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Grasshopper Rock – Wine Stars Top 20

There’s a big buzz around Grasshopper Rock – we are through to the TOP 20 at Wine Stars!

Grasshopper Rock is one of only 20 wineries chosen from around the globe to compete for the hearts of the UK wine trade and their customers. Sounds a bit like X Factor or Dragons Den and it is. The difference is we will have to travel 12,000 miles to get into the final 10 who will pitch to key UK wine trade judges.

It all happens next week on 24th May at the London International Wine Fair. With just one week notice there is a lot to do. I have got to get my performance right by then. The wine is the easy part of the performance; Grasshopper Rock Pinot Noir should blow the judges away. The challenge is the Dragon Dens stuff. Why should the buyers back us ahead of hundreds of other wineries they see? What is our X Factor? I will tell the judges on the 24th.

We are stepping into the unknown here. There has never been an event like this before in the wine world. This is not just about the wine; it is also about the people, the packaging and the plan. To me this is what wine is really all about – wine is much more than just what is in the bottle. Wine needs people and place, and it needs to look and feel right. All this creates the story.

The judging panel are some of the most influential in the UK wine trade. Grasshopper Rock will have opportunity to blow the judges away with our delicious Central Otago Pinot Noir. Pass the taste test in the morning and we go into the Top 10 to re-engage the judges with our pitch in the afternoon. It is exciting stuff with guaranteed listings for the winners.

The full list of the Top 20 is below. The others are from all over the winegrowing world and many are much bigger wineries than us. Grasshopper Rock is a minnow in this game but that can be a good thing.

I am going there to have fun and really push Grasshopper Rock’s story. Central Otago and NZ wine are all part of that story. Thank you to Wine Stars for creating a platform where we can get in front of these people – it is an amazing opportunity. Wine Stars can watched live on internet from 1pm-4pm on Thursday 24th May on this internet link:http://vrazon.com/accesszone/

The judges are:
Andrew Shaw, Wine Buying Director at Waitrose
Justin Howard-Sneyd, Global Wine Director Laithwaites
Joan Torrents Wine Buying director, Mitchell’s & Butler;
Ben Stephenson, Hanging Ditch Wine Merchants;
Kevin Shaw, Owner, Stranger & Stranger Design
Robin Davis, SWIG.co.uk
Robert Joseph, Wine writer, Author, Director of DoILikeIt? Consultancy
Catherine Monahan, Owner Clink Wines Ltd and Founder of WINE-STARS

Check out http://www.wine-stars.com for more details

THE TOP 20 SHORT-LISTED WINERIES

1. Wine Sans Frontieres/CITIC GUAON WINE CO. – China
2. Blank Bottle Wines – SA
3. Blackboard Wines – Spain
4. Clos Castell – Banyuls Sur Mer, France
5. Co-Operativa Vinicola Aurora – Ltda – Brazil
6. Grasshopper Rock – NZ7. Te Pa: NZ
8. Tintoralba Co-Op – Spain
9. Blind Corner/Two Brother – Western Australia
10. MondoVino – Argentina
11. Puro Uno – Argentina
12. V&N Cellars – Spain
13. SC Vinaria Tiganca SRL – Moldova
14. Dominio de Verderrubi – Spain
15.Vinumterrae – Spain
16. Springvale Wines – Australia
17. M-Simply Good Wines – Slovenia
18. Champagne La Courte-Godbillon, France
19. Miss Vicky Wine – Provence, France
20. Chaffey Bros. Australia