trust, Harveys, GisVin, NZ GrapeGrower, Westfalia and Charta Packaging.

Further information: www.internationalchardonnaychallenge.com

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