Actor Sam Neill is used to plaudits for his acting, but now his red wine is getting high praise.
The Kiwi movie star's flagship Two Paddocks Pinot Noir 2010 won an outstanding gold medal at this week's International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Celebrating his victory late into the night in London with friends, Neill emailed: "There has been a fair amount of wassail and we couldn't be happier."
He said he didn't know his wine was entered into the contest and to come away with a gold award was phenomenal.
"At Two Paddocks we never enter our wine into competitions, so it was with astonishment that I received news that we'd won gold."
He said he might alter his policy and start entering more competitions, "if only so we might enjoy more such occasions".
The judges' notes were glowing, comparing the Two Paddocks pinot noir vintage to a dance.
Two Paddocks general manager Jacqui Murphy said the award had sparked an immediate demand in orders. The Central Otago wine retails for about $50.
The gold medal was one of four awarded to Otago vineyards, including Neill's neighbours Valli Gibbston Vineyard, which was awarded the coveted Bouchard Finlayson trophy for the top pinot noir. New Zealand won 323 medals compared to 304 last year.By Lynley Bilby