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Goldwater the jewel in the Waiheke Crown

Goldwater the jewel in the Waiheke Crown to celebrate record 20th vintage

The pioneer label of Waiheke Island wine, Goldwater, plans to celebrate its 20th vintage release with major events next year.

Goldwater is the jewel in the Waiheke wine crown and has special plans for its 20th release of its flagship wine, the Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot blend. Goldwater will attract the country’s leading wine experts to the 20th anniversary release vertical tasting event in March, tasting all of the 20 Goldwater vintages from 1982 - 2002. A celebrity dinner will be held on March 11 to celebrate the anniversary. The 20th release will be a numbered release with only 300 cases in special wooden cases including a letter from pioneer winemaker Kim Goldwater. Winegrowing has changed the face of Waiheke and the industry thrived again this year with 29 vineyards, eight wineries - and more expected to open in 2005 - on the 93sq km island east of Auckland. ``The island’s vineyards have really underpinned the property boom,’’ says Gretchen Goldwater, of Goldwater Estate.

``Waiheke has become a lifestyle destination, and as such, a very desirable location. The desirability is under-pinned by the wine industry.’’

``This is a trend that can be seen in nearly all the other booming locations such as Central Otago, Nelson, Marlborough and the Hawke’s Bay.’’

The Waiheke wine industry was pioneered by Kim & Jeanette Goldwater in 1978 and is a major influence on the island’s economy these days.

The Goldwaters saw their company through a period of rapid growth: from the original vintage in 1982 of 200 cases of cabernet sauvignon to become a category two winery with sales of over 200,000 litres, from three regions – Marlborough, Hawke’s Bay and Waiheke Island.

Kim retired as winemaker this year and was replaced by Nikolai St George, assistant winemaker at Goldwater for the past five vintages. Kim remains on the board of both Goldwater Estate Ltd and Rapaura Vintners Ltd, Goldwater’s Marlborough winery.

Goldwater Estate has gained an international reputation for its wines and now exports to over 25 countries.

Their wine export markets expanded this year to include India and Sweden. Goldwater featured at Winemakers' dinners at three of New Dehli's Top Hotel restaurants including the new and very chic Fire Restaurant in the Hotel Park.

Since its first release in 1982, Goldwater has been pivotal in placing Waiheke on the world wine map.

Master of Wine Bob Campbell says Goldwater's wines are ``a remarkable testimony to a district that is with some justification hailed as New Zealand's best area for Bordeaux style reds’’. They have also established an association with the arts. Auckland artist Erin Wozniak received a $3000 first prize at this year’s national Goldwater Art Award for her masterful work. Ms Wozniak was selected from 29 finalists. Other 2004 highlights included the release of the Rosie Rosé to celebrate the life of Rosie Goldwater, mother of Kim Goldwater.

Their 2002 Zell Waiheke Island Chardonnay was awarded a 90 point rating in the US Wine Enthusiast magazine.

Goldwater Wood's Hill Waiheke Island Cabernet & Merlot was selected by Bob Campbell MW in the Gourmet Traveller as one of his "top wines".

Goldwater New Dog Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2004 was rated by Jöelle Thomson as one of the top 10 New Zealand sauvignon blancs in the New Zealand Herald’s Viva. The New Dog 2003 won double gold and champion sauvignon blanc at the Houston Rodeo International Wine Competition in Texas.

Copyright 2004 Word of Mouth Media NZ

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