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Kim Crawford Returns To Wine Judging

Kim Crawford Returns To Wine Judging

For immediate release

August 16, 2004 – Award-winning winemaker Kim Crawford says he is delighted to be returning to wine judging after a five year break.

Mr Crawford, the managing director of one of New Zealand’s top-10 wine producers and exporters, Kim Crawford Wines, has been named on the judging panel for this year’s International Chardonnay Challenge, to be held in Gisborne in October.

“Producing Chardonnay has always been one of my great loves as a winemaker,” says Kim, who has twice been named Winemaker of the Year.

“The demands of our fast-growing business have kept me away from the judging circuit for five years, but it’s highly appropriate that now I’m returning, it’s to the ICC in Gisborne,” he says.

“I am now able to spend more time focused on my main passion – the all-important winemaking process. And I believe being involved in judging is an integral part of being a winemaker.”

Proof of Kim’s passion for Gisborne Chardonnay can be found in any bottle of the ultra-premium Kim Crawford Tietjen Briant Gisborne Chardonnay – the most awarded Chardonnay ever to come out of Gisborne.

The many accolades this wine has received include consistent ratings of 90 points for the 2000 and 2002 vintages from the prestigious Wine Spectator magazine.

“Gisborne’s full wood-aged Chardonnays are amongst the World’s most attractive early drinking style chardonnays, in my opinion,” says Kim.

“I don’t think you can get any better when it comes to that big, fat, forward-oak style.”

Kim is particularly excited about the Chardonnays coming out of Gisborne this year, which he says could well be the region’s best vintage in the 15 years he has been involved in the industry.

“A cool February helped us by not burning off too many of the fruit flavours. As a result we got good intensity and the wines have great fruit sweetness, which is a signature of Gisborne but we only get it about every second year at the moment.”

Kim is one of ten international and New Zealand-based judges on the International Chardonnay Challenge judging panel, which will be led by Larry McKenna of Escarpment Vineyard. The ICC will be held in Gisborne at Labour weekend and entries for the event close on August 20.

About the International Chardonnay Challenge

The judging panel for the International Chardonnay Challenge, to be held in Gisborne at Labour weekend, comprises:
- Chairman of Judges Larry McKenna, Escarpment Vineyard
- Bob Campbell, MW ,New Zealand wine writer
- Pierre-Yves Bournerias, winemaker at Institut Oenologique de Champagne in France
- Grant Van Every, the founder of top Melbourne restaurant Stella and a well known writer, television presenter and wine industry consultant
- Jane Skilton, MW, wine writer and New Zealand co-ordinator for the Institute of Masters of Wine
- James Millton, The Millton Vineyard, Gisborne
- Raymond Chan, Regional Wines New Zealand
- Alastair Maling, MW, Group Winemaker at Villa Maria, New Zealand
- Jeff Clarke, Chief Winemaker at Montana Wines
- Kim Crawford, Kim Crawford Wines
For more information on the ICC visit:

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