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ONE NATION, MANY GRAPES: DIVERSE NEW ZEALAND
As I’ve recently returned from my travels through New Zealand’s wine regions - and am forced back into the reality of day to day life - I’ve been mentally recounting my experiences there. Obviously the gorgeous vistas, fantastic and friendly people and gorgeous summer weather all immediately pop into my head. But there seems to be one constant theme that keeps on recurring to me: diversity. How is one nation, comparatively small next to many other countries around the globe, have such a wide range of things going on? Not only is this reflected in the geography, climate and people (yes, there’s all of that), but also in the country’s wines. And I’m not just talking about the differences between Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough and Martinborough or Pinot Noir from Wairapa and Central Otago either. (Yes, there are beautiful distinctions there too).
Rather, it’s the surprising diversity in the grape varietals that are being grown – and doing well – in New Zealand’s various regions. From luscious Syrah and Bordeaux blends in Hawke’s Bay to Pinot Gris in Waiheke, Marlborough and Central Otago, New Zealand is beginning to broaden its breadth and depth of grapes in its arsenal. Aromatic grape varietals are really starting to find their niche in New Zealand as well, with Riesling and Gewurtzraminer being standouts. And, let’s not forget the Chardonnay - delicately crafted Chardonnay can be found in nearly every winegrowing region in New Zealand as well, from those with zippy acidity to elegant oak-influenced stunners to sparkling wines that make you daydream about tasting them in another five to ten years.
With all this diversity of grape varietals, and this sense of experimentation, the thing that I found fascinating was that the wines still retain this identity – this sense of being from New Zealand.
I look forward to trying New Zealand albariño in the near future!
GRAPES ON A TRAIN - ALL ABOARD - DEPARTING SOON
Complexity is hosting top New York trade and media on the innovative ‘Grapes on a Train’ rail experience on Sunday 16 September. Eleven New Zealand hosts and presenters are now making their way to New York to join Janet Pouchot – our Complexity Campaign Manager.
The rail experience departs from New York in two private vintage rail carriages and winds its way through to Montreal. Coined one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world, it takes in the ever-changing views of the Hudson River and the brilliant Adirondacks fall foliage.
Along the way guests will be treated to small group tutored tastings by some of Complexity’s most talented winemakers, and get to taste through stunning wines from our portfolio, accompanied by iconic kiwi cuisine.
Bob Campbell MW is our ‘Grapes on a Train’ Ambassador. Renowned for his extensive wine knowledge, Bob is passionate about diving into the diverse depths of wine, has an engaging personality and an alarmingly witty sense humour.
Bob met with Morag Fryer our Project Manager before he departed for New York and commented.."Grapes on a train" - one of the World's greatest train journeys, a selection of New Zealand's finest wines and the cream of New York's wine trade and wine media for company - it doesn't get better than that!”
CHARDONNAY, NEW ZEALAND STYLE WITH KUMEU RIVER ESTATE
While distinctly a cool climate nation, NZ's topography is so varied that producers have an array of microclimates to work with that are suited to many varietals. From the temperate north to the arid south, the diversity of NZ's climate and land is captured in the characters of our fine wines.
Chardonnay is just one of the rising stars, expressing a brightness and freshness of fruit that makes you keep going back for more. In this clip, Gloria Maroti Frisee of Wine Spectator discusses Kumeu River Estate's internationally award winning Chardonnay with Winemaker Michael Brajkovich MW.
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