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1-48 FT June16 39 Rapaura Springs’ Mark Bowers says entering and winning last year’s New World Wine Awards was one of the best decisions he ever made. The 2015 winner of the champion Sauvignon Blanc says he saw an immediate boost in sales and brand awareness. “Our champion wine was in every New World throughout the country and because of the promotional support that is wrapped around top wines that win medals at the awards,” Bowers says. “Other wine shows just don’t have the distribution and retail network to support in the same way.” Entries are now open for the 2016 New World Wine Awards, which provides winemakers with the opportunity to enjoy direct, tangible commercial benefits from their award-winning wines. Wines must retail for $25 or less, with at least 5000 bottles available for supermarket sale, and judging will take place in Wellington in August. Entries close on June 24. A North Canterbury winery in the conversion process to full organic certification is this year’s top New Zealand organic vineyard after clinching best Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Gewürztraminer categories. Greystone in the Waipara Valley beat 122 other entrants from across the country in the first year it has been able to enter the New Zealand Organic Wine Awards. Greystone’s viticulturist Nick Gill says he is looking forward to seeing more of New Zealand’s top vineyards make the transition. “While we certainly can’t make the most wine in the world, we can have a real shot at making the best. With organics we rely heavily on the quality of our vineyard crew and this award is a reflection of their skills.” The quality of wine that Greystone produces illustrates that there is no need for the use of synthetic chemicals to make great wine in North Canterbury, the company says. Waipara had a particularly strong year at the event, with gold medals also going to Terrace Edge, Black Estate and Muddy Water. The first Kiwi wine app that allows users to take self-guided vineyard tours has been launched by Yealands Wine Group. One of the only vineyards to let local and overseas visitors drive through its operation, the group has released the app relating to the Seaview Vineyard in the Awatere Valley in Marlborough. The 40-minute, 7.5km tour has 10 points of interest that offer users the chance to see firsthand the industry innovations and carbon-zero initiatives that epitomise the brand’s philosophy. Founder Peter Yealands says the main function of the app is to engage with visitors. “It allows users to go at their own pace and focus on their particular interests, be it our breathtaking views of the Cook Strait or many of the sustainable farm practices that we implement. We want visitors to leave having truly lived and breathed our philosophy and seen first-hand what Yealands is all about.”

1-48 FT June16
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