Warning: include(): http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd1098/wd100298.html on line 28

Warning: include(http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd1098/wd100298.html on line 28

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'http://globalgourmet.com/includes/banner468.html' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/twoway/public_html/food/wineday/wd1098/wd100298.html on line 28

 

by Fred McMillin
for October 2, 1998

 

Winery of the Week

White-Hot Brancott


Prologue

Only New Zealand and California have produced Sauvignon Blancs to match the best of France. The first New Zealand version to cause a stir came from the Montana Wine Company [parent company of today's winery, Brancott], made in the Marlborough district.

...New York Times, March 1995

The best-value New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc by far is by Montana [Brancott]. However, for me, the Chardonnays have even more interest, as witness recent bottlings by Montana. The foremost region is Gisborne.

...J. Robinson, Wine Spectator


The Rest of the Story

Chief Winemaker
Jeff Clark has just completed his 22nd vintage.

So today's wines are the new arrivals in the U.S., Brancott Vineyards' Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and Gisborne Chardonnay. Let's look at their origins.

1642—Captain Abel Janszoon Tasman is the first to sight "a large, high-lying land" that today we call New Zealand, named after the Zeeland province of Holland. Approaching are two double canoes, "paddled at considerable speed." They are manned by large, fierce-looking Maoris, each wearing a large, white feather in his hair. A small boat is sent out to make friends. One of the canoes rams it, killing the four Dutchmen, and flees, as did Capt. Tasman who decided "not to linger long on this inhospitable shore." No explorer returned for nearly two centuries.

1835—The missionaries now have Maoris happily attending their flourishing grape vines, observed by none other than visitor Charles Darwin.

1961—Montana Wines is founded, planting a small vineyard. It will become New Zealand's largest winery.

The Marlborough Man
Peter Hubscher planted the first Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough.

1973—Montana's Peter Hubscher startles the two-island country by planting the first vineyard in the sheep-country named Marlborough. It will become the home of Brancott Vineyards, which will plant the largest single-vineyard in New Zealand. Thirty years later they will win "Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World" in a large London competition.

As for the Gisborne Chardonnay...Chardonnay likes a cool climate; New Zealand is the southernmost winegrape region in the world; Gisborne is the "Chardonnay capital of New Zealand." You'll find a lot of flavors of the grape and more subdued oak than in most California counterparts. Like the Blanc, it too, is $15. Happily, the above two exciting Brancrott wines have now been brought to America by Seagram. So if you want to find out what's up down under, phone Brancott's Greg Crone in N.Y.C. at (212) 572-7573, FAX (212) 572-1280.


Postscript

Memories...In New Zealand some years ago our Sauvignon Blanc was paired with a soup made from one of New Zealand's great delicacies, the clam-like TOHEROA (tow-her-row-ah). Absolutely delicious. Maybe Greg can tell you where to get a can of that, too.


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

 

 

WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin

Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.

 
Anthony Dias Blue's
Tasting Notes

GourmetMarket.com's
Wine Clubs
and
Wine Store

 

10/01/98
Happy Faustinus First

Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays
April WineDays
May WineDays
June WineDays
Summer Break
September WineDays

1997 WineDays

The Global Gourmet

Copyright © 1998—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.