Unusually Dry Summer Means Good Wine Season For New Zealand
NY1 travel correspondent Valarie D'Elia filed the following report on why an unusually dry summer is great news for winemakers in the wine country region of New Zealand.
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New Zealand is having an unusally dry summer, which has many Kiwis apologizing for their trademark green landscape looking a bit scrubby.
But in the country's oldest wine country of Hawke's Bay, it's something to celebrate.
The 2013 vintage will be the very best of this young century, giving this winemaking region on the east coast of the north island worldwide acclaim for its reds.
"There's a sense of place and a real identity that you can pick up a great glass of Hawke's Bay Syrah and it tastes like Hawke's Bay Syrah," says Warren Gibson, chief winemaker at Trinity Hill Winery.
What sets the grapes apart at Trinity Hill is the soil in which it grows, called Gimblett Gravels.
"It's a mixture of between 50 and 90 percent gravel, and the remainder is river silts and other types of soil," Gibson says. "It's quite a harsh soil, but equally, the wines that come through as being harsh, they still have lovely presence and richness."
What's wining without the requisite dining? Hawke's Bay is also known for its cuisine and a special breed of beef.
"Grass-fed Waygu, which is slightly different to the grain fed in flavor, and the way it's treated. It's a little bit more sustainable and nicer on the cattle," says Leyton Ashley, chef at Craggy Range.
As I learned as a guest of New Zealand tourism, there's more to Hawke's Bay than great food and wine.
Along stunning Cape Kidnappers is a breeding ground for Gannet seabirds.
Hawke's Bay will also bring you closer to the indigenous Maori people.
"We've been here from the beginning of time, and we'll be here for the tomorrows," said "Orine" of the Maori Wahine.
For more information, go to www.hawkesbaynz.com.