New Zealand has 10 major wine-growing regions spread across the north and south islands that make up the country. While wine growing has only taken place in New Zealand over the past 180 years or so, they can boast many award-winning brands that have gained international respect and recognition.
At GP Brands (www.gpbrands.eu) you can find some of New Zealand’s finest offerings. They have a full selection of red wines, white wines and youthful rose wines to delight any palate. Their Hawke’s Bay Malbec, a red wine so dark it almost looks black, comes from the Te Awa winery whose full Maori name means “River of God”. By contrast, their 2014 Chardonnay from the Awatere Valley is a rich, smooth, satisfying white, ideal when served chilled on a warm summer’s day.
Bannockburn is usually associated with a famous battle that took place in 1314 in southern Scotland where the Scots defeated the English, but it is also the site in New Zealand that produces the excellent red 2013 Pinot Noir Bannockburn from the Carrick Winery. They also produce a fine 2014 Chardonnay that tastes as good as any you might find anywhere in the world. Their 2012 Pinot Noir with its rich cherry flavour, intermingled with a spicy liquorice appeal also deserves a mention.
An exciting rose wine is produced in the Awatere Valley, the 2015 Pinot Noir Rose Yealands. This wine is a soft salmon colour, and its smooth creamy flavour is an excellent complement to any salmon dish as well. New Zealand also produces some excellent organic wines, and GP Brands can offer you the very affordable white 2013 Organic Pinot Gris Urlar. This is a dry wine with a unique honeysuckle, sweet pear aroma that simply begs to be tasted.
The red 2012 Cabernet Franc Crossroads is a fine wine from Hawke’s Bay. It has a full-bodied fruity taste that lingers, and a blackcurrant and blackberry fragrance that makes it hard to resist. By contrast, the white 2013 The Frost Pocket, a Sauvignon Blanc, is sharper and crisper, with a tropical fruit presence that makes it ideal for dishes of fish or chicken.