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“The New Zealand Open is an event that we believe is important to New Zealand and (especially) to the Queenstown region. We’re delighted to have had Southern PR work alongside us these past six years, helping us grow the awareness of our event both locally and nationally, and they’ve done a fine job. Their commitment to our event has been huge, and is much appreciated.” New Zealand Open Tournament Director Michael Glading
Posted on August 04, 2021
Manaaki whenua, Manaaki tangata, Haere whakamua. Caring for land and people has always been the path to the future for Ziptrek Ecotours.
Two years ago Ziptrek became Queenstown’s first company to achieve zero carbon business status through Ekos, a carbon management entity helping organisations with minimise and offset to an international standard; but the journey began from Ziptrek’s inception all the way through 2020’s Covid disruption.
When finalists were announced, with a suggestion from Antony Sproull from Air Milford, Southern region businesses including Ziptrek chartered a special flight to Christchurch to attend the 100% Pure New Zealand Qualmark finalist awards.
This was a way in which to celebrate and come together after a rigorous 18 months, and of course ‘Pure Experience’ operators decided to offset the carbon together.
From 47 finalists from around Aotearoa, all outstanding tourism operations, Ziptrek Ecotours was one of just 12 winners of the award. It recognised businesses offering world-class experiences applying best practice in terms of sustainability by looking after the people and the land.
Organised by Qualmark and partnering with Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand, operators had to have achieved Qualmark Gold status, the highest level of certification, to enter the awards.
Applicants needed to show how they were embracing the tourism industry’s core values of manaakitanga (showing aroha to people and community), tiaki (duty of care for people and place) and whānau (maintaining connections, commitments and caring for your own people).
Ziptrek Ecotours’ director Trent Yeo says the group flight to collect the award wasn’t just about the carbon, but about camaraderie, people coming together to celebrate for better outcomes together than individually, particularly as a region.
“This was the second Qualmark 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Awards and it was especially important this year to receive a big hug from our peers,” says Yeo.
“For me, these past eighteen months have been one of the toughest and greatest learning periods of my tourism career as an operator, businessperson and sustainability practitioner.
“I think the big learning here has been to ‘raft up’ in the rough seas we’re all experiencing right now. By that I mean, inside and outside your business you must take on opportunity and weather a storm that is bigger than yourself.
“The key question now is how do we move from surviving to thriving?”
Mr Yeo says its important more than ever before to recognise that tourism businesses are delivered by people who are part of a community contributing to their physical ecological environment, social fabric and economic ‘merry-go-round’.
“Flying up the spine of the Southern Alps on a bluebird day to be named a winner in an area of business that means so much to our hardworking team is a reminder that tourism is more than just an economic driver,” says Yeo.
“Our whanaungatanga is important. After extended trauma for most of the industry, we have to take time and make the effort to care for ourselves.”[READ MORE]
Posted on July 28, 2021
Multi-award-winning distillery Broken Heart Spirits is gearing up to launch Queenstown’s first ever boutique gin tasting room.
Located in Arthurs Point, the Gin Garden will be centered around 12 award-winning, locally distilled Broken Heartspirits, a brand-new Oktoberfest-inspired lager and divine locally sourced, seasonal foods.
Broken Heart Spirits owner Joerg Henkenhaf hails from Germany but has lived in New Zealand for 20 years. He developed the concept for the Gin Garden with the aim of delivering a stunning location in which to showcase his range of spirits in a venue with a unique European flavour.
“It’s been a dream of mine for many years to serve our products in one beautiful, cohesive space, and have a dedicated tasting room for the first time in Broken Heart’s history,” says Joerg.
“The Gin Garden will be our new home, where we’ll share our story and passion, to bring a new level of understanding to what we do and why we do it.”
The Gin Garden will offer a relaxed, boutique vibe fitting for gin-lovers, local residents and all those visiting the district. For those looking for a tasteful outing whatever the time of day or time of year, it’s a few minutes’ drive from central Queenstown and less than a minute’s drive from the base of the Coronet Peak access road.
An exclusive tasting room, suitable for up to eight guests, can be pre-booked by groups for a hosted tasting delving into the intriguing backstory and inner world of Broken Heart Spirits. Knowledgeable staff will talk about how locally sourced Otago botanicals and pure water from Paradise, in the heart of the Southern Alps, form the backbone of its spirits.
Delicious cocktails highlighting Broken Heart’s spirits range — from gin, vodka and rum to whisky and liqueurs — will be handcrafted by talented mixologists based on guests’ personal preferences. Locally-sourced ingredients and cocktails change with the season.
Opening menu cocktails include a Barrel Aged Negroni, Quince Sour, Red Snapper and what promises to be a top-notch gin and tonic. Broken Heart Oktoberfest Beer, also brewed and canned locally, has just launched onto the market.
