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Search on for NZ'z first Young Winemaker of the Year

Search on for New Zealand’s first Young Winemaker of the Year

New Zealand’s top young winemakers are being encouraged to enter the inaugural Riedel New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year Competition. The new competition complements the existing International Aromatic Wine Competition, now in its twelfth year. Entries are now open for both competitions, hosted by the Canterbury A&P Association in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show.

Chairman of Judges Terry Copeland is excited about the new Young Winemaker competition, a first of its kind in New Zealand.

“As Chief Executive of New Zealand Young Farmers, I am continually impressed by the achievements and desire for excellence among our Young Farmer members, so as I put my wine judging hat on, I have realised that there is a gap in the New Zealand wine industry to recognise and celebrate our young winemakers and their ability and passion. The Riedel New Zealand Young Winemaker of the Year competition will showcase the strength of the wine industry through its top young winemakers and further encourage their pursuit of excellence.”

Letting the wines represent the winemaker, the entrants must supply three wines of different grape varieties or wine styles which best demonstrates the scope and breadth of their winemaking ability. Entry is open to all young winemakers in New Zealand, who must be under 35 years of age and be the hands-on winemakers of all three wines. Entries close at 5pm on Wednesday 8th October and the winner will be announced at an Award Ceremony on Thursday 13 November at the 2014 Canterbury A&P Show.

Entries for the 2014 International Aromatic Wine Competition are also open. With over 400 entries in 2013, organisers are again expecting high entry numbers as the competition is the first show that allows a comprehensive look at the 2014 aromatic vintage.

The competition focuses on aromatic wines including Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Viognier and other wine varieties including Muscat, Verdeldo, Arneis and Sauvignon Gris, made in an aromatic style from any internationally recognised region. To reflect the growth and popularity of the competition a new Aromatic Sparkling Varieties class has been added in 2014.

Wines will compete for Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals with an overall winner decided from each variety receiving the section trophy. All section winners then compete for the title of Supreme Champion Wine in Show.

The purpose of the competition is to highlight to consumers the best aromatic wine varieties available in the New Zealand market for the wine drinker. Winning wines will be displayed at the 2014 Canterbury A&P Show and the public is encouraged to access the online wine directory at www.aromaticwine.co.nz.

“There is a renewed focus this year to discover the best aromatic wines from around the world. The New Zealand market is very lucky to have great aromatic wines imported from Australia, France and Germany – but there is a lack of knowledge in being able to choose the best wines” said Copeland.

Chairman of judges Terry Copeland will lead a panel of experienced judges for the rigorous testing process. Judges include Sam Kim (wine writer), Kate Radburnd (CJ Pask Wines), Jim Harre (New Zealand Wine Grower), Petter Evans (Sherwood Estate), Olly Masters (Misha’s Vineyard and Tripwire Wine Consulting) and Jane Boyle (Wine consultant, judging panellist Cuisine magazine).

Competition entries for the International Aromatic Wine Competition close 5pm Wednesday 8 October 2014. Winners announced on Wednesday 15 October 2014. Winning wines will be on display in the Food & Wine NZ Pavilion at the Canterbury A&P Show, held 12-14 November 2014.

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