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Wine awards that deliver commercial benefits

Winemakers encouraged to enter wine awards that deliver commercial benefits

Entries for the 2014 New World Wine Awards open on 12 May and top winemakers are encouraging their peers to enter. In addition to the distinction of an award that recognises quality on the same international scale as all other wine competitions, winning winemakers are guaranteed national distribution in New World supermarkets and extensive brand exposure, driving sustained sales.

Simon Swa from Peregrine Wines, which won two gold medals last year for their Saddleback range, says the promotion of New World Wine Awards award-winning wines is a key point of difference from other wine shows.

“There is a well-planned program of in-store promotions, online publicity and printed media that is triggered by a medal win so the commercial benefits are immediate and meaningful. Without doubt, we have enjoyed a notable increase in sales and a heightened level of brand awareness,” said Swa.

Last year 364,000 bottles of the Top 50 wines, with a retail value of $4.7m, were sold throughout New World supermarkets in the first six weeks of the results being announced; the Champion White Wine, Spy Valley’s Marlborough Chardonnay 2012, sold out in a week. That volume of sales in the first six weeks was over 21% higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year, reflecting increasing awareness among consumers of the integrity of these wine awards.

Julie Ibbotson from Saint Clair Family Estate says that alongside a range of other positive reviews and medal results from wine shows all over the world, Saint Clair values the opportunity to showcase their wines at the New World Wine Awards each year.

“The New World Wine Awards has become another credible fixture in the annual New Zealand wine show calendar. Wine show judging credibility is essential and at the New World Wine Awards this has always been of a consistently high calibre,” she said.

The New World Wine Awards is also the only wine show in New Zealand that has a low alcohol category, providing an opportunity for wineries that are at the forefront of responding to consumer demand for high quality reduced or low alcohol wines to benchmark their wines. In addition, the closing date for entries has been extended, which enables more new vintage wines to be entered.

The New World Wine Awards is judged by an independent panel of 13 expert wine judges who blind-taste each wine over the course of two days, using the same internationally recognised 20-point system as other leading wine competitions to ensure the winning wines are the best examples of their type. The only difference is that all wines entered must retail for below $25 a bottle and there must be at least 6,000 bottles of each wine available for sale, responding to consumer demand for high quality but affordable and widely available wines.

This year the judging panel will include Sam Harrop as the guest international judge. Voted the ‘10th most influential wine consultant in the world’ by Drinks Business in 2013, he is also one of only 312 wine experts globally to hold the prestigious Masters of Wine qualification.

The judges will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and a Champion Red, White and Bubbles overall. In addition to the distinction of an award, the top 50 wines will be showcased in 137 New World stores nationwide, online and in the New World Wine Awards booklet.

Entries to the competition close on Friday 20 June. All details are at www.wineshow.co.nz

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