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New Zealand Wine: Benchmarks and Beyond

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  • Book a Seat: $285.00 ea
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Wine Sentience

Living in New Zealand allows for a unique perspective of the wines of a country that is responsible for only 1% of all global wine production. For many outside New Zealand, the entirety of the country is often treated as a singular region; responsible for punchy Sauvignon Blanc and cool-climate Pinot Noir. And though New Zealand does do those things well, with the privilege of vinous myopia, we can enhance the resolution and dig deeper into the stories and character of the individual regions as well as where wine styles are heading.

To cover the country from Northland to Central Otago, sommelière and new Aotearoa resident Caitlin Perlman, will be hosting the course across three evening sessions. The first two sessions will zero in on the individual regions. This includes their historical relevance in the context of New Zealand wine as well as peeling back the layers of what sets them apart from the rest of the country. The third will explore the ways in which New Zealand wine is changing and will feature wines from people challenging regional norms.

In the first session, October 26, we will focus on the wines of the North Island: Northland, Auckland and Waiheke, Gisborne, Hawke’s Bay, and Wairarapa. To get a feel for what each of these places is adding to the New Zealand wine tapestry, the wines will largely be benchmark examples.This will include wines from Kumeu River, Te Mata, and Ata Rangi.

The following week, November 2, the focus will shift to the South Island: Nelson, Marlborough, North Canterbury, and Central Otago. Again, the selection of wines will narrow in on classic examples including wines from; Neudorf, Felton Road, Pegasus Bay, Geisen, and Black Estate.

With the classics fresh in mind, the third class, November 9, will shift focus to wines that challenge regional and stylistic expectations with unorthodox blends or divergent winemaking techniques. In the current wine climate, these wines still sit somewhat on the fringe, but may be pointing to a way forward for the future of New Zealand wine. Wines will include those made by Alpine Wine Co, A Thousand Gods, Huntress, and Kunoh Wines amongst others.

Across the three evenings we will endeavour to gather insights into the nuances of the wines of New Zealand; whether it is better understanding where the individual regions compare to one another or exploring the directions winemakers are taking styles. Overall, we will taste 24 different wines from across the country. Also included is the most current copy of NZ Wines comprehensive guide to the regions and varieties.

This is a three part class. These are not individual events and cannot be purchases as such. Each session is part of the larger topic. If you are interested in booking a seat but unable to make all of the dates, please let us know and we can see if any arrangements can be made.

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