New Chair for Air New Zealand Wine Awards

26 March 2007

New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country’s 1,300 grape growers and winemakers, announced today the appointment of Mr Steve Smith MW as the new Chair of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

“We are delighted Steve has accepted our invitation to lead the Air New Zealand Wine Awards” said Philip Gregan, Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Winegrowers. “He brings over two decades experience to the role and is highly respected by his industry peers.”

Steve is Managing Director of Craggy Range, a leading Hawkes Bay winery that also sources grapes from Martinborough, Marlborough, Nelson, North Canterbury and Central Otago. Mr Smith is the first, and only, viticulturist in the world to achieve the prestigious Master of Wine (MW) qualification. He chaired the organising committee of the highly successful Pinot Noir 2007 held in late January in Wellington, and was a driving force behind the formation of the Gimblett Gravels group in Hawkes Bay. Mr Smith is currently an associate member of the Board of New Zealand Winegrowers.

Steve says he is delighted to take on the leadership of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards. “The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are an important part of the success story of the New Zealand wine industry. It is a real honour to serve the industry in this role, and I am greatly looking forward to leading the team of talented and dedicated judges from both New Zealand and overseas who will judge the Awards this year.”

The annual Air New Zealand Wine Awards, New Zealand’s most prestigious wine competition, will be judged in early November.