19 Nov 2008

NZ wineries given 5-star rating

9:59 pm on 19 November 2008

A respected American wine commentator has given five-star ratings to New Zealand wineries.

Robert Parker Jnr - who has been writing about wine for more than 30 years - awarded the ratings to a winery in the North Island and four in the South Island.

In his latest book The Wine Guide, Parker singles out Te Mata Estate, Ata Rangi, Felton Road, Pegasus Bay and Rippon as outstanding wine producers.

He rates another 20 wineries as being excellent or good.

John Buck, from Te Mata Estate in Havelock North, says the ratings are a huge milestone for the company and the New Zealand wine brand.

He says Parker completely dismissed New Zealand wines 20 years ago and did not see a future for them.

Wine writer Michael Cooper says Parker has huge influence worldwide and the five-star ratings are very significant.

Cooper believes the rating should give the wineries a huge advantage when marketing their wines overseas.