Long white cloud cover

16 May, 2008

It's not all Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc for New Zealand - but, inevitably, there will be a lot of them about.

A Pinot Noir named after the Gum Emperor moth is the latest addition from Marlborough producer Jackson Estate, whose vineyards provide a habitat for the species. The 2005 wine is exclusive to independents and the on-trade with an rrp of £19.99. The coldest Marlborough December since the 1940s meant low yields and intensely-flavoured fruit for the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc vintage. Jackson Estate owner John Stichbury

and winemaker Mike Paterson will be in attendance to show off these wines, alongside Grey Ghost Sauvignon, Vintage Widow Pinot Noir and Shelter Belt Chardonnay on the HwCg stand. Stand S30

The Hatch Mansfield stand is the place to head to take in wines from three prestigious producers in one hit. The company is the UK agent for Villa Maria, whose European market manager Charlotte Read and new sales and marketing manager John Ferris will both be visiting the stand during the fair. They will be offering tastings of the

new single vineyard wines from Marlborough.

Villa Maria's Hawkes Bay-based Esk Valley subsidiary specialises in

premium reds and there will be a chance to taste the latest vintages of the Esk Valley Black Label and Reserve ranges and The Terraces. Visitors will be able to quiz winemaker Gordon Russell on his work.

Boutique Hawkes Bay producer Vidal Wines will be showing off its

new packaging designs and offering samples of its new Vidal Reserva Syrah from the 2006 vintage . Stand S60

No fewer than three Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs from Babich will be up for tasting on the Percy Fox stand. Alongside the Babich varietal Sauvignon will be the producer's Winemakers Reserve and Black Label wines. Completing the Sauvignon picture is a varietal from Hawkes Bay.

Gimblett Gravels and Winemakers Reserve Syrah from Hawkes Bay will also have a presence, alongside the region's Viognier varietal and Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon blend.

There's also a trio of wines from the east coast - an unoaked Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and Joe's Rosé. Stand D62

Mount Riley Wines' Savée Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is described by UK supplier Patriarche Wine Agencies as "a wine that divides opinion", and it issues the challenge to "come and see which side of the fence you're on". Take up the challenge by visiting Amy Buchanan, export director of the Marlborough-based producer on the generic New Zealand stand . Stand H20

Find out whether new Resolute Sauvignon Blanc lives up to its name by trying it at the PLB stand. Winemaker Damian Martin, from producer Winegrowers of Ara, will

present this and new vintages of his Composite Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines. Resolute Sauvignon joins Pinot Noir in a premium range aimed at the independent sector, and is made using grapes from an area known as the heart - Ara's original plantings in the centre of the vineyard. Stand F60

An

"until-the-wine-is-gone" tasting of back vintages of Marlborough Pinot Noir will be a feature of the Negociants UK programme for the fair. The tasting comprises 2000, 2002 and 2003 wines from the agent's Nautilus Estate principal, along with the pre-release 2007 vintage, from noon on Thursday. Stand G30

Cable Bay Vineyards, based in Waiheke Island, will be showing both its Culley and Cable Bay ranges with UK supplier Stratford's Wine Agencies. Winemaker Neill

Culley will be there to talk about the wines, as will Andy Nicole, of Auckland-based Lincoln Vineyards. Nicole will be offering the chance to taste wines from the new Distant Land range, which uses fruit sourced from selected growers in Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Marlborough. Stand F22

New Zealand will be mob-handed on the Great Western Wines stand, with West Brook Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, wines from Carrick in Central Otago and varietal wines made by Scottish winemaker Christine Kernohan from Gladstone in Wairarapa all available to have a sniff and taste of. Stand D12

Free Run Wines has launched its first range of wines from the country. Waipara Hills comes exclusively from the South Island and compris es

three tiers of wines. The focus is on Riesling and Pinot Noir wines from Central Otago. Stand R55

Australia's Foster's EMEA will offer the chance to taste wines from its regional New Zealand outpost Matua Valley.

Stand D40

Age of discovery

The generic New Zealand wine stand will have a new look this year, in keeping with the Pure Discovery marketing campaign, launched for the country's wines last summer.

More than 200 wines will be on show and some 35 New Zealand winemakers and winery principals will be flying over.

Te Mara Estate, Vin Alto Whitestone Wines, Rongopai Wines, Spring Creek Estate and Boreham Wood will all be on the generic stand for the first time, and there will be a clutch of other smaller wineries looking for UK representation.

New Zealand will also using the stand to communicate recent developments in sustainable winegrowing and give feedback on the 2008 vintage.

Warren Adamson, director for UK and Europe at New Zealand Winegrowers, says: "The Pure Discovery brand is an invitation to experience something exceptional and reflects our expanding reputation for innovation and quality.

"Competition is intensifying in the key overseas markets and New Zealand needs to promote the distinctive attributes that make our wine stand out from the rest." Stand H20




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