Magnificent and far-away New Zealand is worth trying to get to know a little better….
It is one of the southernmost wine producing countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Its variety of soils combined with its unique coastal climate predominant on both the islands, as well as a highest level of know-how in wine production, render the country ideal for finer varieties such as those of Burgundy (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) or Bordeaux (Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot).
Especially with Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand is making history
with examples of superior quality that can easily compete on a global scale. And even with the reds, wonderful wines are produced with some Pinot Noirs on a par in elegance and intensity with their Burgundy equivalents.
Cool summers and mild winters are the biggest strength for the wine producers, even though there are great variations between the north and south. With the first vines being planted by missionaries at the start of the 19th century, today wineries come to a total of 692, with vineyards stretching over an area of 34.000 hectares. Top ranking wine producing regions: Marlborough, Auckland, Martinborough, Hawke’s Bay and Central Otago.
If there is a country that really invests in environmentally friendly methods and in a philosophy of organic cultivation, no doubt, it is New Zealand.
Pacific Rim Cuisine
As for its cuisine, though it used to be an English colony, it has turned its taste away from fish n’ chips and barbecue. The chefs in this country have developed a cuisine of unique character with predominant flavours from the Pacific … Pacific Rim Cuisine, as it is typically called.
As a nation that is completely surrounded by water and with a coastline of more than 14.000 kilometers, it is home to fresh seafood.
Marlborough green-lipped mussels are world renowned for their flavour and their beneficial properties – and pair perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc.
Crayfish, which thrive in the cold, clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, are another goody of this country. New Zealand is also well-known for oysters, for scallops as well as whitebait with which they make fritters – a kind of omelette.
What is more, it also stands out for its livestock as it has world reputed lamb, beef and dairy products.
Lamb cooked in the oven accompanied with fresh vegetables is a typical Sunday meal, in perfect harmony with a glass of Pinot Noir.
Of course, a trip to New Zealand would not be complete without a tasteful hangi. The specific word means oven in the ground and that is exactly what it is: a traditional Maori method of cooking food using heated stones buried in a pit in the ground which acts as an oven to cook the food.
As for desserts, hokey pokey ice cream and Pavlova are the top favourites, as long as there is some kiwifruit somewhere on the plate.
It is the national fruit of the country, and takes its name from the kiwi bird, from which derives the nickname for New Zealanders: “Kiwis”.