It’s official, Central Otago pinot noir is truly a world class wine, with akitu taking out its second international title win at the world’s most influential wine awards, this week.

Following two weeks of blind taste testing at London’s Oval cricket ground, by judges comprised from the most important people in the wine world, akitu pinot noir from Wanaka was announced the winner of the IWC (International Wine Challenge) Sustainability Trophy for the second time in three years.

Akitu’s founder Andrew Donaldson was ecstatic that akitu had won top honours at a lavish award ceremony held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane in London.

More than 15,000 wines from 55 countries entered this year’s IWC competition hopeful for a top spot. Of the 32 gold medals awarded to New Zealand wines, akitu won gold medals for both top cuvee A1 Black Label 2016 and akitu A2 White Label 2016, scoring 96 points for each wine. This is the third year the akitu A1 has been entered, winning gold medals on each occasion, and two NZ pinot noir trophies, one New Zealand Red Wine Trophy and now two IWC Sustainability Trophies, collecting eight trophies in total.

Akitu’s founder Andrew Donaldson says, “Coming from New Zealand there is something very special about winning the IWC Sustainability Trophy again at such an esteemed event. Being acknowledged on an international stage for our wine, while respecting the planet through our practises, is a truly humbling experience that fills our team with great pride. Caring for the environment is not only essential, in my opinion but it makes good business sense. It’s like life, the more you put in, the more yoGiven the incredible level of competition, akitu’s top cuvee winning three out of three gold medals, is simply astounding.

“We are making wine in the southern most winemaking region on earth so I’m pinching myself that the world’s most influential wine judges think it’s good…actually, they seem to think it is really good. We waited 10 years before bottling the first A1 pinot because we were determined to bottle the best fine wine we could make. This is a credit to our team’s belief that patience is a virtue and strength comes with adversity, which is why as our vines enter their second decade their resilience is proven and the character that only comes with vine age is becoming more defined. We need patience because at 380 metres above sea level right against the Southern Alps we are bang on the grape growing edge.”

Akitu only produce pinot noir from their site in Wanaka. “The heartbreak grape” as pinot is known, is seen a risky proposition if you have your entire crop in this one variety. “But if your aim is to make the best wine you possibly can, you must focus,” believes Donaldson and his team.

akitu wines range in price from $39.90 to $59.90 and are available to purchase at

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