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Wine Entries Reach Sky Tower High

Media release
3 September 2008

Wine Entries Reach Sky Tower High

Record entries were received for this year's Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition, with judges tasting 1,476 different wines at last week's three day judging event held at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Well known international wine judge Mike DeGaris lead the line up of 20 local and international judges who committed themselves to the job at hand, as they worked towards finding the top 100 winners of New Zealand's largest commercial wine competition.

Director of the awards and renowned wine consultant, Belinda Jackson, says it was an impressive effort on everyone's behalf, with judges tasting and analysing up to 150 glasses of wine each day.

"Picture this! If all of the bottles submitted for the judging process (three to four bottles of each wine were submitted) were stacked one on top of the other, the wine bottle tower (1000m) would be three times higher than the Sky Tower (305m)," says Belinda.

"This image represents the extent of the work the judges had to do in their quest to select the Top 100 wines for 2008.

"The judges were looking for balance, authenticity and great quality, specifically wines that were really going to exceed the expectations of the consumer."

The overall goal of the competition is to take to the consumer the 100 best wines that are commercially available on the New Zealand market.

"The Liquorland Top 100 awards provide independent endorsement for wine lovers and give consumers the courage to try new wines," says Belinda. "As a result of the awards and the judges' efforts, consumers are presented with 100 hand-picked, great wine choices."

This year the competition saw a significant increase in categories including Champagne, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

The exploration and enjoyment of new wines is a rising trend in New Zealand, according to Belinda, as Kiwis are becoming more adventurous with their wine purchasing choices.

The Liquorland Top 100 International Wine Competition includes 19 classes, from Chardonnay to Shiraz, Pinot Gris to Pinot Noir as well as Sparkling, Fortified and Rosé.

The Liquorland Top 100 and trophies will be announced at the gala dinner on Friday, 03 October at Auckland's Hilton Hotel.


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