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NZ Wine/US Triumph

Kim Crawford Wines / Charles Wiffen Wines


For release: 3 July 2002

US Triumph for New Zealand Wines


Two New Zealand wine labels have won top prizes at one of America's most celebrated wine competitions.

Charles Wiffen Wines' 2001 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was named "Best Sauvignon Blanc and Best of Show White" at this year's San Francisco International Wine Competition.

At the same event, Kim Crawford's 2000 Hawke's Bay "Tané" (Merlot and Cabernet Frank blend) received a "Double Gold" medal, indicating that the wine was the unanimous choice of the judging panel.

In addition, Kim Crawford Wines received the "Best of Nation Award" for New Zealand wines for the second year running, on the basis of a representative sample of the label's output, whilst also carrying-off a gold medal for its 2001 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

"This was the first competition we'd entered in the United States and we really hadn't expected anything like this result. In fact, I'd more or less forgotten about our entry when friends in the industry telephoned to congratulate us. We're quite blown away by the news," says Charles Wiffen, Managing Director of the family-owned winery that bears his name.

"As one of our region's smaller labels, we're particularly grateful for the boost the San Francisco judges have given to our reputation. This result should strengthen our position in the United States whilst also helping facilitate our entry into the UK market, " he says. Kim Crawford describes the San Francisco Wine Competition as one of the most respected contests in the United States, with a judging panel consisting of top wine industry professionals, sommeliers, buyers, and internationally-recognized wine writers. "California is the traditional heart of America's wine industry as well as, of course, being one of the world's most affluent markets. So, a win here counts for something," he says.

"We're particularly pleased with the Double Gold scored by our Tané. There were 3,800 entries and the contest was very tough with some of the best labels in the United States, France and Australia taking part. It's good to see that a New Zealand red wine can stand up to that kind of competition, just as it's also good to see us continuing to hold our own with such old favourites as Sauvignon Blanc.

"We're also very happy to have won the "Best of Nation Award" twice in succession. Given the overall achievements of our industry in recent years, this award is a considerable honour," he adds.

" But, above all, we're delighted by the major success our colleagues at Charles Wiffen Wines have achieved in one of their first overseas competitions. This kind of result speaks volumes for the depth of talent in our industry as well as for the quality of our wines," says Mr Crawford.

This year's San Francisco International Wine Competition took place over the weekend of June 22nd- 23rd.

For further information, please contact:

Charles Wiffen, Managing Director, Charles Wiffen Wines 03 319 2826 or 025 399 720

Erica Crawford, Principal, Kim Crawford Wines 09 529 0804 or 021 386 140

Released by Ian Morrison, Matter of Fact Communications Tel: 09 575 3223, Fax: 09 575 3220, Email: matfact@ww.co.nz


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