By country :: New Zealand
We French are often accused of exaggerating the significance of ‘Terroir’ and it is only fairly recently that New World producers have admitted to its huge significance. Interestingly enough, it is during a recent visit to New Zealand and particularly Marlborough, that the concept of unique ‘Terroir’ made complete sense to me.
As well as being in awe of the sheer beauty of the country, I was also amazed at how well equipped this region was for wine-making. Neatly tucked in a corridor between the Wither Hills and the Richmond Range, the region is sheltered from heavy rain from the west, and enjoys lots of sunshine hours, which gives the region ideal long
and dry ripening conditions. But why do aromatic grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling do so well in Marlborough? The incredibly marked diurnal temperature variances are the key to the success of these grape varieties. You could easily have lunch outside in a T-shirt but you could also have dinner in front of the fire with a jumper on!
The other important thing that I learnt from my visit to Marlborough is the diversity of terroirs within the region which is divided in three distinctive sub regions. The Wairau Valley is where Clos Henri, a new boutique winery set up by the Bourgeois family that we have added to our portfolio, is based. The Southern Valleys and
in particular the Waihopai Valley is where Little Beauty is based and the Awatere Valley which is situated at the South East of the region and has a cooler climate with a later ripening season.
I would highly recommend to anyone to visit Marlborough, for its wines, its fabulous countryside, its idyllic sounds and not least, for it fantastic gastronomy!