Consumer-focused wine awards

Entries are now open for the 2013 New World Wine Awards and top winemakers are encouraging their peers to enter. In addition to the distinction of an award that recognises quality on the same international scale as all other wine competitions, winning winemakers are guaranteed national distribution and extensive brand exposure.

Greg Day from Kahurangi Wines says that winning a New World Wine Award has made a real difference to his business.

“Unlike most wine shows, the New World Wine Awards guaranteed us purchase orders for our gold medal winning Trout Valley Pinot Noir in 2012. The sophisticated marketing of the awards meant huge exposure for our brand, which is a critical determinant of success in what is a very crowded domestic wine market,” said Day.

Catherine Keith from Mount Brown also endorses the awards.

“Winning a Gold medal for our Riesling last year resulted in significant and ongoing sales not only for that wine, but also our entire wine portfolio. We’ve won many medals over the years, but the New World Wine Awards is by far the most effective in terms of generating sales,” said Keith.

Last year over 300,000 bottles of the Top 50 wines, with a retail value in excess of $4.3m, were sold throughout New World supermarkets in the first six weeks of the award results being announced. That volume of sales in the first six weeks was 17% higher than in the corresponding period in the previous year, reflecting the increasing awareness among consumers of the credibility of these wine awards.

The New World Wine Awards use the same internationally-recognised points system as other leading wine competitions, ensuring that winning wines are the best examples of their type. The only difference is that all wines entered must retail for below $25 a bottle and there must be at least 500 cases of each wine available for sale. This means the awards are the premier consumer-focused awards in New Zealand because affordability and availability of the wines are key criteria for entry.

This year the New World Wine Awards is introducing a reduced alcohol class, opening up the competition to wineries that are at the forefront of responding to consumer demand for high quality reduced or low alcohol wines.

Jim Harré, Chair of the judging panel says that the wine industry and awards in this sector are highly competitive.

“The New World Wine Awards is particularly good for winemakers because not only are their wines judged by the same standards as any other wine competition, they are guaranteed distribution and marketing,” says Harré.

An independent panel of 13 expert wine judges will blind-taste each wine entered in the awards over two days in Wellington. This year the panel will include Dr Tony Jordan, an internationally experienced winemaker involved with Domaine Chandon, Cloudy Bay and Cape Mentelle. He is also a board member of Wine Australia.

The judges will award Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and convene to select the Champion red, white and bubbles overall. The Top 50 wines will be showcased in 137 New World stores nationwide, online and in the New World Wine Awards booklet.

Entries to the awards close on Friday 7 June. All details are at www.wineshow.co.nz.

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