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Whitehaven Wine Company Sweeps Up Sauvignon Blanc Trophy

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Whitehaven Wine Company Sweeps Up Sauvignon Blanc Trophy

Whitehaven Wine Company has been awarded the Guala Closures Trophy for Champion Sauvignon Blanc from a record field at New Zealand's longest running wine awards, the 2011 Royal Easter Show.

Whitehaven's senior winemaker Sam Smail accepted the trophy at the gala dinner in Auckland on Saturday night.

The Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was placed ahead of 21 other gold medal Sauvignon Blanc winners in the most competitive field seen at this show for years.

Whitehaven managing director Sue White says it's a terrific result, particularly in a year when show organisers noted the quality of entries indicate it was one of the best vintages for Sauvignon Blanc for some time.

"It's great to win and it's even better when we know we've been selected from a top field. Whitehaven has been committed to the high-quality end of the market from its first vintage and we've never deviated from that. We're a family-owned winery with a small team so it's very satisfying for that commitment to be recognised," she said. Winemaker Sam Smail, who has been with the winery for more than a decade, said the champion wine was a quintessential Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc; gooseberry, nettle and a definite tropical fruit flavour with a good crisp, clean finish. Whitehaven is rigorous about using only Marlborough grapes, drawing from a number of sub-regions across the district to produce a classic Marlborough savvy, said Sue. "We've built our strong reputation on this variety. We won medals in San Francisco from the moment we began making Sauvignon Blanc in 1995 and I'm proud to say our company has played its part in developing the profile of Marlborough's flagship variety in overseas markets, particularly the US," she said.

Sue said the win was particularly gratifying given the comments from Australian judge Mike DeGaris about the high quality being maintained for Sauvignon Blanc. "The reputation of the Marlborough wine industry rests on this variety so it's a thrill to know it's our winemakers who've been able to deliver this trophy back to Marlborough - the third year in a row its come back here to the home of Sauvignon Blanc." The Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc 2010 is available from fine wine retailers throughout New Zealand.

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