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Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot

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For Immediate Release


Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir takes top spot at Air New Zealand Wine Awards

A Central Otago Pinot Noir has won top honours at this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards.

The Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 was awarded the Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy at a gala dinner in Wellington on Saturday.

This marks the first ever win at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for the Central Otago wine producer with judges describing the winning wine as “complex, round and rich”. The wine also won the JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir Trophy. Grasshopper Rock’s vineyard is situated in the southern-most latitude of the winegrowing areas in Central Otago. The five shareholding families of Grasshopper Rock originally met through a common interest in agriculture, with four members involved in rural banking.

Chair of Judges and Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich said that the Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 stood out for its great depth of cherry fruit aroma, palate richness and multi-layered complexity.

“Pinot Noir is the most successful varietal class in the competition. The top wines are simply stunning, and a further endorsement of Pinot Noir’s suitability to making outstanding wines from many regions around the country. The wines from the outstanding 2010 vintage are of special note, and are showing even more layers after an extra year of age.”

The Central Otago region received further recognition for its Pinot Noir, picking up the Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine with the Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011.

Looking at the regions, Marlborough received a total of six trophies at Saturday’s dinner, including Reserve Wine of the Show with the Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011. Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay won four trophies apiece, Auckland two, and Canterbury and Gisborne were awarded one trophy each.

Air New Zealand Head of Sponsorship and Community James Gibson said an impressive 92 percent of this year’s entries were sustainably produced, up from 75 percent last year.

“Air New Zealand has an ambition to become the world’s most environmentally sustainable airline so we are thrilled the New Zealand wine industry is taking the same stance – putting our natural assets first,” he said.

Now into its 26th year, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards attracted 1,367 entries in 17 different classes. In addition to the 19 trophies awarded, there were 97 gold medals, 183 silver medals and 364 bronze medals awarded, bringing the total number of medals handed out to 644.

The trophies were presented at a gala awards dinner at the TSB Arena in Wellington. Food and wine enthusiast Jesse Mulligan was the evening’s MC while the guests enjoyed a five course meal created by Peter Gordon.

Owned and organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the country's most prestigious wine competition and is regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.

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Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2012 Trophy Winners
Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show
Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011

Label and Litho Limited Champion Sauvignon Blanc
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Rabobank New Zealand Limited Champion Chardonnay
Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011

Guala Closures NZ Champion Pinot Gris
Eradus Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012

Plant & Food Research Champion Riesling
Aspiring Flats Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2012

Coast FM Champion Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2010

BDO Champion Other White and Rosé Wine
Coopers Creek SV Gisborne Albariño ‘Bell-Ringer’ 2012

Wineworks Champion Sparkling Wine
Lindauer Classic Rosé NV

Kapiti Champion Dessert Wine
Greystone Waipara Valley Basket Star Riesling 2011

JF Hillebrand New Zealand Ltd Champion Pinot Noir
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Fruitfed Supplies Limited Champion Syrah
Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island Syrah 2010

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Merlot
Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Merlot 2010

Gold Medal Vintage Insurance Champion Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blend
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke’s Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

New Zealand Winegrowers Champion Other Red Wine
Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Tempranillo 2010

New World Champion Open White Wine
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Fairfax Media Champion Open Red Wine
Rockburn Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011

Waitoa Free Range Chicken Champion Exhibition White or Sparkling Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2011

Stuff.co.nz Champion Exhibition Red Wine
Vidal Legacy Series Gimblett Gravels Hawke’s Bay Syrah 2009
Pure Elite Golds and Elite Golds
Sauvignon Blanc
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Huntaway Limited Edition Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Marisco The Kings Favour Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Tohu Mugwi Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Yealands Estate Single Block Series M2 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold

Chardonnay
Matua Valley Single Vineyard Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 10 Twin Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Vidal Legacy Series Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Chardonnay 2008 Elite Gold

Pinot Gris
Eradus Awatere Valley Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Mud House Estate The Home Block Vineyard Waipara Valley Pinot Gris 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Gris 2012 Pure Elite Gold

Riesling
Aspiring Flats Bendigo Central Otago Riesling 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Vavasour Marlborough Riesling 2011 Pure Elite Gold

Gewürztraminer
Lawson's Dry Hills Marlborough Gewürztraminer 2010 Pure Elite Gold

Sparkling
Lindauer Classic Rosé NV Elite Gold

Dessert Wine
Greystone Waipara Valley Basket Star Riesling 2011 Pure Elite Gold

Pinot Noir
Grasshopper Rock Central Otago Earnscleugh Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Ara Resolute Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Bird Big Barrel Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Charcoal Gully Central Otago Sallys Pinch Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Domain Road Vineyard Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Gibbston Valley School House Central Otago Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Jules Taylor Marlborough Pinot Noir 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Noir 2010 Pure Elite Gold

Syrah
Passage Rock Reserve Waiheke Island Syrah 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Coopers Creek SV Hawke's Bay Syrah 'Chalk Ridge' 2011 Pure Elite Gold

Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet Blends
Esk Valley Winemakers Reserve Hawke's Bay Merlot Malbec Cabernet
Sauvignon 2009 Pure Elite Gold

Open White Wine
Wither Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Ara Single Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Huntaway Limited Edition Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Lindauer Classic Rosé NV Elite Gold
Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012 Pure Elite Gold

Exhibition White & Sparkling Wine
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Mt Riley Seventeen Valley Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Akarua Central Otago Alchemy Ice 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Giesen The Brothers Marlborough Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Lawson's Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough Pinot Gris 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Maude Mt Maude Vineyard East Block Central Otago Riesling 2012 Pure Elite Gold
Rockburn Tigermoth Central Otago Riesling 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Reserve Barrique Fermented Gisborne Chardonnay 2011 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ihumatao Auckland Chardonnay 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Omahu Gravels Hawke's Bay Viognier 2010 Pure Elite Gold

Exhibition Red Wine
Vidal Legacy Series Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay Syrah 2009 Pure Elite Gold
Judge Rock Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Last Chance by Two Paddocks Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010 Pure Elite Gold
Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough Pinot Noir 2009 Elite Gold

ENDS

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