Following over 12 months of video calls, Graham Norton and Invivo Co-founders took over New Zealand’s biggest screen at Eden Park Stadium to blend their new wine together.
The 50,000 seat Auckland stadium was reserved exclusively for Invivo’s Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron, who set up on the halfway line looking up at Norton on the 40m by 8m screen.
“It was a lot of fun blending the wine and seeing the guys live at Eden Park Stadium," commented Norton.
It was game-on as Ireland-based Norton dialled in his Kiwi business partners from his home in West Cork at 8pm in the evening. Lightbourne and Cameron had shipped seven Sauvignon Blanc samples to Graham, harvest in NZ, along with a winemaking kit filled with beakers which Norton set-up at home.
Lightbourne and Cameron set up their winemaking kit on the pitch at Eden Park Stadium. Over a two-hour live-stream, the trio collaborated to create and sign off Graham Norton’s Sauvignon Blanc 2021 vintage.
Norton and Invivo celebrated producing their 10 millionth bottle of wine and are set to produce their 15 millionth bottle, a milestone since their first run of 14,000 bottles of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 2014.
“I’m delighted with this year’s new Sauvignon Blanc blend. It’s a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, it’s a grown-up wine and it’s elegant and delicious. It’s surreal thinking that our little collaboration together that started out all those years ago is now all over the world. I’m amazed, and proud of it too. I don’t just put my name to the wines, I’m involved and I love being part of the process," Norton expressed.
Lightbourne also commented, “After zooming Graham on a laptop and our winery boardroom TV screen for over a year now, Rob and I decided to take Graham to the big screen! We thought there would be something pretty special about Graham being live on the country’s biggest screen (40 metres) and our largest stadium at 8am in the morning. We were not wrong… running down the tunnel onto the pitch was fantastic, Rob and I have certainly fulfilled a few childhood dreams today! We could tell Graham was also excited when we showed him live on the big screen at Eden Park stadium. The team at Eden Park were great to work with, we even had the home team changing room to get ready in. It really felt like game day.”