Wairarapa Times Age – 29th August 2007

An article that appeared in the Wairarapa Times Age about Tirohana Estate winning the Championship Pinot Noir of New Zealand and Reserve Wine Champion, as well as a Gold Medal for Pinot Noir…

Pinot Noir award further boosts reputation Martinborough’s reputation as the “Pinot Capital of the New World” was bolstered when Tirohana Estate’s 2006 Pinot Noir picked up trophies in two categories at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards in Auckland at the weekend. The accolades come just weeks after Disney World manager of wine sales John Blazon, speaking about Martinborough’s wines said, “we’ll take all we can get”. Tirohaa Estate’s 2006 Pinot Noir has taken out two gold medals in the wine awards. The Martinborough vintage was awarded the Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy and the Reserve Champion Wine and Richard Smart Trophy, as well as receiving a K1 Gold Medal for Pinot Noir.

Tirohana’s management are over the moon at the news of the win. “Martinborough is not only competing with the very best in the world but is evolving into an iconic destination for wine tourism, attracting international visitors as well as travellers within domestic New Zealand.
We feel sure that the Bragato awards will build and consolidate Tirohana’s position in the industry as well as punctuate that Martinborough is producing some very special and unique wines,” Saranne James, Operations Manager at Tirohana Estate said. “The entire Tirohana team is very grateful and proud to have received the award and trophies, which are an honour and highlights not only Tirohana’s niche market position with both consumers and those within the discerning wine industry … but also pays tribute to Wairarapa in general, and Martrinborough in particular, which is becoming known both domestically and internationally as the Pinot Capital of the New World,” she said.
The Tirohana Estate 2006 Pinot Noir’s path to glory began when th vintage was pruned in June 2005. Budburst occurred in late September 2005 and the grapes endured several frost alerts but came through the frost season unscathed, Ms James said. When the 2005 frost season was over, Martinborough sweltered through a long, hot and dry summer, which nourished the Pinot grapes. The vintage also benefited from some cold evenings, which along with some substantial sunshine hours, stimulated the grapes, precipitating an exciting and diverse complexity, she said. The 2006 vintage flourished on the vine and enjoyed near-perfect weather conditions leading up to harvest at the end of March 2006, which is now categorised as one of the earliest harvests in Martinborough’s history. “Tirohana Estate was very proud to win a Gold Medal for its 2006 Pinot Noir. But it was a real honour to be advised that Tirohana Estate had also won the Champion Pinot and Mike Wolter Memorial Trophy and the Reserve Champion Wine and Richard Smart Trophy,” Tirohana’s owner Raymond Thompson said. “It is testament to the passion and conviction of Saranne and Toby, who manage Tirohana Estate along with their team who are dedicated to pursuing Tirohana’s aspiration of producing premium quality wine.
“Our winemaker Gary Voss should also be acknowledged, along with our viticultural consultant Glenys Hansen,” he said. “We are very flattered to have won the Gold Medal for our 2006 Tirohana Pinot Noir at the Bragato awards and although the entire Tirohana team had very high hopes for its 2006 vintage, it was a complete surprise to have won Championship Pinot as well as Reserve Championship wine, especially considering the iconic brands participating. Tirohana is evolving into a very special brand and we look forward to sharing this exciting vintage with our clients,” Toby James, the estate’s marketing manager said.