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Akarua wins at Five Nations Wine Challenge

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Akarua wins at Five Nations Wine Challenge

Akarua takes home Red Wine of Show and Pinot Noir Trophy at Five Nations Wine Challenge

A Central Otago winery was presented with the prestigious Red Wine of Show and Class Trophy for its award-winning 2010 Pinot Noir at the ‘Five Nations Wine Challenge’ at a dinner held in Sydney last night (October 26).

Akarua winery, located in the outstanding Bannockburn sub-region, picked up the coveted Pinot Noir trophy at the awards and then was later awarded the Red Wine of the Show, recognising its 2010 vintage as one of the best in the world.

Wineries can only enter the awards by invitation from judges selected from each of the five represented countries -- New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, and Argentina.

New Zealand Master of Wine Bob Campbell has invited Akarua to take part in this competition for the past three years, and last year the Akarua Reserve Pinot Noir 2009 was runner-up in its class.

The Five Nations wine challenge was best summed up by Mr Campbell when he wrote: "Because the wines are all pre-selected by each of the judges, the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world."

Akarua winemaker Matt Connell said it was "fantastic" for Akarua to gain this recognition for the already well-awarded 2010 vintage.

"We’re a well-established winery in Bannockburn now, and the age of the vines which were planted in 1996 is providing us with beautiful fruit to produce outstanding wine," he said.

"This competition has particular significance for me because it is invitation only, so you know that you are up against the best of the best as only seven wines of the same varietal from each country are invited to take part.

"To end up with the Trophy and then Red Wine of Show is certainly a major highlight in my career to date.

"The 2010 was a good vintage for Central Otago, without climatic extremes, which meant that the wines have beautiful balance and vibrancy whilst still retaining power and structure."

Each wine poured during the three-day wine challenge is tasted ‘blind’ by all the judges.

South African judge Michael Fridjhon described the Akarua 2010 Pinot Noir as "very bright cherry fruit, ample spice, elegant, seriously structured real power and texture. Still juicy. Big yet delicately handled."

The "Five Nations Wine Challenge" achievements has capped off a fantastic year for Akarua which has continued to gather a loyal following for its wines.

The winery has also been thrilled with the success of its ‘Methode Traditionelle’ range which was launched earlier this year, demonstrating that Central Otago can succeed at a number of wine styles.

The Akarua Rosé Brut NV has just been awarded a Regional Trophy at the Decanter Asia Wine Awards, a sister competition to the Decanter World Wine Awards. The wines were judged in Hong Kong in September by a team of Asia’s leading wine experts.

Matt and the team at Akarua are focused on continuing to build the reputation of Akarua wines and provide wines that are consistently excellent for consumers from vintage to vintage.

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