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New Zealand
New Zealand: When we visited here, we were first struck by how much the wine industry is similar to our native California. And then we were struck by how different New Zealand is, and by how much they take pride in this difference. It’s impossible to convey in words alone, and even in pictures, how much we enjoyed our visit to New Zealand. Such incredible diversity in geography, topography, and climate. Tropical beaches to the north, and glaciers in the south. 5-7 meters (meters!) of rain per year in the southern fiords, yet 50 miles away in the Central Otago region (home to their best pinot noirs) the annual rainfall is around 1/3 meter per year.

The New Zealand wine industry’s focal point is the Sauvignon Blancs of the Marlborough region, in the northeast corner of the South Island. These “Sauvies” are delicious, whether alone or paired with food, such as some smoked trout that you caught just the day before. Fortunately, we can get a good variety of these Sauvies in our local wine shops. Unfortunately, some of the other up and coming varietals are much harder to find, such as the Pinot Noirs and Rieslings, are much harder to find. Hopefully this situation will improve.

The best way to sample these wines is just to go there. Hook on to one of the 5 pound rainbow trout yourself, go scuba diving or surfing on the West Coast. Bundle up and go ice climbing, or take in the beautiful botanical gardens in Wellington. Most importantly, go visit the wineries and talk to the people that have put New Zealand on the world wine map.



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