Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand Wines’

New Benchmarks for New Zealand Wines

December 4, 2009

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A new benchmark was reached by Craggy Range Winery in Hawkes Bay recently and shows New Zealand wines can run with the best in the world. At least Craggy Range wines, as they had both the courage and confidence to put their wines side by side with some of the best investment class wines from around the world.

Eric Arnold from Forbes magazine was invited (Google will take you to the article) where Craggy Range wines were tasted blind by highly regarded  panels in New York and San Francisco. Pinot noir and a Bordeaux style Merlot both received top praise. A tasting in London had a similar outcome, wines from Craggy Range are on par with the best in the world.

I think this now completes the loop for New Zealand as they are able to produce wines for all categories. All great wine countries and regions  produce wine to meet the needs of the following consumer categories.

  • Investment class wines that are on par with the best in the world
  • A diverse group of artisan wineries producing stunning boutique wines
  • A wide selection of everyday wines found in all  grocery stores and large wine stores
  • Bulk wines found in boxes and other alternative eco-friendly packaging

While some will quarrel with my list and suggest New Zealand is all “quality” I prefer to say wines from New Zealand are leaders in quality in all the above categories. I do acknowledge investment class  is a stretch descriptor.

New Growing Season at Torlesse Wines

December 9, 2008
61447 Torlesse 08 Sets PRF

Now Available in USA

I just received this new vintage update from Kym Rayner winemaker at Torlesse Wines in the Waipara Valley.

Torlesse Wines is typical of many artisan handcrafted wineries in New Zealand. If you visit the winery you will be hosted by Kym, his wife Maggie or Paul Hewitt the assistant wine maker. This is pretty cool.

One of the special characteristics of Kym’s wine is the ability to improve over time in the bottle. New Zealand has yet to achieve this recognition and Kym will be one of the many winemakers who is able to show the extra effort in the vineyard pays rewards for us consumers down the road.

Kym Rayner’s Comments  on the 2009  Growing  Season

“The winter of 2008 was normal to bordering on cold with a snow fall in June that settled on the ground at the winery

Late winter rains were very heavy in July and about 3 weeks later in August resulting in flooding around the winery.

Since August, rainfall has been slight torlesse-mapand while we are happy with low rainfall, the farming community around Waipara and in fact much of the East coast of NZ is very dry. We planted some Pinot Gris in late October and have been watering since then

The other significant fact is Waipara had no frost events or no visible damage on our vineyards at least. This coupled with warm dry conditions has meant early flowering and pretty good set.

The only negative is these conditions are also ideal for powdery mildew so there are plenty of sulphur sprays going on. This is an acceptable spray from an organic/sustainable approach.

Our vineyard has been quite untidy this year as we are spraying less herbicide and leaving a wider range of ground cover to bring in more insect diversity, hopefully beneficially,  like lady birds, spiders and bees and the predator wasps.

Things are shaping up for an excellent vintage.”

Thanks Kym, for sharing and letting us know there are some good things to look forward to.

 

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