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New Zealand

Following sustainable practices has been the foundation of NZ wineries, very fitting for a country whose natural environs are among the cleanest and most attractive in the world.

Like most of the rest of the wine world New Zealand had to deal with its fair share of challenges from Mother Nature for the 2017 vintage. A huge earthquake in the South Island in the Spring (November '16) caused literal shockwaves through Marlborough and Waipara disrupting and causing damage in the vineyards and throughout the region.

The extent of the damage was so great that the main, and only, road south which snakes down the picturesque east coast, was closed for months turning a 3.5 hour journey to Christchurch into a 6 hour odyssey via the west coast and over the Southern Alps.

With typical Kiwi stoicism, the locals have put their best foot forward and although 2017 harvest proved to be smaller than expected it is of high quality and the wines are looking very good. We have been saying for a long time there is more to NZ than Sauvignon Blanc.

The Rieslings of Mount Edward and Zephyr are world class examples of what can be done with this most underated of grapes; the Pinot Noir production from Marlborough is improving all the time and has its own distinct moreish character, distancing itself from the more established wines of Central Otago. While Marlborough Chardonnay, so long in the shadow of Sauvignon Blanc, is creating a wonderful modern, complex, sophisticated take on this variety making it once again relevant.