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Akarua Pinot Noir named Champion Wine of Show

Akarua Pinot Noir named Champion Wine of Show

Bannockburn vineyard Akarua has won the Bragato Trophy for Champion Wine of Show and three other trophies at the Romeo Bragato Awards in Blenheim.

Apart from the competition’s top award, Akarua Pinot Noir 2011 also won the Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy Champion Pinot Noir and the Sustainability Trophy.

On top of Akarua’s success with Pinot Noir, a recent addition to their portfolio, Akarua Rosé Brut NV, also won the Sparkling Trophy.

The Bragato Wine Awards are presented each year as part of the Romeo Bragato conference. The awards recognise that growing excellent grapes is the foundation of making great wines. Trophies are awarded to the top wine from each variety and are presented to the grower rather than the winemaker.

The champion wine was grown by Akarua’s Vineyard Manager, Mark Naismith, in the Bannockburn sub-region in Central Otago.

“We’re thrilled to have one of our wines as Champion Wine of Show,” says Mark. “Our aim at Akarua vineyard is to supply our winemaking team with premium quality fruit that expresses the unique terroir of our site.”

The particular vintage was also a standout, something that was clear to winemaker Matt Connell early on.

“While Pinot Noirs from the 2010 vintage in Central Otago were noted for their power and concentration, the cooler 2011 vintage reflected in the wine,” says Matt. “The trophy winning wine has captivating aromatics of florals and spice, a beautifully poised palate that is complex, with excellent fruit weight and fine tannins.”

The Akarua vineyard was first planted in 1996. The 50 hectare vineyard in Bannockburn is the largest family owned estate in Central Otago. The vineyard is now well established, with the vine age helping to produce fruit with rare depth of flavour. The quality and consistency of Akarua wines has made them a favourite with wine lovers and wine competition judges alike.

Akarua’s achievement at the Bragato Wine Awards comes in the face of stiff competition. Olly Masters, chairman of judges, said this year was one of the strongest trophy line-ups ever across all categories. A total of 495 wines competed for the Bragato Wine Awards.

* Akarua wines are distributed by Hancocks Wine, Spirit & Beer Merchants. The wines are available in Glengarry’s and other fine wine stores, selected liquor outlets and restaurants. Contact Prue Rawcliffe for stockists –


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