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Bragato Champion Wine great news for wine industry

Producer of the Champion Wine of Show at the Bragato Wine Awards competition says the win is great news for grapegrowers.

“Chardonnay taking out Champion Wine of Show is a boost for the NZ wine industry and even for consumers,” said Erica Crawford of Kim Crawford wines commenting on the win by Kim Crawford Doc’s Block Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2006.

Papers and research presented on financial benchmarking of wineries and analysis of returns to grape growers at the wine competition’s accompanying Bragato Conference, showed that the wine industry is facing significant difficulties.

“Things are tough for wine producers right now,” she said. “Our industry is over reliant on a single variety, being Sauvignon Blanc and equally worryingly, from a single region, being Marlborough. To see our country’s toughest wine show select a Chardonnay for Champion Wine is good news for our industry as a whole and for Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne in particular.”

Hawke’s Bay produces 28% of all Chardonnay produced in New Zealand equalling Marlborough with Gisborne growing 40%. Chardonnay is NZ’s second most planted variety accounting for 19% of the grape harvest in 2007.

Erica Crawford said “It is good to see a rigorously judged show reflecting consumer taste as it demonstrates that the sheer pleasure and drinkability of Chardonnay, is matched by the quality of wines being produced here.

“This win reinforces that bold and drinkable wines are also reflective of top quality production and is a fine reward for such experienced growers as Michael (Doc) and Deb Hewitt who grew the fruit for the Doc’s Block Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay.”

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