Awards recognise wine tourism ventures

KAT PICKFORD
Last updated 16:00 09/11/2012
Spy Valley
Emma Allen
Peaks and valleys: The angled roof of Spy Valley Wines’ cellar door and winery matches the silhouette of the hills surrounding the Awatere Valley vineyard and winery, says cellar door manager and marketing assistant Nicola Clark.

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Marlborough wineries Spy Valley Wines and Yealands Estate Wines have been named as two of the best South Island wine tourism ventures in the Best of Wine Tourism Awards.

Yealands Estate won the award for sustainable wine tourism and Spy Valley won the award for architecture and landscapes.

Run by the Great Wine Capitals Global Network, the annual awards recognise outstanding wine tourism businesses in the South Island. The network is a group of wine regions from around the world which aims to promote wine tourism, education and business exchange.

Spy Valley cellar door manager and marketing assistant Nicola Clark submitted the application after getting positive feedback from visitors.

"Cellar door customers always comment on the rolling hills, the low visual impact and the light and space," she said. "But it was also built to reflect the name Spy Valley - people love discovering all the quirky little things."

The building is already an award-winner, taking the New Zealand Institute of Architects commercial/industry trophy in 2006.

Designed by Tenant, Bevin & Slessor, of Wellington, and built in 2003 by Robinson Construction, the building blends with nature and the landscaped gardens, the work of Megan Wraight, of Wellington.

Meanwhile, Yealands Estate continues its quest for recognition as the most sustainable winery and vineyard in the world.

The sustainable wine tourism award is the latest in a string of national and international awards it has picked up this year, including the Environment Ministry 2012 Green Economy Award and the AmCham-DHL Express 2012 exporter of the year title, and was runner-up in the sustainability award of the Drinks Business Green Awards. This put the Awatere Valley winery within the top 16 sustainable organisations in the global drinks industry.

Mr Yealands said each award was another measure of the company's success, but he was equally proud to be awarded for their wines, particularly picking up the trophy for best sauvignon blanc at the 2012 International Wine Competition. "It was our mission statement when we built the place in 2008, but our sustainable approach goes hand in hand with producing quality wines."

The regional winners will be judged against winners from eight other regions in the network at the international awards in Italy.

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- The Marlborough Express

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