Fine wines of New Zealand revealed

Six of the nation's leading independent wine experts have come together to create "The Fine Wines of New Zealand" - a list of the country's most prestigious wines.
29 July 2016

A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

This group of leading New Zealand wine experts met several times in late 2015 and in the first half of 2016 to define the criteria that had to be met for a wine to earn the prestigious Fine Wine of New Zealand status. One of the key criteria is consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an exceptional standard for a minimum of five consecutive years.

A wine could only earn its Fine Wine of New Zealand status if all of the selection panel, which was supported by Master of Wine Bob Campbell, agreed it met the highest of standards. This saw several wines drop out of contention.

"It's been a real pleasure to be involved in this process and play a part in promoting the country's very best wines. For New Zealand wine to truly compete on the world stage there needs to be an ongoing focus on quality and on continually lifting the game," says Master of Wine Michael Brajkovich.

Air New Zealand will start to feature wines from the Fine Wines of New Zealand selection in its Business Premier cabins from September.

Supporting the Fine Wines of New Zealand programme is another example of the airline's commitment to supercharging New Zealand's success, under the economic pillar of its sustainability framework.

"We play a significant role in taking New Zealand made products to the world and showcasing them throughout our customer experience. By partnering with these Masters of Wine, we are helping to lift the value perception of our nation's wine industry and drive higher financial returns," says Chief Flight Operations and Safety Officer David Morgan, who is also Deputy Chair of the Sustainable Business Council.

Air New Zealand Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton says as a longstanding supporter of New Zealand's wine industry the airline is proud to share some of the country's leading wines, many of which retail for more than $100 a bottle, with its premium customers.

"We believe we can help further build awareness and appreciation of these world class wines with international travellers and propel leading New Zealand wineries to even greater commercial success. We will be doing this through promoting the wines on board via our inflight entertainment system, at offshore events and using our contacts internationally to help open up key export markets for the wineries should they need this support.

"Air New Zealand has carved out an enviable reputation globally for its premium on board wine selection over many years and we believe this latest commitment to the Fine Wines of New Zealand takes it to another level.

"I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the team of Masters of Wine and Master Sommelier to select the Fine Wines of New Zealand. It was important to us that these wines were selected independently of our existing wine programme. We look forward to working closely with the wine masters in the coming years to compile this list annually."

Air New Zealand's specialist inflight Wine Consultants who are based in New Zealand, China and the United States will select wines from the list to be showcased on board alongside its menu designed by award-winning New Zealand chefs Peter Gordon and Michael Meredith.

The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:

  • Aromatics
    Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014
    Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015
    Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015
    Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014
    Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015
    Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014
    Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014
    Prophet's Rock Pinot Gris 2014
    Dry River Pinot Gris 2014

  • Bordeaux style
    Te Mata Coleraine 2014
    Craggy Range Sophia 2013
    Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013
    Esk Valley The Terraces 2013
    Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014
    Church Road Tom 2013

  • Chardonnay
    Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard 2014
    Neudorf Moutere 2011
    Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014
    Dog Point 2013
    Felton Road Block 2 2010
    Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014

  • Dessert wines
    Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012
    Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2013
    Framingham Wines 'F' Gewürztraminer 2014

  • Pinot Noir
    Felton Road Block 3 2013
    Burn Cottage 2014
    Valli Bannockburn 2014
    Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012
    Bell Hill 2012
    Ata Rangi 2013
    Dry River 2013
    Craggy Range Aroha 2013
    Kusuda 2013

  • Sauvignon Blanc
    Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011
    Astrolabe Province 2015
    Dog Point 2015
    Greywacke 2015
    Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015
    Vavasour 2015

  • Sparkling
    Nautilus NV
    Akarua Vintage Brut 2010
    Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2011
    Quartz Reef Vintage 2010

  • Syrah
    Craggy Range Le Sol 2013
    Trinity Hill Homage 2013
    Bilancia La Collina 2013
    Te Mata Bullnose 2014



Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320