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Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Wine tour operator, wine writer and lapsed physiotherapist. "Nature abhors a vacuum. I personally hate dusting."


Monday, September 27, 2010

Wairarapa Wine Region - revisited

While we were in Wellington, we were to meet some friends for brunch on Sunday.  But as it turned out, they decided to whisk us over the Rimutuka Hills to the Wairarapa wine region - barely an hour's drive from central Wellington.

Around fifteen years ago, word started spreading about some excellent wines from north of Wellington.

Scientists had discovered a climate and soil type similar to the classic French region of Burgundy that was suitable for growing Pinot Noir and a few other grape varieties. And now, the Wairarapa, and Martinborough in particular is one of our top boutique regions, producing not only internationally acclaimed Pinot Noir but also Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris and even some big reds like Syrah and blended reds. Famous wineries like Dry River, Ata Rangi, Martinborough Vineyard, Palliser and Te Kairanga all hail from this region. Great food and upmarket accommodation has made this one of our main wine tourism regions for both locals and foreigners.
Lots to do and see – for local info Web: is the local tourism site.

We dropped in on Martinborough Vineyard.
Stars:  Martinborough Vineyard Pinot Noir  - Earthy and soft, with berry fruit, spice and cassis flavours.
Burnt Spur Sauvignon Blanc - Softer style than the pungent Marlborough Savvies. Gooseberry, passionfruit and soft citrus.

Then Ata Rangi
Stars: Pinot Gris 2009 - Medium soft style, with pear, quince and lime.
Pinot Noir 2008 - Rich, and spicy with silky tannins.

Then Palliser
Stars: Riesling 2009 - Soft and balanced medium style, with citrus, raisin and lime/lemon.
Pencarrow Chardonnay 2009 - Sweet vanilla oak and spice, integrated fruit - grapefruit, peach, melon.

Finally, Te Kairanga
Stars: Riesling 2009 - Light and medium sweet, with honey, nectarine and lime.
Casarina reserve Chardonnay 2008 - peach, citrus and toasty hazel nut oak.

Lunch - The White Swan in Greytown .Excellent local beef in burger format with shoestring fries and salad.  My lovely companion had good ol' fish 'n' chips. Or as we say 'Fush and Chups'

A grand day out!!

Phil has to mention, for tax purposes, that he runs wine tours in Auckland NZ (in the vain hope that he can claim a few bottles as trade samples)

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