Varietal: Chenin Blanc
Originating in France yet now grown in many parts of the New World, Chenin Blanc is one of the most versatile and highly regarded white wine grape varietals on earth. These green skinned grapes hold a relatively high acid content, and as such can be used for making still white wines of exceptional quality, as well as superb sparkling wines (such as the CrÃ©mant wines of the Loire Valley) and extremely aromatic dessert wines. Their natural transparency means that they are a fine grape for expressing their terroir in the bottle, and winemakers often experiment with this varietal to coax unusual and intense flavors from the grapes, such as allowing the development of noble rot on the fruit in order to make sweet and viscous wines of a unique character.
Tucked away in an eastern corner of New Zealand, we find the beautiful and unforgettable wine region of Gisborne. This very special area of such a unique country is a real treat to the senses, as the vineyards are situated on vast flatlands, in the shadow of ancient and impressive mountain ranges, and are fed by crystal clear mountain waters and mineral rich, volcanic soils. Gisborne is most widely renowned for being an important producer of excellent New Zealand white wines, and many French white wine grape varietals flourish there. Riesling, Chardonnay, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and many others grow well in the warm climate of the region, and result in characterful and flavorful wines loved around the world, and recognized for their wonderful features, flavors and aromas.
Country: New Zealand
As with nearby Australia, New Zealand has over the past century proven itself to be a superb location for producing high quality wines in vast amounts, with much of the cooler regions of both islands being used primarily for vine cultivation. New Zealand wineries are notable for their enthusiasm in regards to experimentation, and for utilizing modern technologies and methods to make the most of the imported grape varietals which flourish in the rich, fertile soils and oceanic climate. In recent years, it has been the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines which have gained the most attention, as a result of their smoky character and ability to carry the mineral rich nature of the terroir they grow in. Changing consumer interests have brought about a considerable rise in the production of organic and sustainable wines in New Zealand, of which again, the Sauvignon Blanc varietals are leading the way in regards to excellence, flavor and overall character.