Two NZ vineyards make top 50 global list: Central Otago, Hawke’s Bay estates crack top 20

A list of the world’s 50 best vineyards for wine tourism has named a Central Otago and a Hawke’s Bay estate as being among the best.

And those two Kiwi vineyards rank in the top 20 in the world in the list out today.

The global list of wine tourism destinations named Argentina’s Zuccardi Valle de Uco in the top spot for the second year running.

Bodega Garzón in Uruguay was second for a consecutive year and Domäne Wachau in Austria jumped 16 places to claim the third spot this year.

But Central Otago’s Rippon, on the Wanaka-Mt Aspiring Rd, placed 13th and was also named the best vineyard in Australasia. The Hawke’s Bay’s Craggy Range was 17th best on the list. Last year, the biodynamic Rippon was in eighth place and Craggy Range was 11th.

13 AT A GLANCE:

THE BEST VINEYARD IN AUSTRALASIA

Name of wine estate: Rippon
Country: New Zealand
Wine region: Central Otago
Standout points: Jaw-droppingly beautiful views from the shore of Lake Wanaka; stunningly sleek biodynamic wines
Winemaker: Nick Mills
Wine style: Precise, site-specific noble varieties (Pinot Noir, Riesling, Gewürztraminer)

Rippon, 2020 World's Best Vineyard (13th)
Rippon, 2020 World’s Best Vineyard (13th)

The list said Rippon had “jaw-droppingly beautiful views from the shore of Lake Wanaka, stunningly sleek biodynamic wines” from winemaker Nick Mills and “precise, site-specific noble varieties of Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer”.

Winter at Rippon
Winter at Rippon

“What makes Rippon one of the most desirable estates in the world to visit? The wines, the views and the people – in equal measure. Lake Wanaka, an ancient moraine lake, shimmering under the crystal light of a sunny Central Otago day must count as one of the most Instagrammable images on the planet. That Rippon maintains 15ha of vines in this immaculate landscape is wonder enough, but the quality and sense of place of its wholly estate-grown wines gives this little corner of heaven an extra special appeal,” the citation said.

Burgundy-trained fourth-generation Mills and his team were praised along with the organic and biodynamic methods and intensive handwork on display. “Rippon’s cellar door is open for small group tastings by uncharged appointment throughout the year. Expect to enjoy an informal yet informed tasting of some of the best wines of Central Otago as you’re guided through a selection of five or six Rippon wines by a switched-on member of the Rippon team, who will talk you through the farm, the family’s history and if you’re game, the arcane world of biodynamics,” the list said.

17 AT A GLANCE

Name of wine estate: Craggy Range
Country: New Zealand
Wine region: Hawke’s Bay
Standout points: Stunning location in the shadow of Te Mata Peak; luxury boutique accommodation; award-winning restaurant
Winemaker: Julian Grounds
Wine style: Multi-region, site-specific wines, everything from aromatic whites to Bordeaux blends, and terroir Syrahs and Chardonnays

Craggy Range, 2020 World's Best Vineyard (17th)
Craggy Range, 2020 World’s Best Vineyard (17th)

On the 17th-ranked Craggy Range, the list said it was in a “stunning location in the shadow of Te Mata Peak, luxury boutique accommodation; award-winning restaurant”. It cited winemaker: Julian Grounds and said wines were “everything from aromatic whites to Bordeaux blends, and terroir Syrahs and Chardonnays.

Terry and Mary Peabody & family
Terry and Mary Peabody & family

“Over the past 20 years, Terry and Mary Peabody have expended every possible effort to make Craggy Range an exceptional visitor experience. Whether it’s the cellar door, inspired by some of the Napa Valley’s leading wineries, the award-winning restaurant with 360-degree views of the local landscape, or Craggy Range’s exceptional boutique accommodation, expect nothing but the best in this beautiful little corner of Hawke’s Bay,” the list said of that operation established in 1998.

