The northern tip of South Island has become New Zealand`s most important wine region since sheep farming and cherry orchards were first replaced with vineyard in the 1970s. Much of the land is alluvial river basin with well-drained soils that provide an ideal environment for pungent, grassy Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Noir from the more suitable clay slopes and Pinot Gris are also proving world-beaters.
Wairau River wines take their name from the river that runs through the heart of the Marlborough wine region. (Wairau is Maori for `many waters`). The Rose family were pioneers in planting vines in the 1970`s and after originally selling the grapes to other wineries (like Cloudy Bay) they launched their own label in the early 1990`s. Today their foresight has created a very successful company which remains family owned and run. Wairau River is one of the largest independent wine estates in Marlborough, and the range of elegant wines is characteristically expressive of its Marlborough roots.
Botrytis, also known as Noble Rot, is a condition that affects thin skinned grapes under certain weather conditions (requires misty mornings and sunny afternoons). It causes them to dehydrate which makes the grapes shrivel and concentrate the sugars creating sweet wines. This rich botrytis affected Riesling has an intense complex nose with aromas of honey, orange and lime marmalade. These characters translate generously onto the palate and are complemented by soft textured fruit and balancing acidity.
A great combination with fruit desserts, creme brule, caramelized fruit, ice cream and blue cheeses.