First Taste - Wairarapa
A snapshot of wines from New Zealand's Wairarapa region.
With New Zealand steadily increasing its IWC medals over the past three years, the Wairarapa wine-growing region may be one of the country's smallest, but it is also growing in popularity. According to Kaylene Moore, general manager of Wines From Martinborough, proportionately it is outperforming the rest of New Zealand in growing export earnings,maintaining export prices in the face of production rises and finding new markets.
David Cox, European director of New Zealand Winegrowers, says: "The Martinborough/Wairarapa region only represents about 3% of total production in New Zealand, but there are some exciting wineries gaining excellent reputations way ahead of its proportionate size, especially for Pinot Noir."
Here's a small selection to try. Wine from the Wairarapa region in New Zealand is growing steadily in popularity:
Gold - Gladstone Vineyard Pinot Noir 2007
Strawberries, cream and spice notes, complexity that lasts . Saturated with flavour; spice cranberry, rhubarb. Lots of red fruit, persistent earthiness. (£rrp £13.80 Great Western Wine)
Silver Craggy Range Pinot Noir, Te Muna Road Vineyard 2007
Rich raspberry and red cherry nose, with juicy fine fruit, as well as good, savoury tannins and a long finish. (rrp £20.40 Amps Fine Wines)
Bronze - Martinborough Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Fresh, leafy, spicy green plum on the nose. Quite full on the palate but showing fresh green fruit and acidity. (£12.00 New Zealand House of Wine)