McArthur Ridge Pinot Noir Scoops Awards at IWC 2022

Alexandra-based vineyard McArthur Ridge has once again been recognised for its outstanding wine-making, with its Southern Tor Pinot Noir claiming two trophies and a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) held in London last month.

Trophy – Best New Zealand Red WineTrophy – Best Central Otago Pinot NoirGold Medal – 96 Points

McArthur Ridge’s Southern Tor Pinot Noir 2020 was the top scoring Pinot from New Zealand and one of only six wines globally to earn 96 points in this category.

The International Wine Challenge, now in its 38th year, is deemed the world’s most rigorous, impartial and influential annual wine competition. The wines are blind-tasted by a minimum of eight judges including experts and influencers from the international wine industry, commercial decision makers, buyers and Masters of Wine.

McArthur Ridge Southern Tor Pinot Noir

Judges noted that the McArthur Ridge Southern Tor Pinot Noir displayed “a heady, inviting fragrant nose of summer pudding, wild thyme, raspberries and a sprinkling of spice. The palate is supple, juicy, vibrant and soft with cranberry acidity,” they concluded.

Chief Viticulturist for McArthur Ridge, Murray Petrie, says the extraordinary characteristics of the wine come down to the location in which its grown.  “The area around Alexandra provides an exceptional example of cool climate viticulture,” he explains. “While the mountainous region might seem unforgiving to some, it really is the perfect place to plant and tend Pinot Noir grapes. With careful vineyard management, a rich, ruby, savoury Pinot Noir is achieved.”

Winemaker for McArthur Ridge, Matt Connell, says he imagines the wine impressed the judges due to its unique qualities.  “I believe the flavour profile from Alexandra matches very well with the European palate,” says Matt. “Southern Tor is the name given to exposed rock mass, thought to be formed by freeze-thaw weathering found throughout the Alexandra region. This landscape is also responsible for growing some of the world’s greatest Pinot Noir.”

Mike Herrick, McArthur Ridge Sales & Marketing Director, says the IWC awards join a string of achievements for the Central Otago wine company this year, succeeding two trophy wins at the New Zealand International Wine Show – where Matt Connell was also awarded Winemaker of the Show – and a Champion Pinot Noir at the New World Wine Awards.

“It is really wonderful to have our wine recognised at such a prestigious and highly-respected international competition,” says Mike. “And it’s fantastic for the New Zealand wine industry as a whole; we are producing some of the best wines in the world down here. These events and awards help us to prove that and really put the spotlight on Kiwi wine.”

McArthur Ridge Southern Tor Pinot Noir 2020

RRP $39.95 Available online at and through Caro’s Fine Wines, Advintage, Vino Fino, FirstGlass Wines and Spirits and Wine Freedom.

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