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11/11/2009

Record gold medals awarded in 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards

A record number of gold medals have been awarded in this year’s Air New Zealand Wine Awards, with 102 gold medals awarded across 14 wine varietals.

This is the first time in the competition’s almost 30-year history that more than 100 gold medals have been awarded.

Pinot Noir was the varietal awarded the most gold medals this year, receiving 19 medals, followed by Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, receiving 18 and 13 gold medals respectively.

Organised by New Zealand Winegrowers, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards saw 1655 wines entered from the country’s 10 key winegrowing regions.

As well as the record gold medal haul, 251 silver medals and 387 bronze medals were awarded by the 26-strong judging panel.

The 112 ‘pure’ medals, which are awarded to sustainable wines, is nearly twice the number awarded in 2008, with the total made up of 10 pure gold medals, 38 pure silver medals and 64 pure bronze medals.

New Zealand Winegrowers global marketing director Chris Yorke says reaching 100 gold medals is a significant milestone for the competition.

“The Air New Zealand Wine Awards sticker is extremely well recognised as a sign of quality and guides wine buying decisions for consumers nationwide and internationally,” he said.

“All wines entered are judged against international standards and this year New Zealand wineries have produced more gold medal-winning wines than any other year.”

Air New Zealand’s deputy chief executive officer Norm Thompson says the significant increase in pure medals awarded is extremely encouraging.

“Air New Zealand is dedicated to showcasing New Zealand wines internationally, and is the largest single server of New Zealand wines in the country,” he said.

“It is important for New Zealand’s winegrowers and producers to be seen as leading the way in sustainability … it can be a significant point of differentiation on the international market.”

The full medal results from the 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Awards are available online at www.airnzwineawards.co.nz.

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