Greystone Wines, an export wine producer based at Waipara in north Canterbury, has had a stellar week with successes in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Greystone added to the growing reputation of Canterbury as a cool-climate grape-growing and wine-making region, and itself, when the Greystone Gewurtztraminer 2011 was named Overall Champion Wine in the inaugural Canterbury Wine Awards this week.
Attracting 88 entries, the awards resulted in 43 medals awarded across seven categories. A feature of the awards was the inclusion of a wine's compatibility with food in judging criteria. Wines were judged in classes based on seven food categories. Trophies were awarded in the canap�, beef, lamb, dessert and cheese classes.
Greystone was successful in the cheese category, with the 2011 Gewurtztraminer that Greystone's winemaker Dominic Maxwell described as "a true expression of the season, showing poise, balance and length of flavour. An often under-regarded variety getting the attention it deserves."
Greystone won three trophies at the Canterbury Wine Awards:
Greystone Pinot Gris 2011 - Vegetarian Class winner (Silver Medal)
Greystone Gewurztraminer 2011 - Cheese Class Winner (Silver Medal)
Muddy Water Chardonnay 2009 - Salmon Class Winner (Silver medal)
Greystone Wines has also won a Regional Trophy and Gold medal for their Greystone Waipara Riesling 2011 at the prestigious Decanter UK awards in England.
Maxwell, recently named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year by Winestate magazine, says these awards are the results of a total team effort by the Greystone team, from vineyard to winery.
In addition, three Greystone wines won gold medals and received 5 stars from the wine critic Michael Cooper, in his 'New Zealand Recent Releases' commentary for May 2012. They were Greystone Basket Star Riesling 2011, Greystone Sea Star Riesling 2011, and Greystone Riesling 2011
The Thomas family and friends merged the 40 hectare Greystone vineyard with neighbour Muddy Waters' 12 hectare vineyard and winery operation in 2010, when Muddy Water came on the market. Dom Maxwell has had his first season running the dual wine-making operation at the former Muddy Water winery. Both the Greystone and Muddy Water brands have been sustained and the wine styles of each have been maintained.
Wine writer Peter Saunders said in the April 2012 issue of MG current affairs magazine, "The low yield regime (crop per hectare of vineyard) keeps quality tight and strong, as much as the season allows. And Dom with his open manner and determination to do things right could not be a better conductor of about 25,000 cases under the two brands."
The director of the boutique wine producer, Bruce Thomas, says "Greystone has often been described as 'an up and coming winery' and 'Waipara's most exciting new producer'. "We've certainly taken significant steps forward in the last twelve months, expanding in size through the purchase of Muddy Water, with a winery for all of our vineyards, and in building out our export marketing."
"While the awards reflect positively on the quality of our brand, an emphasis on strategic direction also supports our growth."
"The objective of all of our team is to make the best wine possible from a phenomenal piece of land on the sunny north-west facing slopes of the Teviotdales in the Waipara Valley with its underlying limestone formation," said Thomas.
"We are all passionate about producing wines which are an expression of this special site, none more so than Dom who is making brilliant, textural, aromatic whites and complex reds."
"Then we also apply technology, financial management and active marketing to succeed in a very competitive market and we are doing so in North America, Australia and other markets", said Thomas, a former accountant.
"I believe we are showing we have a brand that can survive economic cycles and attract consumer attention; the awards we have just earned will contribute to that."
To find out more about Greystone Wines visit www.greystonewines.co.nz
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