By Shelley Reid, Diamond Harbour Herald, July 2017
As owner Neil Pattinson said “It’s wonderful to know that we can mix it with the best and biggest in the industry. A fabulous outcome for a great vintage and a great team.”
Attracting praise at last year’s WineNZ spring tasting for its pinot noir, this year’s Whistling Buoy Pinot Noir went on to win a Gold Medal. It was also awarded the Champion Trophy being judged the top wine of the show. The winning wine is selected at the Canterbury annual awards dinner which was held at the Visions restaurant on the Ara campus. Here the top 7 wines were matched with selected food dishes and from this the Champion Trophy was awarded. All this is up against some big players such as international brand-owned Waipara Hills. Boutique vineyards such as Kokolo add to diversity and as evidenced by the wins of this small local producer, size is no impediment to quality. Judging is an impartial and exacting business conducted in a stringent fashion involving blind tasting from national and international recognised judges with no visual cues. Awarding medals is not a given – points for the wine must be earned.
According to Neil, “Banks Peninsula is becoming a recognised geographical indice, just perfect for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay” and it is apparent from Kokolo’s success, and expertise notwithstanding, it operates in an ideal environment. For a resource-hungry business, awards and recognition are important to help with vineyard and winery establishment and recognition. The Pattinson family is very pleased with their success and in a final comment from Neil, “This will hopefully go a long way in promoting our Whistling Buoy brand and the Banks Peninsula region.”