Central Otago wine brand akitu has taken out its second international title win at the world’s most influential wine awards this week. Following two weeks of blind taste testing at London’s Oval cricket ground, by judges comprised from the most important people in the wine world, akitu pinot noir from Wanaka was announced the winner of the International Wine Challenge Sustainability Trophy for the second time in three years.

Akitu’s founder Andrew Donaldson was ecstatic that akitu had won top honours at a lavish award ceremony held at Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane in London.

“Coming from New Zealand there is something very special about winning the IWC Sustainability Trophy again at such an esteemed event,” said Donaldson. “Being acknowledged on an international stage for our wine, while respecting the planet through our practises, is a truly humbling experience that fills our team with great pride. Caring for the environment is not only essential, in my opinion but it makes good business sense. It’s like life, the more you put in, the more you get out.”

More than 15,000 wines from 55 countries entered this year’s IWC competition hopeful for a top spot. Of the 32 gold medals awarded to New Zealand wines, akitu won gold medals for both top cuvee A1 Black Label 2016 and akitu A2 White Label 2016, scoring 96 points for each wine. This is the third year the akitu A1 has been entered, winning gold medals on each occasion, and two NZ pinot noir trophies, one New Zealand Red Wine Trophy and now two IWC Sustainability Trophies, collecting eight trophies in total.