Record sustainable wine entries at Air New Zealand Wine Awards

06 November 2012

Twenty five top wine judges, including judges from the UK, Canada and Australia, are in the midst of tasting hundreds of wines from 222 wineries throughout New Zealand for the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012.

Sustainability is an increasing trend at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with a record number of sustainably accredited wines entered into the competition. Ninety two percent of this year’s wine entries have been sustainably accredited compared with 75% in 2011.

Philip Manson, General Manager – Sustainability at New Zealand Winegrowers, says the increase in the number of sustainable wine entries shows a continuing focus on the environmental integrity of New Zealand wines.

“It is encouraging to see our winemakers embracing sustainability”, says Mr Manson. “We are world leaders in this area and with increasing numbers of sustainable wines accredited each year, we are set to continue on this path.”

For the New Zealand wine industry, sustainability means delivering excellent wine to consumers in a way that enables the natural environment, the businesses and the communities involved to thrive.

Sustainable wines are produced from grapes that have been accredited or certified through an independently audited sustainability programme. The winemaking and packaging facilities used must also have been accredited or certified.

A total of 1367 wines have been entered into 17 different classes at this year’s awards. The announcement of the medal winning wines will be made on 14 November, with elite medal and trophy winners announced at the awards dinner on 24 November in Wellington.

ENDS

About the Air New Zealand Wine Awards
The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the premier wine competition in New Zealand recognising excellence in winemaking. The competition is owned and organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country's 1,300 grape growers and winemakers. The competition has been running for over 30 years and this is the 26th year that Air New Zealand has been the naming rights sponsor for this competition.

About Pure Medals (sustainability)
Every wine entered into the Air New Zealand Wine Awards from vintage 2010 or 2011 has to be 100% sustainably grown and produced in order to enter the competition. Pure Medals are awarded to wines that are 100% sustainable and that have achieved medal status. Therefore, a wine that attains a Gold Medal score and is sustainably accredited is awarded a Pure Gold Medal rather than a ‘Gold Medal’. In 2011, 538 Pure Medals were handed out.