Ag­ing of wine took it up to cham­pion sta­tus

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS - By CHE BAKER

Cen­tral Otago wines shone at the 2012 Romeo Bra­gato Wine Awards held in Blen­heim, dom­i­nat­ing the pinot noir sec­tion of the awards and win­ning two of the com­pe­ti­tion’s dis­tin­guished tro­phies. Nine Cen­tral Otago wines were awarded gold medals at the awards, in­clud­ing Cromwell­based win­ery Rock­burn Wines who also took home the Richard Smart Tro­phy and Re­serve Cham­pion Wine and the Mike Wolter Memo­rial Cham­pion Pinot Noir Tro­phy for its 2010 Pinot Noir. Cen­tral Otago Wine­grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent James Dicey said it was a fab­u­lous re­sult and great to see a strong out­ing from Cen­tral Otago wines. It was also spe­cial that Rock­burn Wines had brought the Mike Wolter memo­rial tro­phy back to Cen­tral Otago, Mr Dicey said. ‘‘Mike was an in­flu­en­tial per­son in the wine in­dus­try in Cen­tral Otago,’’ he said. Cen­tral Otago Pinot Noir chair­man Rudi Bauer said Mr Wolter iden­ti­fied the ter­races and val­ley be­low the Pisa Range as be­ing highly suit­able for pinot noir. He was con­vinced that great wine would one day grow there. ‘‘He had the vi­sion and a pas­sion that all wine­grow­ers in the re­gion as­pire to,’’ Mr Bauer said. He died af­ter an ac­ci­dent in 1997. Rock­burn Wines wine­maker Mal­colm Fran­cis said this year’s awards showed how much ag­ing wine can make a dif­fer­ence, af­ter the same wine re­ceived a bronze medal last year. Cen­tral Otago viti­cul­tur­ist and James’ fa­ther Robin Dicey was in­ducted as a Fel­low of New Zealand Wine­grow­ers.

Win­ners: Rock­burn Wines wine­maker Mal­colm Fran­cis with the Richard Smart Tro­phy and Re­serve Cham­pion Wine and the Mike Wolter Memo­rial Cham­pion Pinot Noir Tro­phy.

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