It is all about teamwork for Three Miners Vineyard owners Kirstin and Paul Wright, of Earnscleugh.

They were thrilled when their 2018 Miner's Right pinot gris won the champion pinot gris trophy in the prestigious New Zealand International Wine Show earlier this month.

The New Zealand International Wine Show is the largest wine competition held in New Zealand each year and attracted more than 2000 entries.

''We also won a gold medal for our 2018 Rocker Box rose and our 2018 pinot gris,'' Dr Wright said.


The announcements were made at a formal dinner in Auckland on October 13.

''The win is a really lovely indication we are heading in the right direction.

''It is a validation of the hard work we all put it.

''Traditionally in those competitions, Central Otago pinot gris doesn't do as well as those from Marlborough and Hawkes Bay,'' she said.

While other vintages had won medals in the past, it was the first time they had won a trophy.

She said one of the essential elements in their success was teamwork.

Pete Bartle, of Vinpro is their winemaker, Gary Crabbe, of Precision Viticulture, is their viticulturist and they employ Jamee Fortune as vineyard supervisor.

Dr Wright, a former plant research scientist at Lincoln University, looks after the cellar door, while Mr Wright works for ABL Construction, and works in the vineyard in his spare time.


They use contractors when needed.

''We wouldn't be able to do this without our team.''

The couple are in their fifth season at the vineyard, although the vineyard was first planted in 2000.

The 15ha property has pinot noir, rose, and riesling vines as well as their winning pinot gris.

The Three Miners Vineyard name was chosen in memory of three men who came to Central Otago for the gold in the 1860s.

Thomas Oliver, Joseph Knowles and James Simmonds formed the Earnscleugh Grand Junction Mining Company and employed seven men to extract gold from their claim between the Clutha River and Earnscleugh Valley.

Mr Oliver and Mr Knowles also built more than 20 water races to supply water to the miners.

- Southern Rural Life