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Success For New Zealand Wines In Overseas Competitions

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Success For New Zealand Wines In Overseas Competitions

New Zealand wines have demonstrated their international appeal taking home numerous awards at two recent wine competitions in Asia and Australia.

The two competitions, the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition and the Winestate magazine's Wine of the Year Awards in Australia, both occurred in two important export markets for New Zealand.

New Zealand Winegrowers' global marketing director Chris Yorke said the results from the two competitions are a boost to the profile of the New Zealand wine industry at a time when it is working to continue its success in Australia and expand its presence in Asia.

"New Zealand wines have always enjoyed great success on the international stage, but to gain this level of recognition in two major competitions is continued endorsement of the quality of New Zealand wine."

The Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition was tailored to discover those wines which best suited the tastes of Asian buyers, with a judging panel consisting exclusively of Asian born and Asian-based judges.

For the 2010 event 24 judges were recruited from Hong Kong, India, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand - tasked with tasting 6,500 bottles.

New Zealand wines took home a haul of seven trophies (from a pool of 32) and 13 gold awards (from a pool of 62), plus 38 silver awards and more than 80 bronze awards. Full competition results are available at

Meanwhile, New Zealand winemakers have proved an equal match for their Australian counterparts in a stunning performance at Winestate magazine's 14th Wine of the Year Awards.

Described by Winestate publisher Peter Simic as the Bledisloe Cup of Australasian winemaking, New Zealand wineries won a record six out of 12 categories in the largest blind tasting of its kind.

"New Zealand may have been catapulted to world attention with its outstanding sauvignon blancs, but this competition demonstrates its winemakers are capable of producing world-class wines across a range of varietals," Mr Simic said.

New Zealand took out the major trophies for the best sparkling, pinot gris, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, merlot and, for the first time, the best sweet white. In many categories, New Zealand wineries filled all top five positions.

The winners were selected after a blind taste-off of the best 10,000 Australasian wines sampled by Winestate's expert judging panel over the past 12 months.

While it was a great result for the New Zealand wine industry overall, it was a triumph for Saint Clair Family Estate, one of Marlborough's largest family-owned producers. Saint Clair not only won the prize for Wine Company of the Year for best overall performance in the tastings, but its chief winemaker Matt Thomson was named Winemaker of the Year for the second time in three years.

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