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Major breakthrough for Spy Valley Wines

Media Release – July 1, 2004

International award recognition a major breakthrough for Spy Valley Wines

Leading Marlborough wine label Spy Valley has achieved a major breakthrough for New Zealand by winning the top gewurztraminer prize at the San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Spy Valley this week also won the Best of Nation Wine Award at the San Francisco contest from 21 countries entered.

The 24th annual event is the USA’s largest and most prestigious wine competition with 44 judges tasting, scoring and ranking nearly 4000 wines.

Double gold medals were awarded to wines where all judges independently award gold. Spy Valley won double golds for its 2003 riesling and 2003 gewurztraminer. Spy Valley also won the top award for the best gewurztraminer, a silver for their 2003 pinot gris and they won the top national trophy for the best New Zealand producer award.

This result came on top of their 2002 pinot noir taking gold at the Japan International Wine Challenge at the weekend.

The results are a remarkable success for winemaker Ant Mackenzie and Spy Valley in only their fourth year of production.

``This is the most significant award won by Spy Valley to date,’’ general manager Blair Gibbs said today.

``This is fantastic news not just for us but for the Marlborough brand and for New Zealand wines,’’ he said.

``It eclipses the 2003 Air New Zealand Wine Awards where we won three gold medals and two trophies. ``Accolades such as this are a huge springboard for us in a year when all New Zealand companies have increased production.’’

Spy Valley produced 40,000 cases in a frost-affected 2003 season but the latest vintage will result in 80, 000 cases.

The awards success will help Spy Valley expand existing outlets and will help to open up new markets.

Spy Valley are one of New Zealand’s leading family-owned wine companies. Head winemaker Ant Mackenzie who has a major role in the operation says he can’t wait for the 2007 when they can release their wines with an eye-catching label: ``Spy Valley 007’’.

The company got its name from a US satellite monitoring base further up the road in the Waihopai valley. The label has caught on in New Zealand, Australia, Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Spy Valley’s new winery – one of the most modern in Marlborough - will be the venue for the Air New Zealand wine awards tasting later this year.


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