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Amisfield Winery & Bistro Best Winery Restaurant in NZ

June 20 2013

Amisfield Winery & Bistro Best Winery Restaurant in New Zealand

Queenstown’s Amisfield Winery and Bistro is celebrating being named New Zealand’s best winery restaurant in the prestigious Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards.

Commended by judges for its leisurely, welcoming and beautiful atmosphere and its thoughtful and confident menu, the bistro, housed in a distinctive Central Otago wine complex overlooking Lake Hayes and surrounded by mountains, fought off stiff competition from around 70 other restaurants to receive the accolade.

The bistro was also awarded a coveted Cuisine ‘Hat’, a new rating reflecting its high standards of food, service, wine and ambience.

Amisfield Winery CEO Craig Erasmus said the team was “absolutely delighted” with the win, which came as a welcome and unexpected surprise following previous Cuisine Best Winery Restaurant Awards in 2006 and 2007.

“This award is due in no great part to our very professional and thoroughly dedicated staff, many of whom have been with us for quite a few years. We’re very lucky to have them.”

Mr Erasmus said Head Chef Jay Sherwood, who gained his experience in the US and Europe in three Michelin-star restaurants before moving to New Zealand, had played a “major role” in the achievement.

“Jay completely understands that we are a wine company first and foremost, and as we have only Amisfield wines on our wine list it is always quite challenging to create great food using locally-sourced produce that complements and highlights our many award-winning wines.

“That takes careful planning and refined service, something the judges alluded to, and has obviously been achieved with great success.”

Cuisine NZ Good Food Awards judges said the menu was “thoughtfully designed to complement the wine portfolio”, with “pleasing attention to the finer details”.

They were full of praise for the food, describing it as “simple, seasonally-focused dishes under the direction of Jay Sherwood, who displays a pleasing confidence in the quality of his ingredients.”

Compliments were also forthcoming about the service, setting and interior design in a beautiful dining room showcasing local schist stone, all in a “quintessentially Central Otago setting”.

Mr Erasmus said Amisfield Winery and Bistro had worked “extremely hard” on a winning combination of a premium wine brand married with a great menu in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.

“The food we offer, with dishes designed to be shared with friends and loved ones, is an expression of local seasonal ingredients simply prepared, and the ultimate complement to our wines.

“The recognition we’ve had from Cuisine highlights our ability to constantly evolve, maintain our extremely high standards in a competitive environment, while still retaining that distinctive Amisfield ‘feel’.

“We’re very honoured to receive this award and to achieve a Cuisine ‘Hat’ rating.”

The Amisfield Wine Company has been involved in the wine industry for 25 years. It recently completed its 11th vintage, and while still a relatively young winemaking company has become a strong global brand with multiple worldwide wine awards and accolades under its belt.

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