English rugby hasn’t done itself many favours in New Zealand the past few weeks.
It’s been a torrid time of low discipline and high-jinks. Potty-mouthed hotel guests and our best player thinking he’s Jack Sparrow – you’d think we’d won something.
Meanwhile New Zealand has been winning plenty in England.
The International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), held in London and considered to be the world cup of wine shows, awards several trophies each year, including the Bouchard Finlayson Trophy for Champion Pinot Noir. The latest Central Otago wine to win this highest of accolades is the Peregrine Pinot Noir 2009.
This competition is particularly prized because of the breadth of the entries. Wines from across the globe are entered so that competitors get a real sense of how their wine fits in to the broader picture and where their quality level lies.
Wines that win invariably sell out very quickly. Though Peregrine sold out of the 2009 a while ago, I have a sneaking suspicion they’ll have some knocking about somewhere.
It’s a fantastic PR opportunity for wineries, the region and New Zealand wine as a whole. One of the first wines to win the award was the Ata Rangi Pinot Noir 1999. Since then, New Zealand has won the trophy more than any other country.
The first Central wine to win, you may remember, was the Gibbston Valley Reserve Pinot Noir 2000. It was a stunning success, with the team at Gibbston taking full advantage of the award, bumping up the price, shouting from the roof tops and generally putting Central Otago Pinot on the map.
Since then other local wineries that have won the trophy have been Domain Road, Mt Dottrel, Wild Earth, Bald Hills and Remarkables Wines.
I would argue that these producers didn’t do their success the full justice as they now seem to have dipped below the radar somewhat. Winning is one thing, telling everybody about it is another.
So well done to Peregrine. It’s a great result for everybody that lives in the region as it confirms further what a fantastic product we have. Dedication, concentration, tenacity, discipline, tactical awareness and teamwork have all played their part.
All things that English rugby could do with.