Although excellent wine production in New Zealand has a relatively short history (quarter of a century), the success has been profound and can only be attributed to young, entrepreneurial winemakers. They made all the difference between competently made and outstanding wines.
Unquestionably, Sauvignon Blanc is internationally the best-known white wine of New Zealand. Although Sauvignon Blanc is at home along the Loire River in France where it produces dry, fruity, “ flinty “ wines smelling of stones, in New Zealand, Sauvignon Blancs are soft, very fruity, smell of exotic fruits, and more alcoholic, making them more appealing.
You can enjoy a well-made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc on its own or pair it with a sautéed firm-fleshed fish fillet, a fine seafood pasta, even a risotto with peas. Pizzas and poultry would be fine too. But it would be totally wrong to think that New Zealand produces only fine Sauvignon Blanc, there are fine Rieslings, Chardonnays, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Muller-Thurgau and blends of all aplenty waiting to be discovered.
So successful have been the white wines of New Zealand that the venerable Champagne house of Deutz from France decided to produce its world-famous champagnes in collaboration with one of the largest wineries in the country.
Regardless of the cool climate wines’ success, New Zealand also produces fine red grapes – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and even Syrah.
Unquestionably, all the red wine vintages fail to be outstanding, but when they are (about every 3 – 4 years), the quality is phenomenal.
In New Zealand canopy management must be exercised to obtain the best possible ripeness, and practically all vineyard managers pay special attention to this aspect. In sunny regions bunches must be protected from excessive sunshine to prevent scorching. In New Zealand a happy balance between foliage and sunshine exposure must be achieved for best results.,
Cabernet Sauvignon/ Merlot blends of small, quality wineries can be awe-inspiring and worth every penny.
New Zealand is a country of contrasts with dense, native forests, snow-capped mountains and a spectacular coastline. With wine producing regions spanning the latitudes of 35 – 45 and covering a length of 1600 kilometres grapes are grown in a vast range of climates and soils. As a result the same grape can yield completely different wines when grown in Waiheke Island in the north of North Island and Otago in the south of South Island. Otago, being closer to Antarctica, happens to be decidedly cooler than the North Island, therefore more suitable for Riesling and Pinot Noir, than say Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
New Zealand’s small population, distant location, and agricultural economy have earned the country a “clean, green” image. Visitors often describe it as “ an unspoiled paradise “. The country’s wine makers are determined to keep it this way.
New Zealand has 10 distinctly different regions, six of which are in the North Island; Northland, Auckland, Bay of Plenty/Waikato, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Wellington. All produce fine white and red wines.
South Island’s wine producing regions: Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Central Otago are more suitable for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Muller-Thurgau.
New Zealand cuisine draws inspiration from the traditional recipes of France, Italy, and southeastern Asia. Wine styles have evolved to complement this extensive menu. There are bright and zesty wines such as Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling for fresh, subtly spiced dishes, while complex, mellow Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blends and Pinot Noir offer a timeless marriage with classic European dishes like sautéed fillet of sole, roast rack of lamb or roast leg of lamb, veal schnitzel, just to name a few.
New Zealand wineries have now started concentrating their efforts on perfecting their Pinot Noir vinification techniques. Vineyard managers are busy locating the most suitable sites and selecting the best Pinot Noir clones for them
In the last few years New Zealand wineries have been able to bring home many international wine awards for their fine Pinot Noirs.
Many more are on the way, no doubt!
The LC B O features mostly white New Zealand wines, but some agents
( listed below ) would be happy to bring in special orders (minimum order one case ).
LC B O general list New Zealand wines:
Chardonnay, Cooper’s Creek $ 12.00
Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc, Vintages Essentials $ 16.95
Oyster Bay Chardonnay Vintages Essentials $ 16.95
Sauvignon Blanc, Konrad and Conrad Wines $ 12.95
Fall Harvest Sauvignon Blanc, Nobilo Wines $ 14.20
Sauvignon Blanc, Stoneleigh Vineyards $ 13.05
Riesling, Stoneleigh Vineyards $ 11.95
Special Orders to be ordered through agents
Pinot Noir, Framingham Wine Company $ 29.- Groupe Soleil email@example.com
Merlot, Kembelfield Estate Winery $ 18.95 Abcon International firstname.lastname@example.org
Pinot Noir, 2000, Seifried Estates, email@example.com
|Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
Professor B offers seminars to companies and interested parties on any category of wine, chocolates, chocolates and wine, olive oils, vinegars and dressings, at a reasonable cost.