Varietal: Chenin Blanc
For centuries, the Chenin Blanc grape has been grown in its native France, and in many other countries around the world (most notably in South Africa). These green skinned grapes are revered for the fact that their high acidity makes them extremely versatile, and Chenin Blanc wines can range from the fascinating, sweet and viscous dessert wines made by allowing noble rot to develop on the fruit, to dry and crisp sparkling crÃ©mants, or simple, elegant still white wines. Their key feature is that they are considered to be a highly 'transparent' grape, allowing the features of their terroir to come through in the glass, and the fact that they can carry a beautiful range of tropical fruit flavors such as pineapple, guava and banana.
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
New Zealand has consistently impressed over the past few decades, with many proclaiming this southern country as being the 'pearl' of the New World wine locations. One of the key attributes of New Zealand wines is their wonderful fruit-forward flavors, which make them a favorite with newcomers to wine, as they manage to be deliciously drinkable without posing many challenges. That isn't to say there is little complexity or interesting features to their wines, as one can easily discover through the fantastic range of wines available â€“ from smoky and mineral rich Sauvignon Blancs, to juicy and plummy Pinot Noirs and the beautiful Bordeaux style wines sourced from the excellent Auckland region. New Zealand wineries clearly have a dedication to quality alongside quantity, and such zeal and expertise is quickly helping them become established as world leaders in regards to both domestic sales and exported wines.