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Competition heats up for 2014 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

The competition is heating up for this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards with a near-record of entries.

More than 1500 wines across 16 different classes have been entered with Pinot Noir being the most popular variety, followed by Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Drops from Marlborough topped entries with 689 wines, followed by Hawke's Bay with 325, Otago with 205 and Nelson with 102.

The wines will be sniffed, swirled and sipped from 3–5 November by an independent panel of 26 judges, chaired by Michael Brajkovich MW.

Among the critics are two international wine judges including David Brookes, a freelance wine journalist who contributes to Australian Gourmet Traveller WINE, Wine Companion and Wine & Spirits magazines; and Sebastian Braun, a wine buyer for Swedish retail monopoly, Systembolaget.

The judging will be held at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland and gold medal-winning wines will be announced on 13 November.

On 22 November the ‘best of the best’ trophy-winning wines will be revealed at a black tie dinner in Hawke’s Bay.

Philip Gregan, New Zealand Winegrowers’ chief executive officer, says excitement for this year’s competition is building.  

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is eagerly anticipated by the New Zealand wine industry as it provides great exposure for the medal winning wines and the category as a whole,” he says. 

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards is a celebration of excellence in New Zealand winemaking and is widely considered to be the country’s most prestigious wine competition.

It's owned and organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the national organisation for the country's 1600 grapegrowers and winemakers. 

For more information visit www.airnzwineawards.co.nz

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