Discover New Zealand Wine: Sauvignon Blanc and Beyond (VIDEO)

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Why Kiwi Wines are King in California

For many of wine lovers discovering New Zealand wine starts with a sip of Sauvignon Blanc. However, the New Zealand wine region makes a variety of wine styles from Chardonnay to Syrah and they even produce some sparkling wine. New Zealand produces less than 1% of the world’s wine but New Zealand winemakers say their unique combination of soil, climate, water, and pioneering spirit allows them to produce a wide variety of wines and styles.

The United States drinks more wine than anywhere else in the world and California is the largest wine consuming state in the U.S. with 17.7% of the share. Wine enthusiasts in San Francisco and New York drink more New Zealand wines than anywhere else in the country. In this wine video, Wine Oh TV’s Monique Soltani heads to a New Zealand wine tasting in San Francisco and interviews winemakers Neill Cully of Cable Bay Vineyards, Sam Smail of Whitehaven and New Zealand wine specialist Master of Wine Bob Campbell and discovers in every glass of New Zealand Wine is a world of pure discovery.

Curious why Kiwi is the nickname for people from New Zealand? The name comes from the kiwi, a flightless bird, which is native to, and the national symbol of, New Zealand. Calling someone from New Zealand a Kiwi is not considered offensive, in fact by many it’s considered a term of endearment.

New Zealand Wine Styles

New Zealand Wine MapNew Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

NORTHERLY: Warmer, milder growing conditions result in riper and richer styles, with melon, nectarine and other stone fruit flavors.

SOUTHERLY: longer, cooler growing conditions that promote stronger, more vibrant fruit flavors and higher acidity levels. The resulting wines are more pungent, and crisper, with passion fruit and other tropical fruit flavors, red pepper (capsicum) and gooseberry characters.

New Zealand Chardonnay

GISBORNE & HAWKE’S BAY: Warmer climates typically yield full-medium bodied, round, rich flavors and soft-medium acidity.

SOUTHERLY STYLES: Marlborough and other cool-climate regions: Typically medium to light bodied with greater acidity and minerality and fresh, citrus and savory flavors.

New Zealand Pinot Noir

WAIRARAPA: Darker fruit aromas, often with a savory component. Rich, full, sweet fruit on the entry with flavors in the dark plum and chocolate spectrum. The structure of the wines are based around long, fine tannins.

NELSON: Fragrant, complex, earthy and savory textured wines with rich, spicy, cherry and plum flavours. These wines are concentrated, balanced and supple with fine lingering tannin.

CANTERBURY/WAIPARA VALLEY: Red and dark berry fruit with spicy notes. Firm structure and acidity. Savoury earthy characteristics.

New Zealand Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon Blends

CLIMATE: predominantly grown in the warmer regions of Auckland/Northland and Hawke’s Bay which get extended heat accumulation due to lower diurnal temperature variation.

SOILS: Whilst Auckland has primarily clay-rich soils, Hawke’s Bay has a huge diversity of soils with river terraces comprising of volcanic loess, alluvial silts and deep river gravels.

New Zealand  Syrah

CLIMATE: Predominantly grown in the warmer regions of Auckland/Northland and Hawke’s Bay which benefit from extended heat accumulation due to lower diurnal temperature variation.

SOILS: Whilst Auckland has primarily clay-rich soils, Hawke’s Bay has a huge diversity of soils with river terraces comprising of volcanic loess, alluvial silts and deep river gravels.

Monique Soltani

Monique is the Founder and Host of Wine Oh TV and has a certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers. Monique is an experienced broadcast journalist and has worked at various television stations across the country and most recently at KPIX-TV/CBS 5 and KSEE-TV/NBC 24

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