Courtney and I had a unique opportunity at the end of last year and beginning of this year to visit and explore three dynamic wine regions in the world: New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
New Zealand truly had the most “Jurassic Park wow factor” in the wine world. The islands have such an incredible topography, and the country’s flora and fauna captivate you the entire visit. The wines that got us very excited were Pinot Noir from Central Otago, Chardonnay from around Auckland and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The people of New Zealand add such a positive feel to our experience. It all added up to “WOW.”
Australia is vast, especially coming from the island country of New Zealand. We have adopted the McLaren Vale and Aldinga Beach as our home away from home. Like New Zealand, the people, the topography and the world-class food and wine make this spot a true Eden. The wines over the past few years have evolved well beyond big and jammy. The characters of the wines we tasted have achieved a special balance of fruit, tannin, acidity and clarity. In one word, it’s “YES!” The standout red varieties we kept going back to included Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Grenache (plus blends from these varietals). We were also impressed by the Chardonnay, both still and in bubbles, Sauvignon Blanc from the Adelaide Hills and vibrant Rose. The food from this part of the world is very farm-to-table, which added to the excitement and quality of our meals.