General Manager Megan Agras is at the helm of the Gin Garden, with 10 years’ experience in the hospitality industry under her belt. Hailing from Colorado, USA, Megan has called New Zealand home since 2019 and can’t wait for the Gin Garden to launch.
“Broken Heart Spirits is such an incredible brand with truly unique and beautiful products,” she says.
“I’m excited to share more of it with the Queenstown community and beyond, through our Gin Garden.”
The refined food menu on offer, produced with locally sourced delicacies, will have a distinct European influence featuring classics such as a French Tarte Flambée (also known as a German Flammkuchen), squid pickled in gin spices, a BBQ roasted beef brisket and a decadent Broken Heart Rum Baba to finish. Food will be prepared to perfection by restaurant industry stalwart Glynnie Barry and her team at Delicious Cooking.
The Gin Garden has an on and off-licence, so visitors can buy spirits, beer, wine and bubbles on site to take home. The Gin Garden officially opens to the public on July 31, located at 1 Powder Terrace, Arthurs Point, Queenstown.
About Broken Heart Spirits
Authenticity and simplicity are at the heart of the outstanding spirits created by Joerg Henkenhaf. In his family back in Germany, making wine, cider and schnapps was part of everyday life and recipes were passed through the generations.
The story of Broken Heart is one OF a broken heart, when Joerg’s good friend Bernd Schnabel, with whom he’d spent three years working on a gin recipe, died two weeks after being diagnosed with cancer.
With a heavy heart, Joerg decided to share this superb gin with the world and call it Broken Heart in his memory.
At the start, Joerg’s original dream was to see one of his bottles in a bar in Auckland. Today, his gin and other spirits are sold in 18 countries, and in 2021 to date have won 19 international and national awards.[READ MORE]
Posted on July 06, 2021
A red wine from the heart of New Zealand’s pinot noir country has secured its place among the 10 best wines from around the globe in the International Wine Challenge 2021.
The Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 from Central Otago claimed the IWC Sustainable Trophy, also winning the Central Otago Pinot Noir Trophy and being declared New Zealand Red Trophy winner for 2021 after being judged against all other red wines in the country.
Held in London, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) is the world’s most influential, impartial and rigorously-judged wine competition following multiple stages of intensive blind tastings by a panel of leading global experts from across the industry.
Joining wines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Australia, Austria and Germany in the top ten, judges said they were “delighted to taste a Gibbston Pinot in full flow”.
Valli Wine founder and winemaker Grant Taylor says the trophy focuses further recognition on the quality of Pinot Noirs that the Gibbston region produces.
“This relates particularly to the site we have chosen for Valli as this is the third major international trophy our Gibbston vineyard has taken in its short life,” he says.
“While viticulturists and winemakers are important, all they can ever do is bring out the best in what they have to work with. At the end of the day it’s down to the inherent quality of the vineyard itself.
“It’s tremendously thrilling to be in Otago now to see the vineyards telling their story and even more so to have it listened to and appreciated on the international stage.”
The pioneering Otago winemaker produced the first vintages for many of the region’s well-known labels throughout the 1990’s before concentrating solely on Valli since 2006.
As those vines age and mature, he’s always looking forward to the next vintage. “The wines here will only get better,” he says.
The new trophy will join some significant ‘others’ in the Valli trophy cabinet, including two previous ‘World’s Best Pinot Noir’ awards at major international wine competitions for the Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 and the Crown Range Cellar Grant Taylor Signature Selection Pinot Noir 2013.
The sustainability trophy win has been welcomed by Edwin Massey, NZ Winegrowers General Manager of Sustainability.
“This award highlights the passion and commitment of our members to protecting the places that make our famous wines, and demonstrates why the New Zealand wine industry is renowned for being a world-leader in sustainability,” he says.
Valli Wine’s sustainability measures are wide ranging, in the winery, in the vineyard and in packaging, sales and administration. The sustainable ethos across the board is more about what the team at Valli doesn’t do, rather than what it does.
Winery measures include fruit being processed in the region rather than trucked across the country. Eighty percent of winery equipment has been bought second-hand, not for financial reasons but because there’s perfectly good equipment available to use. The winery also chooses not to use energy-heavy temperature control systems such as heating, cooling and filtering to alter the appearance of the wine without any gains in quality.
In the vineyard, Valli operates an equipment share scheme with a neighbour, grazes sheep instead of mowing, and vines are tended and harvested by hand, not by machine. In the office, the mantra is ‘we sell wine, not packaging’, meaning no heavy bottles, superfluous packaging or marketing collateral. Staff work remotely to cut down on travel and CO2 emissions.
Judges’ comments on Valli Gibbston Vineyard Pinot Noir 2019 in full. “What a delight to taste a Gibbston Pinot in full flow. These are the most delicate Pinots in Central Otago and this beauty has an almost waxy smoothness and a bright springtime white flower scent to go with redcurrant and strawberry fruit streaked with apple acid and dusted with salted almond.”[READ MORE]