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Country: New Zealand  Region: Waipara Valley, South Island  Grape: Pinot Gris

Waipara, a picturesque valley just 45 minutes north of Christchurch, lies on the east coast. It is the largest city of New Zealand’s South Island. It is one of New Zealand’s premier wine regions, characterized by long, hot summers and low rainfall during the critical October to April growing season. Another key quality factor is the great variation between cool nights and hot daytime temperatures. Soils differ dramatically across the region

Mount Brown Estates, the producers of Wild River wines, is a family-owned vineyard crafting small parcels of beautiful wines from their three estates. This particular selection is 100% estate grown Pinot Gris, that shows pale gold with green tints in the glass.

This wine has ripe pear and lemon on the nose along with subtle quince and ginger spice notes. Rich depth of flavor and moderate acidity makes the palate lively and fresh, with a great texture and long, dry finish.

Uncork your bottle soon, as it will not benefit from further aging. Serve chilled with roasted white meats such as pork or chicken, as well as Asian fried dishes. (The moderate acidity offsets any oiliness in the foods.)

I don’t recall the last time that our wine selections were made of 100% of the same fruit, but from different countries! If you favor the golden Wild River Pinot Gris from New Zealand over the pale yellow Pinot Grigio from Italy (or vice versa), be cognizant of the fact that you’re comparing not two different fruits, but nationality, growing conditions and fruit manipulation. Unique to say the least!

Wild River Pinot Gris & Re Teodorico Pinot Grigio:

PINOT GRIS / PINOT GRIGIO GRAPES — Also identified as Rulander, this white grape with a hint of lavender is capable of producing superior rich, complex wines. Its spiciness is seldom encountered in other varieties. This grape is responsible for many grand flavored, sweet fortified wines produced throughout the world with hues from white to yellow to slightly pink in color. The skin of this grape is more hued than most other whites, but be assured the grape is a true white. It originated in France as a mutation of Pinot Noir.

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Tracie Burket
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