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Entries now open for the 2011 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

29 July 2011

Entries now open for the 2011 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

Entries are now open for the 2011 Air New Zealand Wine Awards. This competition has been running for over 30 years with 2011 marking the 25th year that Air New Zealand has been involved as the naming rights sponsor. “The fact that Air New Zealand has reached this milestone is further cause for celebration this year,” said Mr Yorke.

Organised and owned by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards is the country’s most prestigious wine competition, and regarded as the official competition of the New Zealand wine industry.

All 2010 and 2011 vintage wines entered into the competition are required to be 100 per cent sustainably produced. New Zealand Winegrowers’ global marketing director Chris Yorke says this commitment, along with the New Zealand wine industry’s other sustainability initiatives, signals our continuing focus on the environmental integrity of New Zealand wines.

International Judges

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is an independent competition with a rigorous judging process undertaken by a panel of international and local judges.

Mr Yorke said this year’s awards have again attracted some of the world’s top judges.

“Every year the calibre of judges continues to be high – this year is no different. Given their collective experience, we’re excited by the prospect of what these judges will bring to the competition in 2011,” Mr Yorke said.

Judges for 2011 include:

Charles Metcalfe (United Kingdom) is co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, the world’s biggest wine competition, held annually in London, and was one of the founders of Wine International magazine.
Joe Czerwinski (United States of America) is currently the Tasting Director and Senior Editor of ‘Wine Enthusiast’ magazine. He joined the publication in 1999 as an associate editor.
Michael Hill Smith (Australia) is a wine producer, international wine judge, wine consultant and wine writer. In 2008 he was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for his contribution to the Australian Wine Industry. Michael featured in Decanter Magazine’s International Power List in 2009 and 2011.

Top Awards

Trophies and medals will be awarded within each wine varietal, with all gold medal winners competing for the prestigious Air New Zealand Champion Wine of the Show Trophy.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards sticker is recognised both internationally and locally as a sign of top quality, and guides consumer purchasing decisions,” Mr Yorke said.

Key Dates

Friday 2 September: Entries close

Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 October: Judging at Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland

Thursday 3 November: Medal-winning wines announced

Saturday 12 November: Trophy, Elite Gold and Pure Elite Gold medal-winners announced at Air New Zealand Wine Awards gala dinner to be held at The Langham Hotel in Auckland.

For further information visit


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