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Judges' Résumés 2018 SIWC

Warren Gibson (NZ). Tenth Term Panellist

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Warren Gibson (NZ)

Chief Winemaker, Trinity Hill, Hawkes Bay, NZ
Proprietor, Bilancia, home of “La Collina” Syrah* Hawkes Bay, NZ

Warren Gibson was educated at Massey University, New Zealand, and at Roseworthy College, South Australia. He began his winemaking career in New Zealand in 1987, subsequently travelling the world as a Flying Winemaker, including vintages in Australia, Italy, Hungary, France and California. This represents over 30 vintages across ten international wine regions.

In 2005, Warren was named “New Zealand Winemaker of the Year” by “Winestate” a specialist Australasian wine magazine, The following year, in 2006 he was declared “Winemaker of the Year“ at the Mercedes Benz Hawkes Bay Wine Show.

Trinity Hill is consistently voted one of NZ’s top ten wineries, producing wines over a range of international wine styles. Trinity Hill’s flagship “Homage” Syrah 2007 was judged “Champion Wine 2011 in Cuisine Magazine’s “Best of the Best”. Warren is approaching his 18th vintage as Chief Winemaker. He also heads the viticultural team and has control over their vineyards.

In 1997 with partner Lorraine Leheny, also a winemaker, they established their own brand, Bilancia. In Italian, Bilancia translates to balance and equilibrium. Their super star “La Collina” Syrah is now in its 10th vintage. The material for “La Collina”, Italian for “The Little Hill”, is grown on the steep slopes of Roy’s Hill, near Hastings.

In Winestate magazine, the 2009 Vintage was recently judged in the TOP 10 (7th) from 657 wines in their “World’s Greatest Syrah/Shiraz Challenge”. Their Bilancia Pinot Gris is also accorded star status. Both wines are produced only in very small quantities.

Since 1998, Warren has been a regular judge at all of his country's major wine shows. He was an international guest judge of the National Wine Show of Australia (Canberra) in 2010 and International Judge at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show in 2014.

Currently, Warren’s major ambitions include trying to be competitive in all departments with his 17 year old son, Jakob, and daughter Grace (14), and being a better golfer at 48 than he once was at 25. Or, at least, finding the time to try!.

*Bilancia La Collina Syrah 2010
“If there is one Syrah every fan needs to try, it is this from the maestro of Hawke's Bay, Warren Gibson. Unfortunately, there won't be a “la Collina in 2011 or 2012, which is more reason to hunt this down. The vineyard is incredibly low-yielding and perched precariously on the side of a ridiculously steep slope and the result is a wine of such purity and perfume of red and black fruits, and an intriguing array of spices in the bouquet. The palate is like silk, staggeringly long and layered, and very hard to leave alone”
Ben Edwards, “My 20 Great Reds, Best of the Best Single Vineyard Wines, 2013“.

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