‘Wait, what? There’s more to New Zealand than Sauvignon and Pinot?’ Melanie Brown
Now, now – we hear ya. Safe to say Sauvignon is pretty spectacular. It has certainly catapulted New Zealand Wine onto the international stage. We’re not taking away the sheer pleasure of sipping a cool glass of Framingham Sauv on a warm summer’s day. However, it’s not everything that this region has to offer. So let’s look at our top alternative and wines similar to Sauvignon.
WHAT MARLBOROUGH HAS TO OFFER
We associate so much of Marlborough’s production with this grape that sometimes we neglect the underdogs. The Rieslings, Chardonnays, Grüner Veltliners, and Pinot Noirs are amongst the greats. We can thank the zesty Sauvignon whites for 79% of vineyard surface area. It is also 86% of regional production, but why don’t you try something different? Broaden your palate, there are so many great New Zealand wines for you Sauvignon lovers.
WE LOVE MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BUT THERE MUST BE MORE
The NEWS? It’s all about Marlborough whites. All of this amazing wine from this little oasis of New Zealand. Explore these varieties and grab yourself a bottle. As much as we all love Marlborough Sauvignon, there’s an entire region to understand. The stoney riverbed soils provide just the right terroir for many other grapes! Sunshine during the day followed by tempering wind, leading to a substantial diurnal temperature variation. Along with the dry autumn, creates a long growing season. Therefore giving the grape time to develop full, expressive varietal character. We reckon Marlborough wine vineyards possess a certain sass appeal for many more grapes than Sauvignon.
So let’s talk options.
LOOKING FOR A CHANGE FROM SAUVIGNON?
Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling = perfectly reflecting the region’s purity and vivacity. Styles can range from dry to sweet, taut to lush, including late harvest and botrytised wines. What would we recommend? Framingham F-Series Old Vine Riesling. Showcasing a deliciously balanced old-world style, the palate balances intense flavours of mandarin and ripe apple. Crisp, lively Riesling acidity carries through the dry, lingering finish.
LOVE MARLBOROUGH REGION FLAVOURS?
I want more. Don’t we all. If you’re feeling fancy, maybe it’s time to pop open the bubbles? Our go to is Nautilus Estate Classic Cuvée. Nutty, rich & elegant. Brioche aromas coupled with tropical fruit flavours. Great texture, a creamy back bone & well rounded finish. Perfect bubbles for any occasion. Need we say more?
TAILORING TO YOUR TASTEBUDS
Some Austrian talk here, prepare yourselves. Grüner Veltliner literally means ‘a green grape from the village of Veltlin in the Tirol’. Yeah don’t worry I’m hella confused too. BUT, fear not, just because you don’t understand, try new things; like our top pick from Nautilus Estate. It’s sure to tickle your tastebuds in all the right ways.
NEW ZEALAND’S RED WINES
In the mood for a red? You can drink a red wine chilled, just be careful how you go about it. If you need more info on how to chill, what to chill and for how long, then check out our blog here on chilling red wine. Pinot’s have been increasing in popularity as committed growers refine both clones and sites. They usually display dark cherry and plum flavours, with a red-fruited spicy background. Our recommendations? No other than Dog Point Pinot Noir, or equally a Greywacke Pinot Noir to satisfy all your red needs.
LET’S TALK LOCATIONS.
MARLBOROUGH WINE LOCATIONS
Marlborough is full of sunshine, moderate temperatures and strong diurnal variation. This causes a great intensity of fruit produced. The eastern coastal aspect bestows cooling sea breezes and protective mountains, providing relief from extreme rain and wind.
MORE TO NEW ZEALAND OTHER THAN SAUVIGNON
The summary? Strengthen your palate by trying a Riesling or Pinot Gris from Marlborough. I promise it will still satisfy all your New Zealand needs.