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Chief Judge, Steward of Wine Competition Announced

Media release Thursday, 19 May 2005

Liquorland Announces Chief Judge & Chief Steward of Top 100 Wine Competition

Liquorland has appointed pre-eminent New Zealand wine judge, Brent Marris, and colleague, Shona White, as Chief Judge and Chief Steward to its Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition - an annual event that identifies the best local and imported wines commercially available on the New Zealand market.

Equally well regarded for their respective contributions to New Zealand’s wine industry, Brent is probably best known for establishing the Wither Hills brand in the mid 1990s and for his role as a senior wine judge in a number of national and international wine competitions including Chairman of Judges at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

Liquorland’s merchandise manager, Andrew Bartley, says that having been at the forefront of New Zealand’s viticulture and winemaking development since the mid-1980s, Brent is the ideal appointment for Liquorland. “Brent is widely acclaimed for his practical experience, creative talent and pioneering spirit as well as a high profile both here in New Zealand and internationally - all adding great value to the Liquorland Top 100.

“He brings with him a level of integrity and professionalism that is a prerequisite of any high profile wine competition,” says Mr Bartley.

As one of New Zealand’s most respected winemakers, Brent is “committed to making it a great show” and is pleased to have the support of fellow wine veteran, Shona White.

Over her 17 years within the hospitality industry Shona has worked with Brent on a number of high profile and large scale wine awards including the Air New Zealand Wine Awards and The Royal Easter Show. Her involvement in this year’s Liquorland Top 100 was a “must have.”

As Chief Wine Steward, Shona will be responsible for executing the tasting function over the three-day Liquorland Top 100 competition. This will see her coordinating dozens of volunteers and in excess of 1,700 entries.

“It’s rare to find a duo with such a credible history and strong working relationship. Their solid working partnership will only assist with running this year’s awards. We’re thrilled to have them both on board,” says Mr Bartley.

Both Brent and Shona join Belinda Jackson, who has played an integral role in their respective appointments. As newly appointed director of this year’s Liquorland Top 100 Wine Competition, Belinda is pleased to have such a strong and well regarded team on board.

The Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition is the only recognised local wine show that compares New Zealand wines with imported wines in all styles and price categories. Over the past eleven years the competition has been instrumental in promoting quality and great value wines.

- ends -

Further information:

Brent Marris
Inspired by his father, Brent graduated from Roseworthy Agricultural School in South Australia in 1983. With his newly acquired Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology he returned to New Zealand with the added distinction of being Marlborough’s first born and raised qualified winemaker.

Following 10 years making wines in some of New Zealand’s most renowned regions, Brent returned to his roots in Marlborough to set up a vineyard with his father. In 1994, Brent established Wither Hills. The combined talents of Brent’s winemaking and his father’s viticultural expertise created a winning formula. It is not surprising, with such experience, that Wither Hills emerged as a significant producer of the highest quality wines of the region.
Shona White
Shona brings with her a broad understanding of the hospitality industry having worked within the restaurant, hotel and retail side of the market since 1988. With over 14 years of teaching experience under her belt and a senior lecturer’s position at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Shona has also peppered her career with an involvement in leading wine shows as Chief Steward, often working in partnership with Brent Marris.

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