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Alliance Benefits Central Otago Winemakers

International Alliance Benefits Central Otago Winemakers

LAKE WANAKA, New Zealand (28 October 2009) Funding from the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund, in Wellington, assisted four Central Otago viticulturists to immerse themselves in the history and culture of winemaking during a recent five-week educational trip to Burgundy, France.

Len Ibbotson from Grape Vision, Sarah Little from Felton Road, Pip Martin from Carrick and Shannon Foley from Rippon travelled to Burgundy at the end of August to participate in the fourth annual Central Otago Burgundy Exchange.

On arrival the students underwent an intensive one week tuition course at the Centre de Formation Professionnelle et de Promotion Agricole (CFPPA) in Beanue, with viticulture students from across the world. The CFPPA provided an excellent overview of the winegrowing industry in Burgundy as well as tastings, vineyard visits and meeting local winemakers. The students then spent 3-4 weeks working in wineries and vineyards during the 2009 Burgundy vintage.

Shannon Foley, who was based in Nuits-Saint-George, thoroughly appreciated her experience and is looking forward to implementing the ideas and winemaking styles here in Central. “Learning from a region that has produced wine for hundreds of years has inspired me to integrate ideas and methodology for our next vintage. Seeing their passion and knowledge for wine created a fantastic cultural and learning experience,” she said.

Central Otago Winemakers Association and the Otago Polytechnic, co-organisers of the trip, were grateful for the funds provided by the New Zealand France Friendship Fund to assist with students’ travel and accommodation costs.

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Richard Woods Chairman of the New Zealand France Friendship Fund Board Chairman is delighted with the success and experiences of the trip, "We are pleased to hear the students have brought their knowledge back to New Zealand, to share among the viticulture community. This is the sort of project that the New Zealand-France Friendship Fund is excited to promote - one through which the people of New Zealand and France benefit, and an industry of vital historical and contemporary cultural and economic importance is enhanced in both countries."

Students from the CFPPA will visit Central Otago for the harvest in April. The exchange is part of an on-going learning programme between the two regions. For more information on COWA see www.cowa.org.nz or for the New Zealand-French Friendship Fund see www.nz-franceff.com

ENDS

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