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Awards honour South Island's best wine tourism ventures

7 December 2012

Awards honour South Island's best wine tourism ventures

Yealands Estate has won a top international wine tourism award for the third year in a row.

Councillor Sue Wells will present Yealands Estate with its Best of Wine Tourism award for sustainable wine tourism practices at tomorrow's New World Food and Wine Festival in Hagley Park.

"It's great to see Christchurch and South Island wineries getting global recognition and promoting the region as a result," says Sue Wells.

The awards are run by Great Wine Capitals, a network of nine cities in the northern and southern hemispheres that share a key economic and cultural asset -- their internationally renowned wine regions.

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

Yealands Estate founder, Peter Yealands, says the international recognition reflects the passion the Yealands team has for sharing their sustainability story.

"We are passionate about our sustainability practices and enjoy the opportunity to share what makes us different with the visitors who come to our winery. At our cellar door we aim to create a unique experience, which showcases our dedication to making quality wine in an innovative way," says Peter Yealands.

The panel of judges commended Yealands Estate for leading from the front and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability, rather than just talking about it.

The South Island's regional Best of Wine Tourism Award winners include Melton Estate, in West Melton near Christchurch, who won the wine tourism restaurant category.

Owner Tracy Caunter comments: "Our total focus is offering the very best wine hospitality for locals and guests to Christchurch. Our aim is to be the premier event destination for international visitors, corporate clients, and locals seeking a winery experience close to the city."

Spy Valley Wines won this year's new category - architecture and landscapes - for its impressive buildings.

The architecture and landscaping provide the basis for the commitment Spy Valley makes towards creating an innovative and unique wine tourism experience, says Cellar Door Manager and Marketing Assistant Nicola Clark.

"This award recognises the unique architecture at Spy Valley and creates a reason for people to visit our home," says Nicola Clark.

Northburn Station, a high country sheep station in Central Otago with its own winery, won the innovative wine tourism experiences category for the memorable visitor experience it offers.

Central Otago's specialist wine tours company, Appellation Central Wine Tours, won the award for wine tourism services.

The awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence in the field of wine tourism, and to be rated amongst the best for the third time is a great accolade for our business and the wine region as a whole, says Director Wendy Johnston.

"This is proof of the consistently excellent service given by our guides, customer service staff and the vineyard cellar door staff," says Wendy Johnston.
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


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