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NZ Pinot Noirs Triumph at Major International Competition

12th October, 2012

New Zealand Pinot Noirs Triumph at Major International Competition

New Zealand Pinot Noir shone at this year’s International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Over half of the country’s Gold Medals were awarded to wines made from the variety, while the Valli Gibbston Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 beat all other Pinot Noirs entered from around the world to win the Competition’s coveted Bouchard Finlayson Pinot Noir Trophy.

Valli’s win continues New Zealand’s recent run of securing the top Pinot Noir spot in this major international competition. Success with what is now the most widely planted red variety in New Zealand, was also supported by a high tally of medal wins, which saw a third of all New Zealand’s Silver Medals awarded to Pinot Noir.

Commenting on his win from Hong Kong, pioneering Otago Pinot Noir winemaker, Grant Taylor of Valli, spoke of the importance of an award like this, especially in an emerging wine market, such as Asia.

“Asia is by far our fastest growing market, but as they have grown up with no history of wine, when it comes to choosing one or getting a recommendation, competition results are where they go,” he said.

“For me personally, this award is the highlight of 33 years of winemaking, as this wine is under my own label from our estate vineyard in Gibbston,” he added. “The exciting thing is, the vines are only 12 years old and the wines are only getting better and have a lot more to give yet.”

A wide range of other varieties from New Zealand scooped Gold Medals, including a Hawke's Bay Malbec, a Central Otago Riesling, a Marlborough Pinot Gris, and of course, a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. New Zealand also received a record breaking number of Silver Medals across the board in this year's competition.

“It was another strong year for New Zealand at the IWSC,” commented New Zealand wine writer, Jo Burzynska, who was in the UK to judge the New Zealand classes. “Pinot Noir may have been the star performer in this instance, but the international panels judging this year’s New Zealand entries were also impressed by the growing quality of a broader range of varieties coming out of the country.”

The UK-based International Wine and Spirit Competition is one of the leading competitions of its kind and aims to promote the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. A full list of results is available at

- ENDS -

Gold medals were awarded to:

Valli Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 (Trophy & Outstanding)

Two Paddocks Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 (Outstanding)

Two Sisters Vineyard Central Otago Riesling 2008 (Outstanding)

Marisco The King's Thorn Marlborough Pinot Gris 2011 (Outstanding)

Matua Valley Single Vineyard Hawkes Bay Malbec 2009

Gibbston Valley Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010

Elephant Hill Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Judge Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010

Sileni Estate Selection 'The Straits' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011


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