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Award Winning Winemaker Supports Cause

Thursday 2 June, 2005

Award Winning Winemaker Supports Cause Close To Heart

Top New Zealand winemaker Michelle Richardson, whose brother is confined to a wheelchair following a surfing accident, is the latest high profile supporter of newly launched spinal cord injury charity the CatWalk Trust.

The central Otago based vintner will donate premium wine from her own label release (Richardson Wines) to the CatWalk Trust fundraising dinner in Auckland this month in a bid to help raise funds to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.

Michelle, New Zealand winemaker of the year a record four times, says the CatWalk Trust is a cause she can relate to personally.

"My brother's accident has had a huge impact on our family. If my wine can contribute to raising funds for the CatWalk Trust and to find a cure for him and others in similar situations, then that's fantastic," says Michelle.

Guests at the black tie dinner, including international patron royal Zara Phillips, will be treated to a taste of Richardson Wine's 2004 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with auction bidders also getting the opportunity to add a limited edition magnum of exclusive Richardson Central Otago 2003 Pinot Noir to their cellar.

CatWalk Trust founder Catriona Williams says it's a huge coup to have Michelle involved with the Trust.

"It's really great to have New Zealand's leading wine maker supporting us and we are very excited about the opportunity to have secured one of only 20 bottles of her Pinot magnums to put up for auction."

"So many New Zealanders are affected by spinal cord injury and we are delighted about the support we are receiving from Michelle and many others," Catriona says.

The CatWalk Trust, which was launched in April, has secured a strong contingency of high profile supporters. Zara Phillips is the Trust's international patron, with New Zealand based patrons including sporting greats Sir Brian Lochore, Dion Nash, Aaron Slight and Lance O'Sullivan.

Other items to be auctioned at the high profile event include a stud service from champion sire Zabeel, and a return Cathay Pacific business class airfare to the UK with a golf package at Woburn Abbey.

To make a donation or book a ticket for the CatWalk Trust fundraising event at the Ellerslie in Auckland on 23 June, visit


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