Murdoch James Estate is celebrating its 30th year as a Martinborough wine producer by winning gold medals and a trophy at two prestigious competitions in London.

The company, which has produced Martinborough Pinot Noir and Syrah since 1986, won gold for the Murdoch James Blue Rock Pinot Noir 2014 at the Decanter World Wine Awards and the International Wine Challenge (IWC), plus a trophy for Blue Rock Pinot Noir at the IWC.

The Decanter World Wine Awards is one of Europe’s toughest wine contests with only 3% of 16,000 entries winning gold. The International Wine Challenge, now in its 33rd year, sees all wines assessed blind and judged for their faithfulness to style, region and vintage. Each medal-winning wine is tasted on three separate occasions by at least ten different judges.

Murdoch James Estate winemaker Carl Fraser said the company’s philosophy is based around traditional wine-making.

“Everything is hand-picked, hand-sorted and hand-plunged. At Murdoch James, we don’t have machine harvesters or trucks delivering the fruit. We use oak barrels, and we fine the traditional way using egg whites. Our philosophy is simple: respect the old ways and use the hands to create smooth textured wines with a sense of place.”

Murdoch James Estate has grown from a humble four hectares of Pinot Noir and Syrah planted by founders Roger and Jill Fraser to 50ha plus today. Still family run, investment into the business in 2010 enabled the company to grow and service export markets all over the world.

In addition to the trophy and two gold medal wins, Murdoch James Estate’s 2014 Blue Rock Syrah also won an impressive Silver at the IWC.

The co-chairman of the IWC, Charles Metcalf said: “Another standout year from New Zealand’s winemakers. We have come to expect exquisite Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir from Kiwi winemakers, and they definitely delivered. But we also have some top-quality Chardonnays Merlots and Syrah’s. The future looks very bright for New Zealand wines.”