“When it came to establishing their vineyards, from the off Terry and Mary pursued an innovative multi-regional approach, focusing on the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay, ideally suited to high-quality reds including Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and Te Muna Rd in Martinborough – better for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc – to produce a range of wines that speak eloquently of their place,” the list said.

“On a typical cellar visit, former New Zealand sommelier of the year Michael Bancks greets guests at the door and begins the tour in the main cellar building, Sophia, where you learn the history of Craggy Range. Then it’s on to the subterranean barrel hall, The Quarry, where you will taste from the estate’s unreleased prestige collection wines still in the barrel.

The award-winning Craggy Range Restaurant
The award-winning Craggy Range Restaurant

“From there, the tour moves on to the restaurant garden in the shadow of Te Mata peak. At the award-winning Craggy Range Restaurant, head chef Casey McDonald has devised a menu inspired by the elements and produce abundant in Hawke’s Bay. Finally, it’s on to the sun terrace to enjoy a guided tasting of Craggy Range’s diverse multi-region range, with a variety of flight options available to suit each guest’s tastes,” the citation said.

The world’s best vineyards list is based on nominations from a voting academy made up of more than 500 wine experts, sommeliers and travel correspondents from around the world. It aims to raise the profile of wine tourism and encourage travellers to enjoy wine-related experiences globally.

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South American Wine & Food Matchings, November 2019 – Cenna Lloyd – Negociants

Another great night with some lovely South American wines tasted. Must also say thank you to the committee members who prepared food matches. The combination of food with the wines gave the evening an interesting perspective.

The wines tasted with food matches are repeated below:

  • 2018 Vina Aquitina Rose (Chile)
  • 2018 Casa Marin Cartagena Sauvignon Blanc (Chile) – South American Ceviche
  • 2018 Tilia Mendoza Chardonnay (Argentina) – Brazilian Cinnamon ‘Raindrop’ Doughnuts
  • 2018 Alamos Malbec (Argentina) – Argentinian Fried Bread
  • 2015 Catena Alta Malbec (Argentina) – Red Wine Chorizo Bites
  • 2012 Queulat Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile) – Brazilian Beef Croquettes
  • 2014 Queulat Carménère (Chile) – Steak with a Chimichurri sauce

If anyone is interested in any of the recipes used on the night, let me or Wayne know. We can provide. May I just point out though, that if anyone believes it is only 5 minutes preparation time for the Argentinian Fried Bread, they are delusional.

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South2South, Wines of Argentina – Looking Back – March 2016

2016-03-11-56e22a87f3fe4This was an excellent evening enjoyed by all who attended. The discussion was interesting and the wines intriguing.

Josefina spoke with such passion of the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand. Noted for the vineyards high altitude, crisp clean air and microclimates, extremely hot 50 degrees days, pure melted water from the Andes, the wines represent these elements outstandingly. The wines came from as far north as Famatina and Mendoza in the south.

There was a very high order level and I spent several hours on a recent Sunday delivering wines throughout our region.

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Tasting review – Wines of Argentina

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Josefina Telleria from South2South introduced herself and the wines of her homeland Argentina with that endearing Argentinian accent and a great personality to match.

Josefina spoke with such passion and enthusiasm for the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Josefina spoke with such passion of the home of Malbec where half is exported to the US with the remaining wines scattered predominately throughout the UK, China, and a small amount to New Zealand.

Noted for the vineyards high altitude, crisp clean air and microclimates, extremely hot 50 degrees days, pure melted water from the Andes, the wines represent these elements outstandingly. The wines came from as far north as Famatina and Mendoza in the south.

The two Torrontes wines, only grown in Argentina, represent a cross between Sauv. Blanc, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer but then nothing like any of them. They are distinctive to Argentina. Both have a clear crisp colour, slightly floral bouquet and an almost creamy texture on the front of the mouth with a long slightly acidic finish making it a refreshing and vibrant drink. 15/20.

If you’re into chardonnay like me, then this chardonnay was very different. After being in new American barrels for six months, the wine is purposefully produced with high acidity and woody oak notes. This was very dry but not mouth-puckering, with a rich acidic finish. 17/20.

