A pioneering family of winemakers has seen off competition from thousands to see one of its wines come out on top.
Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2019 has taken the Champion Sauvignon Blanc title at the 2019 New World Wine Awards.
In its 17th year, the awards attracted 1274 entries from 176 wineries across New Zealand and overseas.
Seventeen independent wine experts took part in a blind taste test with only varietal, vintage and country of origin noted.
The Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc 2019 comes from the Rose Family Estate vineyards located in the Wairau Valley,
Winemakers Sam Rose and Nick Entwistle and viticulturalist Hamish Rose are extremely proud of the wine.
Sam says he believes the 2019 growing season and harvest contributed to the wines outstanding quality.
“The warm and fine weather through the late summer months allowed the development of a riper spectrum of tropical flavours, providing us with excellent blending components to create our Sauvignon Blanc” he says.
A key ingredient in a Marlborough-made gin is helping keep a notorious weed at bay.
Record hauls of gorse flower have been gathered at a community harvest event.
Six kilogrammes of the yellow flower were handpicked over four hours.
Twice a year, the team behind Marlborough’s new Elemental Distillery organise a local foraging event.
In a bid to entice people to pick the problem plant, which causes misery to hay fever sufferers every spring, Elemental Distillers co-owner Ben Leggett puts on a free BBQ.
But Ben himself is a big fan of the plant.
“I simply love it. Not only is it both aromatic, herbaceous and fruity but it’s somewhat of an anti-establishment botanical in a market already full of rogue exotic species.
“The only issue remaining is how to harvest it in peak flowering and in volumes enough to last until the following season,” he says.
The answer came in the form of eight off-road vehicles, one gourmet barbeque put on by Francis Nolan from Boom Chef, a large pine plantation, local volunteers and some very thick gloves.
Introduced around the early 19th century as a hedgerow for livestock by European settlers, gorse flourished in New Zealand’s temperate climate flowering twice a year compared to just once in the Northern Hemisphere.
Gorse also generates exploding seed pods which can travel over 6 metres from the parent plant and can lay dormant in soil for up to 50 years before sprouting.
Ben says thanks to a collaboration with Marlborough 4WD Club, 15 local volunteers headed up into Marlborough’s Kaituna Hills last month aiming for a 300-meter-high plateau located in Stoney Creek forestry.
“Without the support by Marlborough locals, we would never have been able to deliver a fresh botanical gin like that of Roots,” Ben says.
Marlborough could help lead the way in a national bid to help boost recycling levels.
The council’s solid waste manager Alec McNeil will oversee a pioneering project which could see people paid to drop off empty drink containers.
And he believes Marlburians will be quick to take up the initiative.
“Marlborough is used to source separation of recycling so the possibility of a future Container Recycle Scheme (CRS) should complement and add to our existing approach,” he says.
Under the scheme, which was unveiled last week, plastic, glass and aluminium drink containers will carry a refundable deposit, potentially between 5-20 cents each.
Helping people cash in on their empties could be key to boosting recycling levels.
Alec says he believes any initiative would rely on being readily available.
“A key focus of the design will be ensuring equity of service provision across NZ that affords all communities the opportunity to engage with the system,” he says.
“At a more strategic level a CRS changes the way we think about containers by reintroducing a value back into the material”.
Marlborough and Auckland councils will carry out the project design together following a government funding boost of almost $1 million.
Alec, who is project coordinator and deputy spokesman is a trustee on the Agrecovery Foundation Trust Board.
He says the scheme will help keeps useful resources out of landfills and has the potential to create new jobs.
The two councils will work with the Ministry for the Environment and others including the beverage, packaging and recycling industries, councils, retailers, charitable organisations, Māori and consumer representatives.
The application was initiated from involvement with the National Resource Recovery Group (NRR).
The NRR was convened by the Ministry for the Environment to consider a response to the recycling challenges facing NZ.
“In lieu of the contraction of markets particularly post the ‘National Sword’ policy implemented by China,” Alec says.
China has introduced strict rules around importing solid wastes as raw materials. The policy bans various plastic, paper and solid waste.
Alec says a CRS scheme would impact on material flow.
“Auckland and Marlborough councils offered to submit an application to the waste minimisation fund to facilitate a working group that would design a CRS for NZ.“
A final design is due to be presented to the Government by August 2020 and rolled out in 2022.
A Marlborough hotel has been awarded back-to-back wins at a prestigious Australasian hotel competition.
Chateau Marlborough won the HM Australasian Hotel of the Year for Best NZ Regional Hotel for the second year running, one of only two hotels to achieve the award twice and in their second year of attending the ceremony.
General manager Lynley McKinnon says winning the award was very much a team effort.
“We’ve got a dedicated team of staff that is striving for excellence, which makes the success fantastic for the hotel,” she says.
The 2019 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, now in their 17th year, are the leading industry in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
More than 900 people attended the awards dinner at the Sydney’s International Convention Centre last Friday and over 60 awards were handed out across 48 categories.
Chief executive officer Brent Marshall says to be the second hotel in 17 years to win the award in consecutive years was a “very pleasing surprise”.
