Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand wine’

Wine Vault TV With Special Guest Gary Vaynerchuk

April 19, 2010

If you slow down and listen to this conversation you will hear two wine commentators share personal thoughts that will help expand both your wine journey and wine pleasure. 

Wines Have a Range of Flavors

Sauvignon Blanc by its very nature will range from  intense zippy flavors to a more subtle and balanced profile. Listen to Gary and you will learn he likes knife-edge acidity and wines that lean almost to an out of balance profile. Jayson on the other hand prefers an elegant and restrained style.This can be because of the number of bottles produced, yields in the vineyard, extended lees contact, some with barrel fermentation or even blending semillon into the finished wine.  Whatever the reason, this leads to the next interesting idea.     

Find a Good Wine Retailer

This one is simple.

  • A good wine retailer will take the time to get to know you
  • Follow up about prior purchases 
  • Will steer you toward wines you will like
  • Every store will have a geek, find them
  • Get to know them on a first name basis
  • It will be a good thing


Ratings reflect a moment in time and do not reflect the context or setting in which wines are enjoyed. While both Gary and Jayson liked the St Clair Sauvignon Blanc it was more suited to Jayson’s style. 

The critical wine reviewers will tell you they are critical wine reviewers because they are independent judges and have neutral opinions. All wines have a style or personality about them and reviewers will naturally connect more with certain styles. High scores, medals, rave reviews are only relevant if you truly know the wine preferences of the critic and how they compare to yours.  

  • Be brave make the effort to learn what you like!

The only opinion that counts is yours.

  • Trust Your Own Palate

This phrase is repeated throughout the conversation. There is a reason for this – it is your money – your wine decision – your dinner with friends.   


In the early days of the New Zealand wine story, wines were described to be “New Zealand wines”. This is now changing and we are learning the distinct differences between:   

  • Central Otago
  • Martinborough
  • Marlborough
  • Waipara
  • Waiheke Island
  • Northland
  • Hawkes Bay
  • Canterbury
  • Nelson
  • Gisborne

These regions even have sub regions within the regions. This is another good reason to get to know your wine retailer or sommelier.  Both Jayson and Gary know their path to success is directly tied to your wine satisfaction. I am confident both are good sources to expand your wine experiences.    

Enjoy this conversation between two wine people who care about you. 

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Salavare Estate in New Zealand Starts Slow Wine Movement

April 13, 2010

I like this movement. It has the potential to do great things for people all around the world. Great things will happen when people slow down – I suspect research would show one of the dimensions of greatness is the ability to go slow – even when things are spinning out of control.

We all need to take a moment and feel what Steve Nathan from Salavare Estate in Hawkes Bay New Zealand is suggesting. Below are his comments from his web site and Facebook pages. While he specifically, suggests slowing down and enjoying all things Hawkes Bay – which we should do  – we can  adjust his suggestions and go exploring the fun regions around the world that produce food, wine and travel with sense of spirit and bring that spirit to our daily routine.

Thanks Steve!

Being small and relatively new to the wine industry has not stopped Steve and Bev Nathan of Hawkes Bay winery Salvare Estate trying to promote an idea they think will benefit both wine lovers and smaller “boutique” wine producers in New Zealand.

Since opening their tasting room at Bridge Pa twelve months ago they have been promoting a “Slow Down” theme through their Salvare label, which includes range of local Hawkes Bay wines and a number of food lines such as Olive Oils.

“At Salvare we believe in a slower pace of life, in taking time to enjoy the journey” said Steve ” We believe the same of wine, that it should be enjoyed, not consumed. Whether it be with friends or family, good wine, like good food creates lasting memories of shared experiences”

In addition to taking things more slowly, one of the key tenants of the various “Slow” movements, including Slow Food, is that we should “buy local and eat local”. That we should know where our food comes from including, where we can, the people who grow or make it. The Nathans believe we should add “drink local” to this mantra.

“We believe one of the best ways for the New Zealand wine industry to stay viable in the current climate is if more people drink locally produced New Zealand wine. Where possible from a small winery near them or where they have actually visited the winery or vineyard and met the people involved, rather than from some large, faceless corporate producer” said Nathan. “It takes times to do this, which is the whole point and if more people drank handcrafted wines from small producers they would also have a much more diverse wine experience”

For the Nathans the best part of being in the wine business is the fact that they get to meet the people who purchase their wines as they visit their cellar door on Ngatarawa Road. “We take time to talk them about how the grapes are grown, how the wine is made and about our “Slow Down” philosophy which people really appreciate. In fact lots of them like it so much they purchase one of our “Slow Down and enjoy the journey T-shirts”

So next time you’re thinking about stocking up your wine cellar why not join the Slow Wine Movement and head out to one of the small wineries near you like Salvare and “Drink local, buy local”

“At Salvare we… (read more)Mission:To get the world to Slow Down and enjoy the journeyProducts:

Salvare Wines

Hawkes Bay Viognier

Hawkes Bay Chardonnay

Hawkes Bay Rose

Hawkes Bay Merlot

Hawkes Bay Syrah

Olive Oil


Chardonnay Mustard

Manuka Honey and Chardonnay Mustard Vinaigrette

Winerax Modular Wine Cellar System

The Technology of Wine

April 28, 2009

 Jayson at The Wine Vault in Auckland New Zealand posted this video recently and since many people have not seen the inside of a winery it provides a good illustration about the choices available to wine consumers around the world.

The label on the bottle does not really tell the story, nor is wine produced in big industrial factories bad or wine produced in small quantities better because there is more love.  They are just different. 

The video (no audio) shows one of New Zealand’s largest commercial wineries – it could be anywhere in the world. 

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Contrast the above video with the photos below from a recent harvest at Torlesse Wines in Waipara New Zealand. Torlesse Wines is one example of hundreds who make artisan handcrafted wines in New Zealand and all other wine regions of the world. The Wine Vault is one example of wine shops around the world who make the effort to get to know the people behind the wines they share. 




Small lot Pinot Noir at Torlesse Wines - Photo Dick Pharis

Small lot production at Torlesse Wines - Photo Dick Pharis

The message is, we as consumers of wines from around the world, have choices when it comes to wine, who we buy it from and then share it with.

I think there is merit in getting to know and supporting “The Little Guys” . Think of it as a wine treasure hunt.

Do you have feelings about industrial wines versus artisan handcrafted wines?