Monday, April 28, 2014

Graham Norton Making New Zealand Wine for Elton John

A New Zealand winery has joined with chat show giant Graham Norton to create a signature Sauvignon Blanc, with all profits going to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Marlborough and Central Otago winery Invivo already provides the wine the guests drink on The Graham Norton Show, which is a Sauvignon Blanc, made from organically grown Marlborough grapes.

The winery’s founder Tim Lightbourne says Norton is such a fan of the brand that this year he agreed to take it to the next level.

“We wanted to make something special with Graham to thank him for his support over the years. But he’s in such hot demand there was no way we could get him down to the vineyard,” he explains.

Instead, Lightbourne took the vineyard to him. He escorted a small container of organic Sauvignon Blanc grapes directly to Norton.

“We had to get the grapes to Graham in perfect condition, so speed was everything,” he says. “So that meant a helicopter trip from the vineyard to a connecting plane, then on to London.”

When Lightbourne arrived at his London studios, Norton rolled up his trouser legs and personally trod the still-perfect grapes.

Less than 24 hours after landing in London, Lightbourne and the grape juice were on their way back to New Zealand, where it was reunited with the rest of the juice from the vineyard block that will make up Graham Norton’s signature Sauvignon Blanc.

The wine, complete with unique GN signature label, will be released in August. Profits will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

“We’re excited about the release of this wine, the quality will be world class, especially with a touch of ‘Norton’ Hemisphere fab,” Lightbourne says.

“We see this as a little different to just having someone’s name on the label – it was fantastic to have Graham so intimately involved in the process.”

- Gay NZ

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