Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Is it New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc From New Zealand?

August 30, 2011

There is a difference between New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and here it is.

Not long ago, New Zealand wine commentator Jayson Bryant wrote a column with the title Where Has All the New Zealand Wine Gone?“. Today there are multiple categories of production in the world of New Zealand wine, in fact the industry body lists producers by size and includes three categories of small – medium and large. This has nothing to do with quality – just raw volume of wine produced.

The wines in the Jayson’s photo  are generally New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs – well made wines that are readily available in wine departments from Hong Kong – Tokyo – London – New York – Chicago – Los Angeles & beyond. These wines have won many awards, generally have honorable scores, priced fairly and adequate at most meals. These wines are produced by global conglomerates or large family run businesses. None of this is either good or bad – it is just the way it is.

To understand Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, you have to take a moment and imagine walking through a farmers market filled with vendors who have a dazzling array of fresh fruits, vegetables, breads, eggs, cheese and so on. This market is a true delight for the senses where the creators of these wonderful foods have assembled to sell their goods. This is Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, wines that are only produced in small quantities with limited availability.

In another blog Misha Wilkenson writes about the small New Zealand wine producers and the marketing challenges facing this large group of small producers. In round numbers about 90% of all New Zealand wine producers make less than 25,000 cases of wine. This is the farmers market of New Zealand wines – challenge is finding them.

This is why I suggest Sauvignon Blanc (or Pinot Noir etc) from New Zealand is the proper designation for these special and hard to find New Zealand wines. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is everywhere – Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, not so easy to find.

Back to the farmers market – basket loaded and now home in the kitchen preparing a meal for friends – imagine a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand with the first course and for the second a Pinot Noir from New Zealand – there was an effort to put it all together – the smiles on your friends faces confirm the effort was worth it.

Here is another side story that suggests if you truly want to find these special wines from New Zealand you have to either live there or get on a plane. (Quote is from end of article).

I also met 2 charming Antipodeans from New Zealand who were working in Bristol to whom I apologised beforehand about part of my talk re the additives in cheap New Zealand wines.

Their reply was

“Please don’t apologise. It’s a well known fact back at home that the cheaper wines are produced for the masses and the locals won’t buy it – so we send it over to you!”

Wait – there is a Sticky from New Zealand for desert and a car with driver to take you home!

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Wineries to Visit in New Zealand

August 9, 2011

 Planning a New Zealand trip to find undiscovered wines, restaurants or special locations for meetings or weddings then Wineries to Visit in New Zealand   is a web site for you. The site lists wineries around New Zealand that are open to visitors for tasting’s, wine sales, meals, weddings, accommodation, functions, tours, etc.

It’s easy to find the big players, just look for the parking lots with the oversize buses, finding the hidden gems requires a little research. Wineries to Visit in New Zealand will make your trip more exciting and memorable.

New Zealand Wine Movie Bride Flight

June 2, 2011

BRIDE FLIGHT is a lavish romantic drama inspired by the true story of the 1953 KLM flight that won the “Last Great Air Race” from London to Christchurch. The flight was dubbed “Bride Flight” by the international press, because of its special passengers — young women with wedding dresses in their suitcases, traveling to join their fiancés who had already emigrated to New Zealand. Leaving behind the gloom and scarcity of post-WWII Europe, shy but sensual farm girl Ada, dogmatic Marjorie, and Jewish fashion designer Esther are filled with hope for a future of love and freedom. Each takes a very different path in their strange new land, but together with handsome bachelor Frank, they form a bond on the flight that continues to link them for decades to come. Honored with Audience Awards at film festivals across the country, BRIDE FLIGHT evokes a time of slim choices and desperate optimism, with sweeping views of the New Zealand countryside, stunning period dresses, and the faint smell of Pinot Noir from the thriving vineyard Frank establishes in New Zealand.

To watch the trailer and check local theater listings, please visit:

Bride Flight movie trailer

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Directed by Ben Sombogaart.

Stars Waldemar Torenstra, Karina Smulders, Anna Drijver, Elise Schaap, Rutger Hauer, Pleuni Touw.

Screenwriter Marieke van der Pol also wrote the best-selling novel.

