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Rod McDonald Wines has been awarded the Trophy for the ‘Best International Syrah’ in the world at the prestigious International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London for its Quarter Acre Syrah 2015. 

The Hawkes Bay winery also won the Trophies for best New Zealand Syrah, best New Zealand Red and best Hawkes Bay Syrah.

The International Wine Challenge (IWC), into its 34th year, is considered the world’s finest and most meticulously judged wine competition which assesses every wine blind and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage. Wines awarded Gold medals progress to the Trophy round – in this case the Rod McDonald Wines Quarter Acre Syrah 2015 was selected from 1,236 gold medal winning international wines in four different categories to claim all four Trophies. 

Winemaker Rod McDonald says the trophy haul will consolidate their position as a leading New Zealand wine brand in the international market.

“It’s another block in the foundation of our export business and building a global market for our wines. The export market can be very challenging for a small winery from Hawkes Bay. But awards like this increase our profile and status of not only our winery, but also Hawkes Bay and New Zealand. This win will build our profile, help increase distribution and cement our foothold in the international market,” McDonald says. 

Alongside its domestic distribution to New Zealand restaurants and wine retailers, the company exports to Australia, China, USA, South East Asia, the UK and Europe.

“This win is big for us and for New Zealand. For a small business like ours to scoop the ‘best International Syrah’ and the ‘best New Zealand red wine’ it’s a really big deal. Once again, it shines a light on our region as a serious player in the crafting of great wine. You’ll always have the opportunity to make wines that are safe and will offend no-one. Quality is a given, but a couple of years ago we made the decision to start making wines that would be more polarising, less polished, but more individual and with more personality – and this is a real-life confirmation that it’s what people want to see more of.” 


Glenn Baker

Glenn is a professional writer/editor with 50-plus years’ experience across radio, television and magazine publishing.


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