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South Island's best wine tourism ventures revealed today

South Island's best wine tourism ventures revealed today

Spy Valley Wines in Marlborough was named today as one of the best wine
tourism ventures in the South Island.

The annual Best of Wine Tourism Awards honour outstanding wine tourism
businesses in the South Island, in awards run by the prestigious Great
Wine Capitals Global Network.

Spy Valley Wines won this year's new category - architecture and
landscapes - for its impressive and award winning building that responds
to the region's dramatic natural environment, judges said.

Christchurch | South Island, which includes the Waipara Valley,
Canterbury, Marlborough, Nelson and Central Otago wine regions, belongs
to the exclusive network.

Chief Judge Dr Joanna Fountain, a senior lecturer in tourism at Lincoln
University, says she was "very impressed" by the growing range of wine
tourism opportunities available overall.

"I was particularly impressed by the level of initiative and innovation
shown by more established operators and their dedication to
demonstrating consistently high standards."

This year's regional winners will now go on to compete against the
network's eight other cities and wine regions from around the world at
the international awards in Florence, Italy.

Melton Estate, in West Melton near Christchurch, won the Wine Tourism
Restaurant category, having introduced a new chef, a seasonal and mostly
local menu and a new pavillion and courtyard area.

Mayor Bob Parker says the opportunity to promote Christchurch and the
tourism and wine industries of the wider South Island regularly to an
international audience were a key part of belonging to the Great Wine
Capitals Global Network.

"We see huge value for our city and the wider South Island in using the
awards to promote our region to wine tourists, who spend a lot more and
stay significantly longer than your average tourist," says Mayor Bob
Parker.

Northburn Station, in Central Otago, won the Innovative Wine Tourism
Experiences for its innovative and memorable visitor experience. "The
setting is truly spectacular, offering products from the farm and garden
is unique, and the wine is exceptional," says Dr Fountain.

Central Otago's specialist wine tours company, Appellation Central Wine
Tours, won the award for wine tourism services for offering a
"consistently excellent experience".

Yealands Estate Wines won the award for Sustainable Wine Tourism.
"Yealands is continuing to strive to provide new opportunities for the
visitor to share their vision and are really creating a total visitor
experience at the winery," says Dr Fountain. This includes a new
self-guided winery drive and picnic option.

The winners receive a Best of Wine Tourism trophy and plaque as well as
opportunities to promote themselves locally and internationally through
the Great Wine Capitals Global Network. For more details about the
winners, categories and criteria see:
www.southislandwine.co.nz/awards.asp

- ends -

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