“We were up against 15 others of an exceedingly high standard, to be announced as the winner was satisfying and humbling at the same time,” Brent says.
“There has been a lot of continual work to wh? And improve.
“It’s great for the Marlborough region to be acknowledged as a province that offers a quality experience.
“The awards are a reflection of the staff, from the manager down.”
Lynley was a finalist in the NZ General Manager of the Year category and executive chef James Sievewright was a finalist for the Australasian Hotel Chef of the Year.
The judging panel was made up of industry leaders and travel writers from the Australasian region.
HM editor-in-chief and chief judge of the HM Awards James Wilkinson says the calibre of this year’s entries were the best in the event’s history.
“The quality of entries in the HM Awards this year was unlike anything we have seen before. It was a challenge to even choose the finalists from up to 80 entries in some cases, let alone decide on a winner and highly commended,” James says.
“To even be a finalist this year was a massive effort and many of our winners have also been employee of the year or hotel of the year in their own organisations, so it was an incredibly strong field of entries in 2019.”
In a first for New Zealand rugby, the region’s health board has signed up with the Tasman union to become its official health and wellbeing partner.
Nelson Marlborough Health (NMH) has replaced the union’s former partner, Coca Cola Powerade, and will see the Mako players promote health initiatives.
As part of the three-year, $15,000 deal, the Tasman Rugby Union will encourage positive health-related decisions and behaviour among its stadium audiences, club rugby communities and schools.
Its focus will be on the reduction of sugar consumption, the promotion of smoke free environments, alcohol harm reduction and promoting metal wellbeing and resilience.
NMH chief executive Peter Bramley says the partnership as an “innovative and powerful” public health initiative.
“As the official health and wellbeing partner of the Tasman Rugby Union, we can leverage the influence that Mako players have among youngsters in our region. We can also the reach the TRU has into clubs, schools and the wider community, to inspire positive health decisions and behaviour.”
He says the sponsorship is a “prudent investment”, even amid revelations that the health board is in a $20 million deficit.
“It costs as much as $5000 to remove one child’s teeth under general anaesthetic and we are seeing far too many children needing this kind of unnecessary hospital care in our region.
“The terrible health effects of sugary drinks don’t stop at teeth – sugary drinks are the cause of obesity, diabetes and other serious health conditions that are a heavy burden on every DHB’s finances.”
Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis says that promoting healthier living to its player base is important to them individually and as players in an active competitive sport.
“As a union we are excited to be working progressively with NMH over three years to achieve our collective goal of encouraging our players to reduce their sugar intake and to be mentally and physically healthier.”
NMH health promotion manager Lauren Ensor says being sponsored by Coca Cola seemed to be “inappropriate” because surgery drinks were the main cause of sugar in New Zealander’s diets.
“We aim to see an increasing health focus within rugby locally over the coming years and hopefully that inspires other unions and New Zealand Rugby to follow suit.”
The owner of an Indian restaurant who tried to cheat staff out of wages has been ordered to pay them nearly $60,000.
Blenheim man Subash Raizada, 57, also known as Roger Raizada, owns Maharajah India Ltd.
Staff accused him of harassment and trying to pressure them to hand over money or risk their immigration status.
The Employment Relations Authority found in favour of three former employees, Vibha Sood, Kulijeet Kaur and Akshay Dame.
The announcement come as it was revealed the business was to be struck off the Register of Companies.
In his findings, chief of the Employment Relations Authority James Crichton says the company, of which Raizada was sole director, owed the trio money.
“I am satisfied that Maharaja India Limited owes a total sum of $59,390.47 in respect to minimum wages and holiday pay for the credit of three employees, namely Ms Vibha Sood, Ms Kuljeet Kaur and Mr Akshay Dame”.
Raizada’s son bought the Seymour St restaurant in 2015, changing it to Raizada Indian Restaurant.
An Employment Relations Authority (ERA) hearing in Blenheim in May was told how a labour inspectorate began an investigation in March 2015.
Staff claimed several incidents where they had been underpaid or not paid at all.
Kaur revealed she was told by Raizada that her visa was dependant on him and that she should pay him $35,000.
Dame did a week’s work with Raizada, as a trial. In a statement Raizada told him he would need to pay $35,000 if he wanted the manager’s position. Dame turned him down.
Raizada responded by saying the staff had never worked for him and accused them of fraud.
“But those stories simply are not credible,” Crighton says.
“Mr Raizada’s position appeared to be that none of these folk actually worked for the company and that the documents were simply structured to suggest that they had worked there.
“Ms Sood gave evidence that she had to pay back wages to the employer after she had been paid them.
“The evidence from Ms Sood’s bank account quite clearly supports her testimony that she was paid wages and then was required to rebate some of that payment either back to Mr Raizada or to another employee who then provided that sum to Mr Raizada,” he wrote.
Raizada was convicted in the Blenheim District Court on representative charges following guilty pleas to offences under the Immigration Act 2009 and the Crimes Act 1961 in February 2019.
He was ordered to pay $5000 to Kaur in part recompense of her managerial services and complete 80 hours of community service.