The Gimblett Gravels

The British love of New Zealand wine continues, and thankfully, I see no end in sight for this love affair. Yet what I have seen is that the UK shopper generally does not think beyond Marlborough and Sauvignon Blanc, it's almost as though this has become a brand in it own right to the detriment of the country's smaller producers. So in this case I have sort to highlight the Gimblett Road and what make this region different and special.

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We have worked with the wines from Pask for many years and the consistently reliable quality of these wines is all down to the hard work of Kate Radburnd, the lead winemaker.

So what makes the Gimblett Gravels situated in Hawkes bay on New Zealand's North Island so special? The district is strictly determined by the gravelly soils laid down by the old Ngaruroro River and makes up for an area covering some 800 hectors. To define the wines they have been heavily influenced by the French concept of terrior with the unique soil types of the region having a defining influence on the finished wine.

The reds from this region really dominate, with Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon making up a large proportion of grape cultivation. In fact, you could see some similarities with the red wines of Bordeaux here, a region that Kate will happily admit has had some considerable influence on her wine-making decisions. In contrast, the Sauvignon Blanc produced in Hawkes bay is more herbaceous in style than the in Marlborough, its arguably more famous cousin.

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