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January 11, 2017

From Best of 2016, Top Category on the Rise: New Zealand Chardonnay

 Among the highlights of my 2016 was an opportunity to return as a senior international judge for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards in Auckland. Judging this competition in 1999 was one of the most illuminating early experiences in my work in wine, one that disclosed a breadth of excellence and potential that was simply impossible to appreciate fully based on the relatively limited selection of New Zealand wines available for tasting in the USA. Equally illuminating in 1999 was the professionalism of the judges and the judging, and the caliber of the Awards in 2016 was even more impressive in 2016 under the direction of Michael Brajkovich MW, the Chair of Judges.