New Zealand: Reflections
Few wine countries have such a precise image as New Zealand, its winesi speak with an unmistakable New Zealand accent, the credit goes to a penetrating, crystal-clear aroma and an excellent susceptibility to acidity.
This is a rather young wine-growing area that has only really managed to rise to prominence in the last 30 years; in 1980 there were less than 6,000 hectares under vine, now almost 35,000there was an unprecedented boom in the 1990s and the term lifestyle wineryis absolutely consistent with the lifestyle of New Zealand producers. Bucolic but cultured, respectful of nature but ambitious.
It is a very generous land and in fact most of those who own vineyards work for third partiesThere are about 700 companies that then label the wine and market it.
The New Zealand's climate is crazy but this is due to the'impressive latitude occupied, if in fact we were to place it in Europe, it would range from that of Bordeaux to that of Lebanon. And then there are the Pacific winds, which are strong and push rain-laden clouds towards the mountains, giving the two islands a wide range of environmental conditions that allow them to give birth to simply incredible wines.
The most important regions of the country are Marlborough, Hawke's Bay, Central Otago, Martinborough, Nelson, Gisborne, Canterbury and Wairarapa.
If the If Sauvignon were to elect an adoptive land away from the Loire or Bordeaux, he would surely choose cool but sunny Marlborough, here he is able to achieve a complexity impossible to replicate elsewhere. In any case, we are talking about the main grape variety of the whole of New Zealand with an area that occupies 70% of the total. And in fact, incredibly good ones can be found even at Hawke's Bay, where the poor, loamy and gravelly soil seems to provide deeper and more mature versions. Chardonnay is also produced here, but the real star is the Merlot which is now the most widely used grape variety, even double that of Cabernet Sauvignon, the first planted in these parts.
New Zealand is also gradually becoming very famous for the production of a red berry, the noble Pinot Noir, which yields impressive results in Central Otago, one of the most scenically beautiful wine regions in Wairarapa and its sub-region Martinborough. Here the temperatures are very low, comparable to those in Edinburgh, yet the Pinot Noir takes on a style that closely resembles Burgundy in its aromaticity and complexity.
Canterbury is instead the name of the Christchurch hinterlandbut its Chardonnays are reminiscent of those from Burgundy, and also the Riesling comes out rather well, although Central Otago is the best place to vinify this fine grape.
The soil is very varied, loamy, calcareous, clayey, sometimes rich in loess, and the dry, mild, windy climate make the region perfect for a very clean and nature-friendly citiculture.
Sn the east coast of the North Island we find Gisborne is an area heavily in crisisplundered at the time of the boom and now fallen into oblivion, so much so that it has been nicknamed Poverty Bay. Too bad because Semillon and Gewurztraminer here are really interesting.
And finally Nelson, on the South Island, rainy but versatile, albeit without sharpness.
The country's total production is about 3 million hectolitres worth approximately EUR 300 million; do not be fooled by these figures, the movement is rampant and New Zealand wines are increasingly in demand