This website is intended to be a resource on the wineries of New Zealand. It will have the usual discussion of the principal wine areas, the wineries, wines and vintages for anyone who reaches this site. It will also feature a lot of photos from my archive of the wineries and the awesome scenery of New Zealand.
In addition to the general discussion, we will also try to offer insights on the marketing of New Zealand wines in America. Having read about these terrific wines, it is only natural to want to go out and get some. Unfortunately, that is not often an easy endeavor. Most wines have limited distribution, the alcohol laws rarely have the citizen-consumer in mind, and then there is the confusing practice of second labels and export labels. Whats's a poor consumer to do? Anyway, I'll give some pointers on where to find New Zealand wines on the web and retailers in the Washington, DC area.
By way of introduction, my name is Errol and I am probably one of the leading totally amateur authorities on New Zealand wine in America. By amatuer, I mean that I am not in anyway a part of the wine business. I am not a producer, retailer, wholesaler, importer or writer. I derive no income from the wine trade. My part of the wine trade is to reach into my wallet for cash or credit card every time I find an interesting bottle.
Until recently, by day, I was a cubicle jockey on the other side of the partition from Dilbert. (Actually, the person on the other side of the partition was Kristen. She's very nice and doesn't resemble any of the characters from Dilbert. The rest of the office... that's another story.) I've had a continuing interest in wine since my senior year at college. A couple of years ago, I had the revelation of New Zealand wine from, not surprisingly, a bottle of Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. In 2001, I posed for this picture.
Prior to planning my trip, I had a rather shallow knowledge of NZ wine: North Island, South Island, Hawke's Bay, Marlbourough. A long winter on the Internet and I went for the big leap over the Pacific. I did a lot of reading to get ready, I visited as many wineries as my family would put up with for one vacation, and when I got back I continued to read all I could and search for a place to buy all the wine I couldn't carry back with me. So now I have a New Zealand section in my cellar, a New Zealand shelf in my bookcase. a spreadsheet of winery ratings, a shoebox full of photographs, and now a website. Who knows; with retirement from cubicle-land, I might give up my amatuer status.
Hope you get something useful from your visit. If you have a question or comment, just put a message in the bottle on the main page. In the meantime, compare the photo below with a Cloudy Bay label.