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‘Best Of Wine Tourism’ awards honour South Island’s best wine tourism ventures

Christchurch South Island presented the 2013 Best Of Wine Tourism awards on December 8 at a ceremony held during the New World Food and Wine Festival in Christchurch’s Hagley Park. The festival returned for a second year to celebrate the wineries of the South Island region, and their status as New Zealand's representative on the prestigious Great Wine Capitals Global Network. More than 9000 people attended the event.

(L to R: Councillor Malcolm Lyall from Selwyn District Council, James McDonald from Yealands Estate and Councillor Sue Wells from Christchurch City Council.)

Fifty leading wineries from Central Otago, Canterbury, Waipara, Nelson, and Marlborough were selected to showcase their wines, with over 30 food exhibitors, chefs and restaurateurs plating up their best culinary dishes on the day.

Features included wine seminars and cooking exhibitions hosted by industry experts, and with live entertainment from some of New Zealand’s leading musicians.

The awards were presented by Christchurch City Councillor Sue Wells, who commented “It’s great to see Christchurch and South Island wineries getting global recognition and promoting the region as a result.”

The Christchurch | South Island Winners 2013 are:

Appellation Central Wine Tours – Regional Winner, Wine Tourism Services

Appellation Central Wine Tours offer an exceptional wine tourism experience for novice or experienced wine tourists alike. Tours can be tailored to meet the needs and interests of clients on the day, and Appellation’s outstanding relationships with partner wineries delivers an exceptional experience for its visitors. Clients are exposed to a range of well-established and boutique wineries in the three sub-regions of Central Otago. Appellation tour guides are highly knowledgeable and professional, and provide a fascinating commentary to compliment the information offered by partner wineries. Over the past year, Appellation have developed new package tours and extended their commitment to the development of the local wine tourism sector.

“The awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence in the field of wine tourism, and to be rated amongst the best for the third time is a great accolade for our business and the wine region as a whole”, says Director Wendy Johnston.


Melton Estate – Regional Winner, Wine Tourism Restaurants

Melton Estate is a boutique winery featuring a modern restaurant plus indoor and outdoor event venues amongst the vines, located just outside Christchurch and 10 minutes from the International Airport. Melton Estate hosts weddings, family celebrations, corporate meetings, concerts and performances, and has full conference and banqueting facilities. In the past year, they have significantly expanded their establishment with the addition of a new pavilion and large courtyard space.

Owner Tracy Caunter comments: “Our total focus is offering the very best wine hospitality for locals and guests to Christchurch. Our aim is to be the premier event destination for international visitors, corporate clients, and locals seeking a winery experience close to the city.”


Northburn Station, Regional Winner, Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences
The Shed at Northburn Station offers a true Central Otago experience for visitors. Located only a few minutes drive from Cromwell, Northburn is surrounded by spectacular mountains and overlooks picturesque Lake Dunstan.. Northburn’s innovative approach to offering a hosted wine tasting experience which includes food matching has been enhanced over the past year. They now have an expanded menu which continues to use fresh seasonal products from Northburn’s own gardens.


Yealands Estate Wines Ltd, Regional Winner, Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices
Yealands Estate is one of just a handful of wineries in the world to be certified carbon neutral – and the only such winery to achieve this from inception. The Yealands Estate winery and cellar door showcase premium sustainable wine production and continue to demonstrate a commitment to innovation in the experience offered to their wine tourists. Despite having won this category twice before, Yealands Estate have once again developed new opportunities for their visitors to share their vision. A total visitor experience is created at the winery, with new ventures including self-guided tours.

Yealands Estate founder, Peter Yealands, says the international recognition reflects the passion the Yealands team has for sharing their sustainability story.

“We are passionate about our sustainability practices and enjoy the opportunity to share what makes us different with the visitors who come to our winery. At our cellar door we aim to create a unique experience, which showcases our dedication to making quality wine in an innovative way,” says Peter Yealands.
The panel of judges commended Yealands Estate for leading from the front and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability, rather than just talking about it.


Spy Valley, Regional Winner, Architecture & Landscapes

Spy Valley Wines are based in an impressive and award-winning contemporary building which complements the natural environment in which it is set – Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley. Like the architecture, Spy Valley’s landscaped surroundings are also award-winning, and take in breathtaking views of the Richmond Ranges. Spy Valley is the ideal setting for a special celebration.

“The architecture and landscaping provide the basis for the commitment Spy Valley makes towards creating an innovative and unique wine tourism experience”, says Cellar Door Manager and Marketing Assistant Nicola Clark.


About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network
Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of nine internationally renowned wine regions – Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Christchurch|South Island, New Zealand; Florence, Italy; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain and San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA. The Best Of Wine Tourism awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence and recognize leading wineries and wine-tourism related businesses within each Great Wine Capital that have distinguished themselves in areas such as innovation, service and sustainable practices.

For more information visit greatwinecapitals.com.

Written by Decanter

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