An Australian red and a New Zealandwine-glassws white have been crowned winners in New Zealand Wine Society’s Wine of the Year Awards.

South Australia’s Vasarelli Family Reserve McLaren Vale Shiraz 2016 and New Zealand’s Hawkesbridge Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris 2017 won top red and top white respectively in the event, which THE New Zealand Wine Society has been running annually for 24 years. The wines were blind-tasted and evaluated by a panel of experts, including New Zealand Wine Society’s head winemaker Jo Gear and cellar director Vic Williams, plus winemakers Jeremy McKenzie and Nick Badrice. Gear says the 2017 harvest has been the most difficult she has worked. “The quality of this year’s wines is testament to our hardworking and quality-driven growers who worked so hard to deliver good fruit in highly adverse ripening conditions.” The top wines were evaluated for their quality, food-friendliness and memorability.