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Lord Of The Rings Vs. A Bottle Of Wine

27th January 2003

As Peter Jackson celebrates the success of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, chances are he'll be supping a wine equally well honoured at the 51st New Zealand Wine Society Royal Easter Wine Show.

This event is recognised nationwide as the opening gambit of the vinous year. With an increased yield thanks to vineyard expansions, new plantings, and the prospect of a bumper 2004 harvest, the industry understandably waits in excited anticipation.

"Winemakers and wine enthusiasts alike" says Mike DeGaris, winemaker and General Manager of Cardmember Wines Ltd, "are looking forward to this year's event since they consider the NZWS Royal Easter Wine Show as an assessment of the state of the industry and the direction it's likely to take in the near future"

By world standards New Zealand wine production is small. There are few large players. Instead we have hundreds of small producers, with limited opportunities to have their product assessed by the crème de la crème of wine palates.

"The NZWS Royal Easter Wine Show is known for the calibre of its judging" says Show Director, Terry Dunleavy. "Four panels made up of local wine industry experts, are overseen by Bob Campbell (MW), who is joined this year by internationally respected winemaker John Hancock."

At last year's event, the judges were forced to enjoy the delights of 934 wines in 11 categories, one of which was the newly introduced Syrah class. Of those tasted, 61 achieved Gold Medal status.

Entries for the Show close on 27th January for judging in late February. The trophy winners will be crowned at a glitzy black-tie presentation dinner at the Auckland War Memorial Museum on the 28th February.

No doubt, when the bronzes, cast by renowned sculptor Bill Hayes are awarded, our aspiring Peter Jacksons of the wine world will be as on Top of the World and afforded just as many accolades and kudos as the winners of our other fledgling export industry.


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