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Waipara Springs Named Pick Of The Bunch

Media Release for immediate use 1 November 2007

Waipara Springs Named Pick Of The Bunch At 2007 Christchurch Casino First Taste Awards

The winners of the twelfth annual Christchurch Casino Sauvignon Blanc First Taste Awards were announced tonight at a gala dinner held at Christchurch Casino’s Grand Cafe.

The awards recognise the finest 2007 Sauvignon Blancs made from South Island grown grapes.

Frank Manifold, of Waipara Springs, who was awarded the premium First Taste Award for its Waipara Springs 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, says they are delighted to have their wine recognised in such a way.

“We are overwhelmed to come out on top in a field of outstanding wines. We have had a great year in 2007. We have created a wine with a chalky dryness, yet tropical taste and it has been received well.

“The region is well known for its Rieslings and Pinots so we are stoked to have our Sav recognised at such a prestigious event.”

Members of the public voted Saint Clair’s Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as the winner of the People’s Choice Award. Around 1700 people tasted and judged wines entered in this year’s competition, a big increase from last year.

The Showcase Award, which was judged by members of the industry at a tasting evening on 3 October at Diamond Bar, was awarded to Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc.

Christchurch Casino has run the First Taste Awards, which are the South Island’s only Sauvignon Blanc competition, since 1996. The awards are always extremely popular and constantly attract some of the country’s top vineyards.

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The First Taste Award is the premier award given to the wine that is determined to be the most outstanding entrant by the master judges.

This year’s three expert judges were Chief Judge Terry Copeland, Executive Director of the Japan Wine Challenge and a Christchurch-based international wine consultant; Petter Evans, senior winemaker for Sherwood Estate and Lynette Hudson, Winemaker for Pegasus Bay Winery.

The panel of judges, in line with international standards, also awarded seven wines with gold medals.

To maintain the awards premium positioning in the South Island, this year’s finalists were again limited to 50 following a blind tasting of all entries by Chief Judge Terry Copeland.

“The wines just keep getting better and better. Last year the overall standard of the wine was amazing and this year was no different. Limiting the number of entrants to 50 meant that only the best wines made it through to the competition stage.”

Terry Copeland says the quality of the 2007 winners proves that the Mainland is home to some world-class wines.

“New Zealand wine lovers should keep an eye on tonight’s winners. In previous years some of our award winners have gone on to win some major national and international awards, and we expect this year to be the same.”

Christchurch Casino Food and Beverage Services Manager William Livett says the competition at the 2007 awards was as tight as ever.

“This years event was the most successful yet. We were keen to take this event to a new level and tonight was proof that we have achieved this. The awards attracted 50 quality finalists from vineyards spread all over the South Island so we can confidently say that the South Island’s premier Sauvignon Blanc has been found.”

First Taste Award: Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc
The People’s Choice Award: Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Industry Showcase Award: Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc
Gold Medal: Mud House Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Terrace Heights Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Stonleigh Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Mud House Swan Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 11 Cell Block Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Drylands Sauvignon Blanc 2007
Waipara Springs Sauvignon Blanc


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