Wine Tasting: Ohau Wines

Ohau 2An hour and a half south of Whanganui lies the closest thing to a local winery: Ohau Wines, between Otaki and Levin. On a recent trip south to visit my sister in Wellington I decided to stop in. It was a cold, grey day, but the welcome at the small cellar door was warm and the marketing manager (whose name I regrettably forgot to ask) was passionate and knowledgeable.

I came to know of Ohau Wines when I discovered their Woven Stone range in a local supermarket, but I was amazed by the range of wines they had available – enough that I had to decline to taste many of them to ensure I could continue south safely and legally. Woven Stone (which is good wine) is their low-end, mass-produced supermarket range, and the winery has been doing some interesting things with their direct-sale-only wines. Continue reading “Wine Tasting: Ohau Wines”

Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC)

aoc-labelI haven’t said anything about wine in a while, so just in case you thought I was on the wagon (yeah, nah), here’s a post about why New Zealand champagne isn’t champagne.

It all comes back to the giant of global winemaking, France. In the early twentieth century the French government began laying the legislative groundwork for what would officially become, by the middle of the century, the Appellation d’origine contrôlée, the ‘Controlled Designation of Origin.’ Here in the New World we identify our wines by the grape varietal or varietals used to make it, which is why most of my wine-related posts concentrate on profiling the varietal wines most commonly found in New Zealand. Back in the Old World (i.e. Europe) wine is identified by its place of origin. Continue reading “Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC)”

The Winery, Queenstown

A self-serve wine-tasting bar? It’s certainly an interesting concept, and when Becks and I happened to walk past The Winery in Queenstown over Easter I knew I had to check it out… just as soon as Lent was over.

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Sauvignon Blanc dispenser at The Winery.

So on Easter Monday, the last day of our holiday, I wandered back and spent a pleasant hour trying it out. Continue reading “The Winery, Queenstown”