A Music Box Films release.

Willowridge Wanakafest Food and Wine Fest

August 26, 2010

A combined effort from 5 Wanaka vineyards and several of Wanaka’s top restaurants has created a food and wine fest to be held in conjunction with this years Willowridge Wanakafest.

For the first time, this is a solely Wanaka event. Only grapes grown in the Wanaka area and food prepared by local chefs will be involved. People will have the opportunity to head to Pembroke Park and sample some of our town’s top wines and foods, while listening to some relaxing music and socialising with friends.

The event has been largely driven by the Wanakafest community trust with help from Mount Maude wines and Rippon Vineyard.

Here is the link to the original post

A Rockin New Zealand Glacier

May 24, 2010

Passengers aboard two Glacier Explorers boats at Aoraki Mount Cook last weekend were treated to a real show-stopper when the largest iceberg in the Tasman Glacier terminal lake rolled over and split in two right before their eyes. …

New Zealand Heli Fishing Adventure

May 18, 2010

Join luxury New Zealand travel specialists Lookout Point on a remarkable heli fishing adventure from Auckland to Great Barrier Island, New Zealand. Arranged and managed by Lookout Point, the New Zealand luxury travel and adventure experts.

New Zealand Wine and Golf

May 5, 2010

Lookout Point founder David Hiatt discusses the attraction of New Zealand as an international golf destination. Courses such as Kauri Cliffs and Cape Kidnappers hold obvious appeal but sometimes it is the quiet country courses off the beaten path that provide as much appeal to travellers.

Like all destination golf resorts, New Zealand has a range of stunning local wines and foods.

Dream New Zealand Travel Job

April 12, 2010

Entirely Kiwi is an online New Zealand travel agency who recently held a contest to find a spokesperson to travel then length of New Zealand to promote the country and New Zealand tourism for three months.

The promotion known as the Entirely World Famous New Zealand Tour had over 300 applicants and was narrowly won by Nicquel Rhoden from Australia. The website shows her full itinerary, some information about each location and is updated with her blogs and videos about her adventures.

 The video is a good reminder “It’s all in a days work”

New Zealand Wine Tours With Phil Parker

April 8, 2010

Phil Parker runs food and wine tours around Auckland New Zealand.

Phil’s Auckland Fine Wine Tours celebrates ten years in operation this year.

Inspired by a cramped and tedious 40-seater bus tour of Melbourne’s Yarra Valley back in 1997, he had the idea of setting up a wine tour of Auckland’s regional wine country, particularly Kumeu and Matakana.

You can read the rest of the story here…….

Stellar Customer Service From New Zealand’s Barry Bay Cheese

April 1, 2010

Exceptional customer service is really special when it happens and New Zealand’s Barry Bay Cheese is a company that knows how to over delight. My wife Leslie recently took her Mother and Father to Akaroa for a long weekend. While there,  she purchased a few different cheeses to enjoy during their holiday. One was not so good – in fact it was so bland Leslie sent them an email when she returned home to Denver.

The email was promptly returned with an apology, a quick explanation that is was a cheese from another company they had brought in and the classic offer to replace it next time they were in Akaroa. Leslie, thanked them for their quick reply – explained she lived in Denver and her Mother and Father lived in Christchurch. Pretty much end of story – typical response – until last Friday. This is when the exceptional customer service kicked in.

Last Friday, Leslie’s Mother received a phone call from Barry’s Bay Cheese and wanted to know if someone would be home as they would like to drop off some cheese to replace the one that was not right. A representative from the cheese shop personally delivered several very nice pieces of cheese to their home in Christchurch – Christchurch is about an hour from Akaroa.

It is pretty special that Barry’s Bay Cheese not only remembered the situation but went the extra step to hand deliver the replacement.

If you are planning a trip  in New Zealand’s South Island – Akaroa and Barry Bay Cheese are two places you want on your list of places to visit.

Once there you will find a small seaside village that was settled by the French. Great restaurants,  B&B, motels and homes to stay in, walking, swimming with dolphins, art galleries, a local winery and of course a cheese shop that will make the effort to delight.