A Toast to Lady Liberty

Several lucky contest winners explore the Big Apple and its majestic harbor by Sea Ray.

It’s said that anything can happen in a “New York minute” but the winners of Nobilo Wines’ Ultimate New Zealand Experience sweepstakes probably didn’t bank on having such luck.

This past fall, the New Zealand winemaker offered consumers a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Five grand-prize winners received round-trip flights to New York City for themselves and a guest each. In the Big Apple, they were given three nights of plush accommodation in a world-class hotel, a catered boat cruise featuring Nobilo Wines aboard a Sea Ray 510 Fly, dinner at The Musket Room—a Michelin-star restaurant serving modern New Zealand cuisine—and, to top it off, $500 in spending money.

It was certainly a weekend of high style. But what better pairing for Nobilo’s crisp wines than a cool Sea Ray yacht? Winner Maxine Horrocks of California couldn’t think of a better way to experience New York for the first time with her husband, Terry. “The boat cruise was phenomenal,” Maxine shared of her time on the 510 Fly. “Just seeing the Manhattan skyline for the first time from that vantage point was unforgettable. The cruise was my favorite part of the trip. Our captain, Eric, was so nice, and the staff from Nobilo was incredible.”

It was a perfect September day that we all enjoyed on the boat.

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Meeting new friends while having the breathtaking experience was also memorable for the winners. “We feel very grateful to have been selected,” says Maxine. “Getting to know everyone was so lovely.” Prizewinner Gary Curran from Florida agreed, “We met so many nice people and still keep in touch with folks from the trip. It was a perfect September day that we all enjoyed on the boat. The food was incredible and our host, Anna, made us feel so welcome.” Gary is thankful to his daughter, Tina, an oenophile who loves Nobilo and alerted him to the contest. He says that entering by text message was “extremely easy” and paid off many times over for him and his wife, Mary.

But the cruise wasn’t the end of the amazing adventure; many winners got to experience New Zealand fare for the first time at highly regarded restaurant The Musket Room. The Musket Room is the youngest New York City restaurant to receive a coveted star from the Michelin guide, certainly a huge accomplishment for even a long-established restaurant. The menu features everything from New Zealand Red Deer to Rock Cod, highlighting both the Old World and Asian traditions that converge so spectacularly in New Zealand. Gary, Maxine and the other winners loved trying the new cuisine.

While the sweepstakes events were impressive, guests were also given some free time to explore fabulous Gotham. Gary spoke highly of the couple’s perfectly situated Hyatt hotel. “We were on Times Square, half a block from where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. What else could you want? It is a legendary location.” After resting up in their spacious suite, Gary and Mary used their prize money to see acclaimed musical Jersey Boys, which charts the success of the Four Seasons in the 1960s, on a free afternoon in the city. Undoubtedly the jukebox tunes provided a storybook ending to an epic New York weekend.

So, is there anything that could be added to this unbelievable package? “I only wish it could have lasted longer!” Gary laughed.

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Well, who says wishes can’t come true?

After such a positive response from the New York winners, Nobilo has decided to bring the Ultimate New Zealand Experience sweepstakes to Chicago! The Windy City holds promise for even more once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Watch for an upcoming LaunchPad email for further details.

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