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Record Entries for Grapegrowing Industry Awards

17 August 2006

Record Entries for Grapegrowing Industry Awards

A record 240 grape growers submitted their final wine entries this week for judging at the Romeo Bragato 2006 Wine Awards, a 20 per cent jump from last year’s 192 entrants.

A total of 667 wines have been submitted from around the country. The number of white grape entries remains similar to last year but individual varietals show distinct fluctuations with Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris increasing 20 and 52 per cent respectively, while Chardonnay has dipped 24 per cent.

Entries from red grape varietals show an overall increase of just over eight per cent with New Zealand’s current industry darling, Pinot Noir, up nine per cent. Of note is the marked increase in entries in the Rosé category, up over 60 per cent, while entries of another newcomer, Syrah, have risen 37 per cent.

New Zealand Winegrowers science and innovations manager, Philip Manson, said the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards provide a unique platform to recognise and reward the viticultural excellence of grape growers in creating the distinctive qualities of New Zealand wines.

“These awards focus on the person behind the great wine, it’s the grape grower who is recognised not the varietal or the vineyard,” he said.

A panel of 11 industry and international judges will spend three days judging the entries, and will be looking for high quality wines that express the typical varietal characteristics of each kind of grape.

“Over the past few years, we have seen a lift in the quality of wines submitted, but an award-winning wine must be of stand-out quality for a trophy to be awarded.

“What is unique about this competition is that quite often one vineyard will pick up a number of awards which highlights the worth and expertise of individual grape growers,” said Mr Manson.

The Romeo Bragato Wine Awards are held in conjunction with the annual grape growing and wine making industry conference, which brings key industry players and international experts together to discuss everything form wine making to wine marketing. The awards will be announced at the annual conference dinner in Queenstown on Saturday 26 August.

For more information on key note speakers, seminars and events at Romeo Bragato visit www. bragato.org.nz.

Editors notes
The Romeo Bragato conference is named after a man who arrived on New Zealand shores on February 19, 1895. Fresh from Italy with his Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology in hand, the then New Zealand Government escorted Romeo Bragato from one end of the country to the other to visit and advise on our local vineyards.

Romeo Bragato’s report recommended the need for a competent body to lead New Zealand’s budding wine industry. The present day New Zealand Winegrowers bring this annual Romeo Bragato conference to the industry in the spirit of the report and its many recommendations that remain relevant to the modern grape growing industry.

ENDS

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