The Te Kauwhata winery won the awards for its Sauvignon Blanc Pinot Noir and Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc.

The sky is the limit for Invivo Wines which has picked up three gold medals at the San Francisco International Wine Competition

The Te Kauwhata winery won the awards for its Sauvignon Blanc Pinot Noir and Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc.

Co-founder Rob Cameron said it's the first "triple scoop" since taking up a 10-year lease of the town's 115-year old historic winery site early last year.

"We love medals, it just helps us tell our story, there's so much competition in the wine business and so every little piece of good news you can garner and put onto your wines just helps."

The competition deemed gold as an excellent wine, meeting very high standards coming second to double gold.

Invivo Wines only broke into the US market last year and Cameron said the awards had helped Invivo make their mark. 

This year's competition received more than 4300 wine entries from more than 30 countries.

 All wines were blind-tasted  by a judging panel comprised of 58 top industry experts and taste-makers. 

As a winemaker, Cameron prides himself on the balance, texture and drinkability of the products.

"I just think the quality of our wines and the style of our wines has always been medal-winning, we've got a really good track record of multiple medals across all our varieties."

But even without the awards, they've managed to turn heads in the US. 

"It's already far exceeding our expectations in terms of volume and success of the brand even though it's such a big country."

It's been success from the beginning when old school friends Cameron and Tim Lightbourne established the company in 2008. 

The likes of America's Next Top Model judge Nigel Barker has since signed up as an ambassador as well as the partnership with English talk show host Graham Norton who has come up with his own blends. 

Cameron said the support from the north Waikato town hasn't stopped ever since taking up residence. 

"When this opportunity came up, it was a big step but it's given us a real home and it's got a lot of history, and it helps us tell the story in a different way and that's what it's about, communicating with people about our story.

"We started off with the first vintage which was about 50 tonnes of grapes and this year we did about 1500, we've grown substantially over the last couple of years."

Plans were now in the pipeline to extend the site in order to keep up with the demand, he said. 

Article source: Caitlin Wallace/Stuff


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