I have quite elegant visual as well as flavorful memories of my recent visit to the Hawke’s Bay wine region of New Zealand. The vineyards stretch for miles along the seacoast, and the red Bordeaux-style wines are pleasingly well-made, as are the bold Syrah wines – though this is half a world away from France. The major municipality in Hawke’s Bay is Napier, a beautiful town built in the Art Deco style of architecture; it is a one-hour flight (or 5-1/2 hour drive) south of Auckland.
Though I have heard about Central Otago’s famous Pinot Noir wines for years – and sampled some of them – I was completely unprepared for the magical experience of seeing the Central Otago wine region for the first time. We had driven up from Queenstown through a desert-like landscape with steep, rocky mountains on both sides of the highway, surrounded by drab scenery in tans and greys. Then suddenly we went through a mountain pass and a dreamlike green and fertile valley opened up before us, with miles and miles of lush fields, pastures and vineyards surrounding a very large, elongated lake. It was beautiful.
The South African wine industry has registered a quick and exciting period of transformation. However, winemakers are more worried about day-to-day issues and forget the key strategic ones. And some challenges are huge, among others climate change impact and changes in consumer trends.
Champagne may be the most frivolous of beverages but it`s also one of the most expensive, the most highly regulated in terms of its production, and the most difficult wine to make.
The world of wine is split into two. The ‘Old’ and the ‘New’. Basically the Old World is Europe where grapes have been continuously cultivated for hundreds, even thousands of years. The New World has a shorter wine history and has relied on inspiration from the Old World to establish their wine industries.