New Zealand grows fine sauvignon banc, chardonnay, and pinot noir, along with cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah, although the last three varieties are less well known as the first three.
This year’s theme was sustainable viticulture, outlining the reasons for this movement.
Sustainable grape farming and wine making help protect the environment and the flavour of the end product all of which contribute to the well being of the industry. Sustainable agriculture is a holistic approach, encompassing the ecological, economic, social, and political parameters of farming. New Zealand viticulturists do this by zero tillage farming techniques, customize crop nutrition plans to fit the needs of the soil, and preserve the biodiversity of their vineyards.
New Zealand’s viticulture consists of 37,129 hectares of vineyards, and of those 35, 558 hectares are certified sustainable, and of those seven per sent certified organic. A few growers practice biodynamic production.
Before the main walk around tasting the organizer arranged for a seminar with a superb audiovisual presentation, followed by a pinot noir tasting of 14 wines from several regions.
Riedel, specially designed pinot noir glasses added a special note to the importance of the sit down tasting.
The following pinot noirs stood out:
Awatere Valley Pinot Noir, 2015 (organic), Tohu, Marlborough
Contact for orders Gabrielle Sestak email@example.com or
416 843 6902
Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir, 2015, St Clair Family Vineyards, Marlborough
Sarah Longman firstname.lastname@example.org
John Forrest Collection Pinot Noir Waitake Valley, 2015, Waitaki Valley
email@example.com 416 477 2611
Pinot Noir Central Otago, 2015, Akarua, Otago (Bannockburn)
Andrew@vonterra.com, 416 968 7070
Runholder Pinto Noir, 2015, Te Kairanga, Martinborough
Morellato@selectwines.ca 416 367 5600
Following the sit down tasting, the general walk around session of the event featured mainly sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, with a few chardonnay, pinot gris, gewürztraminer wines, and one sparkling
One brewery presented its new brand of NZPure Lager ( 440 ml. can $ 2.40).
I tasted approximately 30 wines, and the following wines scored more than 88/100.
Sauvignon Blanc, 2016, Cloudy Bay,
Wild Sauvignon Blanc, 2014, Greywacke
Dawn, methode Traditionelle, St Clair Family Vineyards
Helmsman, 2014, Sacred Hill
$ 59.00 Available at Vintages
Enwoy Outpost Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2014, Spy Valley
Pinot Noir, 2014, St Clair Family Vineyards
Pinot Noir, 2014, Loveblock Vintners
Pinot Noir, 2013, Greywacke
Single Vineyard Ridge Block Pinot Noir, 2014, Giesen Group
Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon, 2015, Esk Valley
Syrah, 2014, Elephant Hill
Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, 2015, Eradus
Te Wahi Pinot Noir, 2014, Cloudy Bay