It was a beautiful, sunny day for the New Zealand Wine Fair in Vancouver. The event was held at the new Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. There were 33 different wineries present at this year’s event, and they covered all areas from both the north and south island. Many of the wineries present do not have representation in Canada, but hope to. I do hope they find success as I tasted some fantastic wines.
The main varietals in New Zealand, in order of quantity are:
– Sauvignon Blanc 42%
– Pinot Noir 18%
– Chardonnay 16%
– Merlot 6%
– Pinot Gris 5%
– Riesling 4%
Now where are these varietals grown? The top 4 regions are:
– Marlborough 53%
– Hawkes Bay 19%
– Gisborne 9%
– Central Otago 6%
There were the wines you expect to taste from New Zealand, such as Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, but also suprises, such as Pinotage from Gisborne, Pinot Gris from Central Otago, and a sparkling Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.
Some of the New Zealand wines that I really enjoyed are:
– Auntsfield Hawk Hill Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007,
– Paddy Borthwick Riesling Wairarapa 2008,
– Giesen “The Brothers” Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008,
– Mud House Pinot Gris South Island 2008,
– Omaka Springs Estates Falveys Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007,
– Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007,
– Te Mania Pinot Noir Nelson 2007.
There were many more, but this selection shows you a bit of what you might expect in the wine shops soon.
The Auntsfield winery was established in 1873 in Marlborough. This is the first commerical vineyard and winery in the Marlborough region (South Island). The Auntsfield Hawk Hill Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007, was medium garnet in colour. It had and earthy, cherry nose. Currant, cherry and vanilla flavours. The Paddy Borthwick Riesling Wairarapa 2008 had a wonderful peachy nose. Good acidity and more peach on the palate.
Giesen Wines Ltd was formed by 3 brothers, Theo, Alex and Marcel. Their goal is to be recognized as a leading producer of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and they showed it with the following wine. The Giesen “The Brothers” Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2008 is sourced from 4 vineyards. It has lots of herbal and gooseberry aroma. Bracing acidity with green flavours.
We do not see much Pinot Gris from New Zealand here in BC, so I made it a point to try out any that were being poured this evening. The Mud House Pinot Gris South Island 2008 was lemon in colour. It had a wonderful stone fruit nose. On the palate, it was round, with a bit of spice, a bit of sweetness. Very much like an Alsatian pinot gris.
A winery principal from Omaka Springs has come to Vancouver in the past few years to participate in the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival. I have had a winemaker dinner before too through the South World Wine Society. This time I was tasting the Omaka Springs Estates Falveys Pinot Noir Marlborough 2007. It was very interesting. Not what I’d expect from a New Zealand Pinot Noir. This wine was medium garnet in colour, and had a violet and smoky nose. On the palate it had smoky, meaty, spicy, raspberry flavours.
The Te Mania winery comes from the Nelson region of New Zealand, South Island and is family run. The Te Mania Pinot Noir Nelson 2007 was very aromatic. A sweet raspberry nose. Light body with bright raspberry flavour. The last wine that I’ll cover is the Waitiri Creek Pinot Noir Central Otago 2007. The Waitiri Creek winery was established in 1993 and is located in Central Otago (South Island). This wine was reddish purple in the glass. It had a red currant nose. Medium body, with currant and cherry flavours.
Keep your eyes open for some of these wines and the wineries, as there were several wines from each winery at the New Zealand Wine Fair.