Vail: A burst of spring from a New Zealand screw cap |

Vail: A burst of spring from a New Zealand screw cap

Patricia Kloehnnewsroom@vaildaily.comVail CO, Colorado

VAIL, Colorado Although spring in the Valley can be quite palatable due to spring skiing, you may long to bring out your flip-flops right about now. For less than $20 per bottle, you can bring spring into your home. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is a wine that is vibrant, alive and refreshing and can help you feel as if spring is within reach. As a reminder, New Zealand lies in the Southern Hemisphere and consists of two Islands, the North and South, which stretches 932-miles and is separated by the Cook Strait. The worlds most southerly grapes are grown here. If you are thinking back to a time you tried a New Zealand wine and thought it tasted too herbaceous, you have to try it again. The Kiwis have invested significant time and money on canopy management whereby dense vine canopies are controlled throughout the year, curbing vegetation which shade inmost leaves and bunches of grapes from sun exposure, leading to unripe, herbaceous flavors. Dr. Richard Smart, the government viticulturist from 1982 to 1990, led this breakthrough. Marlborough is a region you will easily be able to find on store shelves with wines often priced at or below the $20 range. New Zealand exports to the U.S. rose six-fold between 2000 and 2007 and the vintage of 2008 saw a 39 percent increase over the previous years record. These factors should provide ample accessibility for you to find wines of varying price ranges. Ninety percent of New Zealands Sauvignon Blanc for 2008 is from the Marlborough region. The wine typically tastes fresh and clean with juicy smells and tastes of kiwi, bell pepper, asparagus, fresh mowed grass, grapefruit and other mouth watering items. At times can seem like sorbet cleansing and pure. These wines are meant to be consumed when young and fresh and should not be aged more than two years. Most wines see little to no oak ageing, therefore, you really get true fruit unmasked by ageing in oak barrels. More than two thirds of all New Zealand wines are sealed with a screw cap. Seafood is an excellent accompaniment to a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.In the future, look for more movement by New Zealand wines to be produced under audited sustainability schemes. The goal by the 2012 vintage is for all New Zealand wineries to get graded on a sustainability scorecard. New Zealand is a leading area on developing new tools very useful in the green movement such as an international greenhouse gas protocol and calculator, and a water use calculator. Additionally, Pinot Noir is an upcoming New Zealand darling with exciting wines coming out of Otago (South Island).Patricia Kloehn lives in Edwards. She is a currently taking the diploma course for the WSET school in London (Wine, Spirit, Education & Trust), which is the precursor to the Master of Wine program. E-mail her at

2008 Kim Crawford2007 Drylands Estate Wines2007 Isabel Vineyard2008 Brancott2008 Oyster Bay Wines2008 Cloudy Bay

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