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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



New Zealand Wine Competition

Each year since 1957, in an effort to raise the standard of New Zealand wines, a competition and a wine tasting function are arranged by the Department of Industries and Commerce in association with the Viticultural Advisory Committee of the Department of Agriculture. The international system of judging, which is used in Europe, the United States, and Australia, is used. Under this system awards are given for all wines meeting prescribed standards. Wines qualify for gold, silver, or bronze medals or the equivalent certificates according to a points system. The judges consider each wine separately and award points under four headings: colour, 2 points; clarity, 2 points; bouquet, 4 points; and general impression, 12 points – making a maximum possible of 20 points. Awards are given to wines reaching the following standards:

Gold: 17·01 points or over.

Silver: 15·01–17·0 points.

Bronze: 13·01–15·0 points.

There are 11 classes in the New Zealand Wine Competition and each is divided into two divisions – Commercial and Exhibition – depending on whether the producer holds prescribed minimum stocks of the wine. The classes are:

Unfermented grape juice.
Dry white table wine
Dry red table wine not exceeding 25 per cent
Sparkling wine proof spirit.
Sweet white table wine
Dry sherry not exceeding zero beaumé.
Medium dry sherry not exceeding 2·5 beaumé.
Medium sweet sherry not exceeding 4 beaumé.
Full sweet sherry over 4 beaumé.

by Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.