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Wine Label Continues Winning Streak

Wine Label Continues Winning Streak

A remarkable string of competitive successes continued last night for an up-and-coming New Zealand wine label..

Kim Crawford's 2003 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc received two trophies and a gold medal at the 2003 Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition. The trophies were for Best Sauvignon Blanc and Champion Commercial White Wine of the Show.

Three other Kim Crawford wines also scored gold at the Auckland event, whilst a further six scored bronze. The golds went to the label's 2002 vintage Tietjen-Briant Gisbone Chardonnay, Te Awanga Hawke's Bay Chardonnay and Reka Riesling.

The Liquorland Top 100 is regarded as New Zealand's most comprehensive wine contest and is the only competition in the country to judge international wines alongside locally produced ones, in all price categories.

"These results are truly gratifying. They confirm 2003 as our best year ever for awards, with our expectations consistently exceeded at important wine contests both in New Zealand and in major markets overseas," says Erica Crawford, Sales and Marketing Director of Kim Crawford Wines

"All of our label's award-winning wines have been produced in significant commercial quantities. It's a sign of the good health and maturity of our industry that New Zealand wines with such strong medal-winning potential are readily available to the average wine aficionado both here and overseas," she adds.

Kim Crawford Wines kicked off its year of triumph by gaining four gold medals, a silver and four bronzes at the 2003 New Zealand Wine Society Royal Easter Show in February.

The label's Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc has performed particularly well with its 2002 vintage winning a silver medal at London's celebrated International Wine Challenge and a double gold at the San Francisco International Wine Competition, where Kim Crawford Wines was named "Best of Nation" for New Zealand for the third year running.

Closer to home, the label's 2003 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc scored gold at the Perth Royal Wine Show in September.

Kim Crawford Wines' brand and name was this year purchased by Canadian wine producer and distributor, Vincor International. The sale did not involve transferring ownership of any New Zealand vineyards, land or production facilities. Under the terms of the purchase, Vincor retained the services of winemaker Kim Crawford as well as of Erica Crawford.

"It's particularly satisfying to have enjoyed this run of success in the same year that Vincor became associated with our label. There's a perception that overseas ownership leads to homogenised mediocrity and a whittling down both of the urge for excellence and of a brand's specific national characteristics. However, our experience has been the total opposite of this," says Kim Crawford.

"Thanks to Vincor's readiness to invest in our brand and expertise, I now have the freedom to concentrate more wholly on making quality wines, which reflect the full richness and succulence of New Zealand's grapes. Our association with Vincor is also helping us to explore and develop new and challenging markets.

"At the same time, we are starting to reap solid advantages from the seven years we have spent building-up our label. Year after year, our Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc performs consistently well at competitions across the globe and is gaining some of the status of a 'classic'," he says.

The Kim Crawford label was first launched in 1996. The company is now New Zealand's tenth largest winery in terms of global sales and sixth largest in terms of sales within New Zealand.

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