Wine Times Hong Kong: Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay

Published Wine Times Hong Kong, 8 July 2016. Image credit: Craggy Range. Recently I attended a tasting of Craggy Range wines from Hawke’s Bay in New Zealand’s North Island. Chief Winemaker, Matt Stafford, led us through a selection of Pinot Noir from the Te Muna vineyard in Martinborough together with the Le Sol and Sophia wines from TheContinue reading “Wine Times Hong Kong: Craggy Range, Hawke’s Bay”

The Drinks Business: Side Projects

Published Wine Times Hong Kong, 21 December 2015. Chat with any winemaker and you are likely to find they have a barrel or two tucked away dedicated to that special project – a side project – representing their latest experiment and quite often, something rather special when it makes it to the glass. The notion ofContinue reading “The Drinks Business: Side Projects”

New Zealand Pinot Noir – a regional focus

(Image Credit: Seifried Estate) As part of the Watson’s Wine Grand Tasting Week a masterclass with seven key Pinot Noir producers was held at The Mira in Hong Kong. On offer was a selection of 12 wines covering the main Pinot Noir producing regions spanning from Central Otago in the South Island through to MartinboroughContinue reading “New Zealand Pinot Noir – a regional focus”

Wine Times Hong Kong: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc shortage

First published Wine Times Hong Kong August 2015 print edition. (Image credit: Harvesting Sauvignon Blanc for Greywacke Wild Sauvignon, Yarrum Vineyard, Marlborough. Photo: Kevin Judd.) Recent reports in the press suggest a shortage of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc may be imminent due to the comparatively small 2015 harvest and while quality has been assessed as veryContinue reading “Wine Times Hong Kong: New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc shortage”

Syrah – top drops from New Zealand

Syrah vines at Stonecroft. Credit: Stonecroft. Wines Tasted Bilancia, Hawke’s Bay, La Collina Syrah, 2010 Stonecroft, Hawke’s Bay, Sereine Syrah, 2013 Te Whare Ra, Marlborough, Syrah, 2011 This is the final in my series of articles from our recent trip back to New Zealand and once again I find myself starting with “you may notContinue reading “Syrah – top drops from New Zealand”

Dessert Wine: A stack of “stickies” from New Zealand

“Stickies” is a term commonly used in Australia and New Zealand to refer to dessert wines and on our recent road trip to New Zealand we came across three fabulous examples from Alpha Domus in Hawke’s Bay, Greywacke in Marlborough and Waipara’s Pegasus Bay. Representing a fraction of New Zealand’s exports (0.02%, or 37,000L in 2014) these wines certainly pack aContinue reading “Dessert Wine: A stack of “stickies” from New Zealand”

New Zealand Chenin Blanc – well worth a look …

In thinking about New Zealand white wines Chenin Blanc is unlikely to be the first variety that comes to mind. In fact, I am told anecdotally that there are less than ten producers in the entire country and with Chenin Blanc accounting for 0.7% of the total production area that is not hard to believe. HistoricallyContinue reading “New Zealand Chenin Blanc – well worth a look …”

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Hawke’s Bay

Chardonnay grapes. Source: Vidal Estate Winding north up the east coast of New Zealand from Martinborough you will come to the city of Hastings, the largest city in the Hawke’s Bay wine region. The weather here is gloriously sunny during the summer giving the region a true Mediterranean feel. Add to that the endless array ofContinue reading “New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Hawke’s Bay”

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Martinborough

Rimutaka Range with Martinborough in the distance. At an hour’s drive northeast of Wellington you wind through the Rimutaka Ranges before descending down into the valley of Martinborough, a tiny town framed by the Ruamahanga and Huangarua Rivers. We are headed just outside the township to visit Larry McKenna of Escarpment Wines. Martinborough is a sub-regionContinue reading “New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Martinborough”

New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Marlborough

Image credit: Mahi Vineyard. The drive north along the coast from Waipara to the Marlborough region offers some spectacular scenery and if you are fortunate enough to have a brilliantly sunny day as we did, it makes for a rather memorable journey. This was my first visit to Blenheim – a bit of a surpriseContinue reading “New Zealand Road Trip: Chardonnay – Marlborough”