20160309_205252Onto the Malbec’s. I’ve sampled Malbec’s from around the world and I now see why Argentina produces standout Malbec. The La Celia and Montechez are both deeply intense purple in colour with intense flavour and soft tannins that do not overpower the subtleness of the fruit.

The La Celia has a sweet & slight liquorice nose, very dry, and a much smoother finish than the Montechez. 18/20. The Montechez give an almost mushroom/ forest floor nose at first, grape sweetness with young plum fruit, and an extremely rich smooth finish. 17/20.

Finally, the Cabernet Franc for which Argentina is noted for completed the tasting. Given the terroir, this is a big bold complex wine developing a headier spicy nose, cedar and medium tannin to tempt the taste buds and a very rich finish. 19/20.

As a comparison, Argentina has more than 220,000 hectares under vine with New Zealand a meagre 36,000. Wanting to know more about Wines of Argentina?

Tasting – Wines of Argentina

Wed. 09 MAR, 2016 – 7:45 – 9:45 pm

Venue: Johnsonville Community Centre Hall, 30 Moorefield Rd, Johnsonville, Wellington 6037 –Directions.

Cost: Members $12, Guests $16

Presenter: Josefina Telleria

“From humble beginnings and a passion for everything the Argentine wine and food culture has to offer, South2South has now become a company with a clear mission to provide Kiwis with an opportunity to enjoy the unique flavours and memorable experiences Argentine wines bring to the palate. Our vision is to become New Zealand’s premier Argentine fine wine importer.”

Chris Emmett and Josefina Telleria form South2South. Chris is a kiwi who has been converted to wine through his association with the wines of Argentina. Josefina was born and raised in Argentina and is the Argentine connection. She has a strong family connection to vines and wines in and around Mendoza. They are keen to introduce us to their passion for wines from the region.

Let’s enjoy. The wines on the night will be:

  • Introductory – La Consulta Reserva Torrontes or La Consulta Reserva Malbec
  • 2013 Montechez Reserva Chardonnay
  • 2013 Alta Vista Premium Torrontes
  • 2014 Serbal Malbec Rose
  • 2013 La Celia Pioneer Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Reserva Malbec
  • 2012 Montechez Limited Edition Cabernet Franc

Don’t miss this one, it will be fun.

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From Central Otago to Argentina

Next meeting

2016-02-4-56b3ba6b22565We are moving from Central Otago all the way to Argentina for our next meeting. This will be an interesting tasting and we hope you will give the evening your support.

Wine awards

Members may remember that in March 2013 we had a presentation including Lansdowne Estate in Masterton. Please have a look at the “In the News” item. Lansdowne continues to receive international accolades for their wines and the opening of a bottle produced from the same land in 1903 has further enhanced their reputation.

Also noted that Lowburn Ferry, featured in the Artisan collection last month, have won an award for their Pinot Noir in Sydney. The industry continues to shine internationally.

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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South2South – Wines of Argentina – Mar 2016

We want kiwis to fall in love with our wines, to choose an Argentine Malbec to match with their classic Kiwi BBQ, because really, Kiwis love meat just as much as Argentinians do.

Or choose a refreshing Torrontés to wash down a plate of fresh scallops or a favourite seafood dish that most kiwis tend to pull out of their cooking repertoire on a weekly basis.

Chris Emmett and Josefina Telleria are the team from South2South. They want kiwis to fall in love with their wines, to choose an Argentine Malbec to match with their classic Kiwi BBQ, because really, Kiwis love meat just as much as Argentinians do.

This will be another excellent tasting, don’t miss it. Event details…

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Launching into 2016

2016

Here we go again, launching into 2016 with an interesting and unique tasting. Read about the philosophy of AWCO. The wines will include Rosé, Riesling and Pinot Gris with a mix of Pinot Noir from the different producers. Should be a great night.

We are going to Argentina in March and Pegasus Bay in April leading up to the AGM in May. There are also some interesting tastings in prospect for later in the year.

Another year, another wine (or two).

Cheers
Robin Semmens, Editor

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