By Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis
Last week the Planet Grape Wine Review team attended a tasting of New Zealand wines at 1760 in San Francisco hosted by Chuck Hayward with Marcel Giesen and Giesen's Chief Winemaker Nikolai St. George. The title was "Searching for the Crus of Marlborough" and through four flights of wines it was clear that the focus on sub-region and vineyard (cru) was the way forward, not only for the iconic Sauvignon Blancs, but for the elegant, expressive, fruity and balanced Pinot Noirs.
Like other wine regions moving towards protecting their regional names, New Zealand is in the process of launching their own Geographical Indication system, so that other countries may not use them. They look at this as more of a trademark protection than appellation system.
The wine industry there, as well as the government, business communities and society practice the concept of kaitiakitanga - guardianship, started by New Zealand's original settlers, the Maori, to protect the resources of their small island. Today there is nearly universal adoption of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program.
Check out our faves from New Zealand here:
Kia ora, be well!