Today is the eighth day of Around the Wine World in Eight Days, so today is New Zealand.

It’s also a lovely ending to a massive project that I decided to undertake. I’ve come to think of it as a self-inflicted education, due to the massiveness of it all. The most significant part of this journey… The saying “last, but not least” has never meant more to me. With this particular story, I found myself… My soul is singing, because I could so identify with this one. The gods have given a gift to me on this day.

I live as sustainably as I possibly can… Not just when people are watching, as was stated in a video about New Zealand that I watched; but every moment of everything I do. And, so does New Zealand.

  1. Turkey – Tuesday
  2. Chile – Wednesday
  3. Argentina – Thursday
  4. France – Friday
    1. And we’re taking off the weekend, sightseeing in France
  5. Spain – Monday
  6. Germany – Tuesday
  7. Australia – Wednesday
  8. New Zealand – Thursday

[Image borrowed from the New Zealand Wine “Pure Discovery” Website]

Top 10 Things about New Zealand That Intrigue Me

  1.  Did you ever notice that New Zealand is an upside down boot?
    • A boot and a leg warmer, to be exact; not contiguous, like Italy is.
    • Thanks to social media being launched, I launched the story above in 2010, and because listed on Google as the first place holder for this concept. (This will now be my on-line claim to fame… I’ll take it.)
  2. The Maori were the first inhabitants (Polynesian people) of New Zealand or Aotearoa, which means “Land of the Long White Cloud,” arriving before 1,300 A.D..
    • They were (and still are) people people, on the islands. Hunters, gatherers, weavers… And, today they are vintners and shepherds.
    • Perhaps this is makes them the Young Adverturess
  3. New Zealand is like Europe, in that you have to ask for your bill in a restaurant.
    • This is so unlike the US, where the greed of the restaurateurs is front and center:  “That table can bring in four to five parties a night, so I’m going to grab your plate just as you take that last bite and it’s headed for your mouth.”
  4. Because of the length of New Zealand, it has a variety of climates and landscapes from top to bottom. The north is subtropical, and can be wet during the colder months. The south, being close to Antarctica, is extremely cold in winter.
  5. Planned Celebrations ~ Get ready:
    • Sauvignon 2016, The International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration New Zealand • Monday, February 1, 2016 though Wednesday, February 3, 2016
    • Pinot Noir NZ 2017,  New Zealand • Tuesday 31 January 2017 – Thursday 2 February 2017
  6.  New Zealand is 1,000 miles, from 36° S longitude, to the world’s most southerly grape growing region Central Otago (46° S).
  7. No vineyard is more than 80 miles from the ocean and has long daylight hours with sunshine, and at night is cooled by sea breezes.
  8. Sustainable vineyards… sheep, ducks, Guinea hens, cattle, horse-drawn tractor machines, dogs, bee hives and free birds…
  9. My hero, James Milton, founder, viticulturist, winemaker for Milton Estates, Gisborne. In a video produced for sustainability… He stated what I’ve also always said:
    • “The interesting thing about when you move to sustainable, you start thinking about what you’re doing. And when you start thinking about it deeply, you then see that you have an impact on the land. We didn’t want to use soluble fertilizers, because soluble fertilizers don’t give a shit about what goes on in the soil. They just pop it in there, into the plant. And, when it goes into the plant, it goes into the grape. When it goes into the grape, it goes into the juice. When it goes into the juice, it goes into the wine. And, when it’s in the wine, it’s in the glass. When it’s in the glass, it goes into here [pointing to the process of from mouth to stomach]. So, be careful…”
  10. In New Zealand, sustainability is just responsibility and integrity, getting along with their neighbors, getting in front of other people in the world and proud to say that they’re not diluting nature. “It’s doing the right thing when no one is looking… It’s like leaving some wood in the hearth, after you’ve left.” — Rex Butt, Wither Hill, Marlborough
    • It’s simply of a way of life.


Around the Wine World in Eight Days – New Zealand


Brancott Estate Celebrates Sauvignon Blanc Day #Sauvblancday

Through the Thomas Collective, Chief Winemaker Patrick Materman invited me to join him for a digital tasting to celebrate #SauvBlancDay. The digital tasting, took place on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

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Sauvignon Blanc Tasting – Five bottles

Brancott Estate Flight Song, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013 ($14.99)

An interesting wine, designed with a low-cal approach, with only nine percent alcohol. The grapes were picked earlier than most wines, which results in lowered brix (sugar) and alcohol levels. This resulted in a 20 percent reduction in calories, with an alcohol level of only nine percent. This Sauvignon Blanc had immediate mineral characteristics, for me. A wine with a delicate fragrance, it also had equally delicate grapefruit and lemongrass flavors.  I loved it, and would probably drink more of it, as a result of the lower alcohol. This also means that my calories will go back up, because of more consumption, due to its mouthwatering flavors.

2014 Brancott Estate, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($13.99)

This Sauvignon Blanc was a bit off-dry, with just a touch of honeysuckle sweetness, and a vanilla, spice, and flintiness to it. It’s very light in color, it smelled like honeydew melon, and had typical grapefruit, green apple, and peach flavors.  This one is very food friendly, and would start with cheese dishes, if that’s your fancy. I’d enjoy it with a concoction that Jose makes with nuts, coco powder, and dried fruits. A very delicious wine.

2013 Stoneleigh Latitude, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17.99)

As we tasted, each wine became more complex. The Stoneleigh became more tropical in aromas with a hint of pineapple. As for what I enjoyed for flavors: citrus, grapefruit, and pears. Aromas of pineapple and passion fruit lead to a tropical palate with honeydew, pear, grapefruit and minerals. It has a long finish, with a touch of flint. This is one I’d enjoy everyday… It just hit the spot.

2013 Brancott Estate Letter Series, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($26)

Complexity is growing, with each passing to the next wine. More robust with a rich, round mouthfeel. Much more citrus, as we went along. this one has a profusion of flavors: peach, apricot, pears… Passion fruit in a bottle named Sauvignon Blanc, when you’re reaching for something mulch-layered and wanting to impress, as this is a very impressive  Sauvignon Blanc. Great minerality, perfectly balanced… Have it as the second wine, after the Champagne, to mark an engagement…

2010 Brancott Estate Chosen Rows ™, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc Vintage ($65)

All of the stops were pulled out for this one, which also demonstrates the ageability of a white wine is so possible, when great care is taken. What a privilege to have this much to go around for the number of tasters that occurred on the special day, when we all virtually gathered to taste these five wines. Seductive for the wedding night… as following through with the engagement wine above.. Can I say this one was my favorite, as I marked that I have good taste? This isn’t a statement of pride; it’s a statement of which one I immediately adored…  Elegant nectarine and figs, both on the nose and on the palate. What joy… It lingered on my palate, and the memory of this tasting is lingering long enough to want to write about it well after the fact of the virtual tasting.

Since this story is pretty complete (1318 words), but I also have a whole series of Murdoch James’s wines to taste, tomorrow I’ll finish with the following, to do the wines proper justice:

Murdoch James

2014 Murdoch James Estate Pinot Gris

2014 Murdoch James Estate Sauvignon Blanc

2014 Murdoch James Estate Pinot Noir