Hooked on Hunter Valley – Part 2

  After a glorious morning of tasting, we enjoy a lovely lunch at the Bimbadgen Winery. On the ridge below, half a dozen kangaroos lounge in the mid-afternoon heat, indifferent to our presence. I can’t get over the fact these creatures are everywhere – including between the rows of vines – and their  disinterest reminds…

Waiheke – The Island of Wine

I’m en route wine region #4 here in stunning New Zealand. (I’m all out of adjectives to describe this country’s beauty….feel free to help. Also, region numbers are strictly based on my travel itinerary) To date I’ve been razor focused on the South Island’s viniferous offerings specifically from regions Waipara, Central Otago and Marlborough. Now…

Marlborough Country

We’re en route the Marlborough wine district via Kiwi Rail’s Coastal Express. The journey is celebrated as one of the jewels in New Zealand’s tourism crown. The utterly bucolic route takes us along the east coast of the South Island via a rugged sheep and cattle strewn tract of land. The train makes its way…

Sips from Central Otago

So, here’s the problem. I’m profoundly sad to be leaving Waipara and the good people I’ve met at Greystone in North Canterbury but my consolation prize is I’m going to Central Otago – easily one of the top five regions in the world for Pinot Noir and other cool climate grapes. I’ve flown from Christchurch…

Waipara Valley Terroir

    You can’t drink wine and not consider the geography, botany and geology of the place that goes into your glass. Wine descends from the surface soils, bedrock, aspect, slope, winds and the geological cocktail of minerals and nutrients that feed the viticulture in the region. Most of us tip, pour and drink and…

Row, upon row, upon…

  Greetings from Waipara and Greystone Wines. The hills are alive with the sounds of pickers, bird scare cannons and that distinctive New Zealand exuberance. I’m in the midst of four days of picking and pruning at Greystone Wines. The extraordinarily deep-timbered Nick Gill – an Aussie transplant from the Barossa Valley – has assigned…

If you could see the view…..

  Yup. Is this not heaven? Today I’m lunching at Black Estate, which is in Waipara Valley in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand. It’s the neighboring vineyard to my home for 10 days here in Waipara (pronounced Wi-pra) so essentially I’m doing a competitive check. Once a marketer, always a marketer… I’ve allowed…

In Search of the World’s Best Pinot Noir

  Blind tasting can be a challenge for even the best tasters out there, especially if the wine producer doesn’t follow the rules of “typicity”. Typicity is when the winery produces a wine based on conventional practices or styles established for a particular varietal. For Riesling from Alsace, for example, that means producing a wine…