ENTRIES OPEN: Air New Zealand Wine Awards strengthens commitment to sustainability

09 August 2010

Entries are now open for the 2010 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, with all 2010 vintage wines entered required to be 100 per cent sustainably produced.

New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director Chris Yorke says the change, along with the New Zealand wine industry’s other sustainability initiatives, signals our continuing focus on the environmental integrity of New Zealand wines, and our commitment to quality.

“Sustainability has been a focus of the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for several years with the introduction of pure medals in 2007, and this is the next step in our sustainability policy,” said Mr Yorke.

Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the country’s most prestigious wine competition, and regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.

International Judges
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is an independent competition with a rigorous judging process undertaken by a panel consisting of experienced international and local judges.

Mr Yorke said this year’s awards have attracted some of the world’s top judges.

“Every year the calibre of judges continues to be high – this year is no different. Given their collective experience, we’re excited by the prospect of what these judges will bring to the competition in 2010,” Mr Yorke said.

Judges include:

  • Eric Arnold (United States) author of First Big Crush, which outlines Arnold’s year working at Allan Scott vineyard in Marlborough.
  • Philip Rich (Australia) founder and partner of Prince Wine Store in South Melbourne, one of the largest independent fine wine stores in Australia.
  • Ben Edwards (Australia) president of Sommeliers Australia and director of The Wine Guide (a global sommelier consultancy).
  • Stephen Brook (United Kingdom), author The Wines of California, and contributor to a number of wine publications based in Austria, Sweden and Korea.

Top Awards
Trophies and medals will be awarded within each wine varietal, with pure medals awarded to sustainable wines. Gold medal winners will compete for the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy.

In the 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, 323 bronze, 213 silver, 56 gold and 36 elite gold medals were awarded. In addition, 64 pure bronze, 38 pure silver, eight pure gold and two pure elite gold medals were awarded.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards sticker is recognised both internationally and locally as a sign of top quality, and guides consumer purchasing decisions,” Mr Yorke said.

Key Dates
Friday 17 September: Entries close
Monday 1 to Wednesday 3 November: Judging at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Wednesday 10 November: Medal-winning wines announced
Saturday 20 November: Trophy, Elite Gold and Pure Elite Gold medal-winners announced at Air New Zealand Wine Awards gala dinner