Air NZ's new wine list

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Air New Zealand spends close to $6 million a year on wine for passengers throughout aircraft. Photo / iStock

By Grant Bradley

Wine experts have settled on a list of close to 50 wines, some costing more than $100 a bottle, for Air New Zealand to select from for its business class passengers.

Six of the nation's leading independent wine experts have selected "The Fine Wines of New Zealand" - to serve in planes from September.

A selection panel comprising Masters of Wine Alastair Maling, Michael Brajkovich, Sam Harrop, Simon Nash and Steve Smith along with Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas has agreed on the list for 2016 which includes 47 wines representing seven varietals.

One of the key criteria was consistency, with a wine having had to have been produced to an ''exceptional standard'' for a minimum of five consecutive years.

Air New Zealand chief operations officer Bruce Parton says the airline had been a longstanding supporter of New Zealand's wine industry.

It spends about $6 million a year on wine for passengers throughout aircraft.

"We believe we can help further build awareness and appreciation of these world class wines with international travellers and propel leading New Zealand wineries to even greater commercial success,'' Parton said.

The wines would be promoted through its inflight entertainment system, at offshore events and using contacts internationally to help open up key export markets for the wineries should they need this support.

The airline's specialist inflight wine consultants, who are based in New Zealand, China and the United States, will select wines from the list for serving in business premier cabins. Not all on the list of 47 would make it on board as some do not react well to high altitudes or are available in sufficient quantities.

Parton said it was important that the wines were selected independently of its existing wine programme.

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''We look forward to working closely with the wine masters in the coming years to compile this list annually."

In 2014 Air New Zealand moved e to a three-year deal with a single supplier, Villa Maria, in its economy section which upset some in the wine industry, but which the airline said had been part of simplifying the supply chain.

The Fine Wines of New Zealand for 2016:

Aromatics

Felton Road Dry Riesling 2014

Felton Road Block 1 Riesling 2015

Framingham F series Riesling Kabinett 2015

Johanneshof Cellars Gewürztraminer 2014

Stonecroft Gewürztraminer 2015

Te Whare Ra Toru SV5182 2014

Millton Vineyards Clos de Ste Anne Chenin Blanc 2014

Prophet's Rock Pinot Gris 2014

Dry River Pinot Gris 2014

Pinot Noir

Felton Road Block 3 2013

Burn Cottage 2014

Valli Bannockburn 2014

Rippon Vineyards Tinkers Field 2012

Bell Hill 2012

Ata Rangi 2013

Dry River 2013

Craggy Range Aroha 2013

Kusuda 2013

Bordeaux style

Te Mata Coleraine 2014

Craggy Range Sophia 2013

Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2013

Esk Valley The Terraces 2013

Stonyridge Vineyard Larose 2014

Church Road Tom 2013

Sauvignon Blanc

Cloudy Bay Te Koko 2011

Astrolabe Province 2015

Dog Point 2015

Greywacke 2015

Saint Clair Reserve Wairau 2015

Vavasour 2015

Chardonnay

Kumeu River Mate's Vineyard 2014

Neudorf Moutere 2011

Sacred Hill Riflemans 2014

Dog Point 2013

Felton Road Block 2 2010

Villa Maria Keltern Vineyard 2014

Sparkling

Nautilus NV

Akarua Vintage Brut 2010

Deutz Blanc de Blanc Vintage 2011

Quartz Reef Vintage 2010

Dessert wines

Forrest Wines Botrytised Riesling 2012

Framingham Wines Noble Riesling 2013

Framingham Wines 'F' Gewürztraminer 2014

Syrah

Craggy Range Le Sol 2013

Trinity Hill Homage 2013

Bilancia La Collina 2013

Te Mata Bullnose 2014

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