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Marlborough to host Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Marlborough to host Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Marlborough has been confirmed as the host of the 2004 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, marking the first time in the event’s 18 year history that it has been held outside the major centres of Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.

Reflecting a move to hosting the awards in a winemaking region, the gala dinner to name the annual trophy winners will take place on November 13 at Stadium 2000 in Blenheim.

As in previous years, the judging of the 1000 plus entries into the industry’s top awards programme will take place two weeks prior (November 1 – 3, 2004) at the North Harbour Stadium, Auckland.

Anne-Marie McKenzie, Marketing Manager of New Zealand Winegrowers says the move to the wine regions is an important one.

“Enabling greater accessibility by winemakers to one of the industry’s most keenly anticipated annual events has been a key aim in selecting the venue for 2004. Bringing the Air New Zealand Wine Awards to the country’s largest wine region should greatly facilitate this aim.

“With the rapid developments that have taken place within Marlborough and other wine regions during the last decade we are very confident the high standard of winemaking innovation will be maintained or even surpassed.”

The sentiment is championed by Air New Zealand which has supported New Zealand’s wine industry through its sponsorship of the awards for more than 17 years.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards are New Zealand’s premier wine awards programme and it is only fitting the regions renowned for winemaking excellence, outside the main centres, should have the opportunity to step into the limelight and celebrate their achievements by hosting this event,” says Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales, Norm Thompson.

Also taking place in the same Marlborough venue immediately prior to the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the first International Screwcap Symposium. This two day symposium (November 11 - 12) aims to reinforce to New Zealand and international audiences the benefits of sealing wines with screwcaps.

Subsequent announcements by New Zealand Winegrowers on the Air New Zealand Wine Awards will include: W/c October 25 - details on number of entries into judging. Wednesday November 10 - details on medal winners. Sunday November 14 – details on trophy winners (following the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner in Marlborough).

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