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Impressions of New Zealand Wineries

I’ve been asking our group for their impressions of the New Zealand wine industry and several asked me what I thought. It’s a good thing that we visited a couple of boutique wineries last week on our day of arrival. Since then everything has been big, bigger, biggest. We have seen the 2,000 case production small wineries and the over two million case production wineries. Delegat’s was one of the larger wineries we visited. This state of the art facility makes Oyster Bay wines, in the millions.

Our group marveled at the high use of technology to control the presses, transferring juice and wine from one location to another and making the blends. Their winery building is impressive and follows the “form follows function” theory. During the tour, winemaker Michael Ivicivich explained that there is a reason for everything that we will see. What one doesn’t see are hoses on the floor. Wine from tanks can be transferred to oher tanks via a simple process. There are a lot of buttons to push on computer screens. I asked if there was ever an audible “Oops” and Michael explained that there are safe guards built into the program such as a message that asks, “Do you really want to do this?” Mistakes are hard to make.

New Zealand offers a wide range of wines produced by small wineries as well as the large ones. Sauvignon Blanc remains the largest produced wine and is exported to many countries. We saw a good use of technology and state-of-the-art winemaking techniqes. However old-world winemaking is also practiced by some of the smaller producers. New Zealand is a lovely country to visit. The wineries visited were very welcoming. Consider traveling to the country and visit the wine country.


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