Marlborough winery Marisco Vineyards was named New Zealand Winery of the Year at a black tie dinner in London last night (UK time). The award, presented by the International Wine & Spirits Challenge, is considered one of the most prestigious international accolades and follows a dream run of eight international gold medal wins for Marisco Vineyards over the past two months.
“The competition for this level of award is enormous,” says Marisco Vineyards Proprietor and Chief Winemaker Brent Marris. “We were judged against some of the best New Zealand wineries and it’s both thrilling and humbling to take the top spot.”
The International Wine & Spirits Challenge (UK) is considered one of the top three global wine competitions, alongside the Decanter wine awards (UK) and the Sydney International Wine Competition. More than 7,000 wines were entered this year, including 340 from 74 New Zealand wineries.
Marisco Vineyards produces The Ned and The King’s Series brands from its new-generation winery in the Waihopai Valley, and their range includes Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Noble Sauvignon Blanc.
“I think what sets us apart is that we’re eternal optimists. We’re 110% focused on what’s possible, even when other people tell us it’s impossible. That’s seen us turn an old cattle farm into a high quality vineyard, develop entirely new technologies to incorporate into our high-tech winery, and tackle big international markets and find success there.
“I guess it’s a winning mix of no.8 wire mentality, and bold entrepreneurism, that exists in every person in our company,” he says.
Marisco Vineyards moved into the USA, Canada and China in 2011, and is currently building relationships in Norway and Sweden with a view to moving there over the next 12 months.
“Winning this title, with the highest international credentials, will really support our growth plans for 2012,” Marris says. “We’re on a very exciting journey and are immensely proud to be flying the New Zealand flag on the world stage.”