Ata Rangi, Felton Road and Mt Difficulty are the only wineries to have been given Five Stars in the Third Great New Zealand Pinot Noir Classification.
The classification, which is based on a rolling average rating of the five most recent vintages, was revealed following the biennial Pinot Noir Conference, held in Wellington.
The creation of a New Zealand wine classification has recently become a hot topic following the request for yet more recognised Geographical Indications to be created within the country.
However, British wine writer Matthew Jukes and Australian wine writer Tyson Stelzer have been producing the Pinot Noir Classification for five years and publishing it for three.
Jukes said: â€œIt quite simply showcases the excellence of the category and it is the first of its kind on the planet.â€
Speaking of the usefulness in having such a hierarchy, Jukes added that the list was created: â€œTo help the trade and consumers decide which are the finest producers of New Zealand Pinot – bearing in mind that only 10 years ago there were only a handful of players and now there are 130-ish, of which around half make it onto this list.â€
The full list can be downloaded from www.matthewjukes.com