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Chardonnay Challenge Judges And Sponsors Confirmed

Judges And Sponsors Confirmed - 2005 International Chardonnay Challenge

A family of eight companies has confirmed support of the sixth annual International Chardonnay Competition, to be held from 19 - 21 October 2005 as part of Gisborne's Wine Week.

Competition director Prue Younger this week announced that Riversun, Gilmours, Eastland Community Trust, Harveys, GisVin, NZ GrapeGrower, Westfalia, Charta Packaging would support the event as “Premium Sponsors”.

“We’re thrilled to have such an outstanding line-up of key sponsors,” said Ms Younger. “The commitment from these businesses ensures the sixth International Chardonnay Challenge will be a great success, and will also allow the organisers to develop both the size and calibre of the event.”

Ms Younger said the 2005 competition will call for entries from June, with entry closure date set for Friday 19 August. “However, we’ve already had emails of interest from a number of overseas wineries,” she added.

Ms Younger also revealed this year’s judging panel, to be chaired again by Larry McKenna, of Escarpment Vineyard, a well known winemaker who led the 2004 Chardonnay Challenge, and has judged at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards for the past 15 years.

Mr McKenna is to be joined by:

Kim Crawford - Kim Crawford Wines, NZ

Wilfred Wong - Wine Judge & Writer, USA

Steve Voysey - Allied Domecq, NZ

Oliver Masters - Ata Rangi Vineyard, NZ

Michael Symons - Petaluma Vineyard, Australia

Joelle Thomson - Wine Writer, NZ

Kate Radburnd - C J Pask, NZ

Dr Jochen Hamatschek - Westfalia, Germany

Geoff Kelly - Independent Wine Consultant & Writer, NZ

Ms Younger promised a full schedule of public events will once more be a feature of the Gisborne competition. The program in 2005 includes a wine industry Chardonnay Forum, a black-tie Gala Awards evening and a Long Italian Lunch.


With its focus on the single varietal Chardonnay, the International Chardonnay Challenge provides a unique opportunity for the promotion of the main wine style of the Gisborne region. The 2004 competition drew 355 entries from 145 different wineries. The top trophy was awarded to Allied Domecq Wines NZ for its Champagne Deutz Blanc de Blancs 1996

The International Chardonnay Challenge is grateful for the support of our Premium Sponsors for 2005:

Riversun, Gilmours, Eastland Community Trust, Harveys, GisVin, NZ GrapeGrower, Westfalia, Charta Packaging.


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