D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Episode 28

New Zealand’s Unexpected Varieties

The New Zealand wine industry may be focused on just a handful of grapes, but in this episode, the Wine Thieves go hors-piste in search of the unexpected. New Zealand enjoys a surprisingly wide range of climate zones – more than you might think – making the country suitable for far more than just those headlining grapes, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and chardonnay.  Last week we looked at syrah, a small but quality player on the NZ wine scene, and this week we explore more diversity, going even further into uncharted vines. 
 
Inevitably, our search would lead us to Therese and Hans Herzog of Herzog Estate in Marlborough. This expat Swiss couple farm no fewer than 28 (!) grape varieties on their modest 11 hectares in the Wairau sub-zone on mounds of gravel and sandy-clays. From arneis to veltliner, sankt laurent to saperavi, the Herzogs are unmatched in NZ (the World?) for their unbridled experimentation, and they share their story with the Thieves. Perhaps even more surprisingly, the wines are good, proving the point of NZ’s potential varietal diversity (and the Herzog’s farming and winemaking skills). Join us in the in the largely cool but usefully sunny deep South Pacific as we gain a more profound understanding of New Zealand’s varied terroir, before we return next week to explore tried-and-true sauvignon from a new angle.  
 
This episode was produced in partnership with New Zealand Winegrowers.