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Ant Mackenzie named champion white winemaker

Media Release – October 25, 2004

Spy Valley’s Ant Mackenzie named champion white winemaker at Japan International Wine Challenge

Leading Marlborough wine label Spy Valley has won a major accolade by being named as having the Riedel Japan champion white winemaker at the Japan Wine Challenge.

The Japan Wine Challenge attracted more than 1600 wines from 19 different countries and is established as Asia’s most prestigious wine competition. 
Spy Valley also received gold medals for its 2005 sauvignon blanc, 2005 riesling and 2004 chardonnay and a silver for its 2005 pinot gris.

General manager Blair Gibbs said today news of the champion white winemaker was a great result for showcasing NZ and Marlborough wines to the rapidly developing region.

The award is a remarkable success for winemaker Ant Mackenzie and Spy Valley in only their sixth year of production.

``We have won dozens of medals and awards but this is a very significant award for the Asian region,’’ Gibbs said.

``This is fantastic news not just for Ant and Spy Valley but also for the Marlborough brand and for New Zealand wines,’’ he said.

``Accolades such as this are a huge springboard for us as Japan is New Zealand’s ninth biggest wine export market, growing at twice the rate of overall wine export markets. They are such an important indicator to the overall Asian markets.’’

Mackenzie has a major role in the Spy Valley operation and he said he was humbled by receiving the award.

``I’m really excited by this but we have to keep working towards continual improvement. We’re all looking forward to some special releases from the 2007 vintage ; 007 Spy Valley.’’

The company got its name from a US satellite monitoring base further up the road in the Waihopai valley.

Spy Valley, producing 100,000 cases this year, is one of New Zealand’s leading family-owned wine companies.

Spy Valley’s new winery won the New Zealand Institute of Architects commercial category award and a New Zealand Institute of Landscape Architects award this year for its special design. The vineyard also provides accommodation with Timara Lodge – a famous old heritage building.


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