Chardonnay is New Zealand’s third biggest varietal producer after Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir and it is this classic that Vidal Estate is leading the way with, producing some of the country’s best Chardonnay.
“Chardonnay is one of the greatest varieties in the world,” says Hugh Crichton head winemaker of Vidal Estate, one of New Zealand’s oldest wineries, “Chardonnay does exceptionally well in Hawkes Bay and a variety we love at Vidal Estate and one we focus on.”
Vidal Estate produces Chardonnay in three distinctive tiers, Vidal Legacy, the flagship, the ultimate in experience and selectively released, Vidal Reserve, elegant, classic and regional wines and Estate range, versatile and approachable with consistent quality.
The proof of success for Vidal Estate’s Chardonnay has been in the many awards received in all three tiers. The Vidal Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2012 recently won Champion Wine of the Show and Trophy at the Bragato wine awards held in Marlborough. “The effortless class, poise and style of this exquisite wine shone through,” said judge Ben Glover.
This was followed by collecting a gold medal at the New Zealand International Wine Show for the Legacy Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2010, and a double gold in the recent New World Wine Awards, for the Reserve Hawkes Bay 2013 and Vidal Hawkes Bay 2013, Estate range.
The awards across the three tiers are confirmation for Vidal Estate that each Chardonnay is showing its true characteristics, able to reach all markets from high premium restaurants for the Legacy to selected liquor and grocery stores for the Reserve and Estate range.
It was pioneer Anthony Joseph Vidal who in 1905 established Vidal Estate converting stables in Hastings to produce wine. Today these stables are home to the Vidal Estate barrel room where the natural fermentation takes place; this authentic process adds complexity to the Chardonnay resulting in distinctive aromatics and textures on the palate.
Crichton’s passion is for producing classic, elegant, wines and credits the success to the time and effort that goes into the vineyard, “you can only make exceptional wine if you start with exceptional grapes.” Crichton’s natural hands off winemaking approach, allows the vineyard and season to shine through in every bottle.