Taste Something Special this Summer

Summer is a wonderful time to visit the vineyards. The vines are looking their best — green, lush and loaded with grapes and the promise of a new vintage. Whether you plan on visiting a couple of local wineries or just hanging out in the garden with friends, now is the perfect time to sample a few lovely bottles of wine. 

Nelson certainly has lots of vineyards to choose from. Many have cellar doors that are open during summertime. Nothing beats sitting outside on a warm afternoon, sipping a glass of wine and gazing out over the very vines from which it came. 

The wineries often offer tasting notes for each wine but it’s even better to have a chat with the person behind the counter. They know all about their own wines and will be happy to share information about how the season is going, or help you understand more about a particular grape or wine. 

The Nelson version of wine tasting tends to be a very low-key and friendly affair. You certainly don’t have to pretend to know all about wine. Just do it your way. Some people carry a little notebook and are determined to sample every wine on offer. Others enjoy tracking their favourite wine across different vintages. Then there are those who prefer to be guided by the winemaker’s recommendations.

Wine tasting is a very affordable way of sampling some of the more prestigious reserve bottles. These days a small fee is usually charged for tastings, although this is sometimes donated to a local cause. It’s good etiquette to show your appreciation by buying a bottle you can afford. Be sure to ask if the winery has a mailing list — that way you’ll get to know of any special deals or upcoming events. 

If you’re keen to taste a whole range of Nelson wines gathered in one spot, then make a note to check out the annual Nelson Wine tasting event. Held every October in the Rutherford Hotel, this event gives all the local winemakers a chance to showcase their wines. The first day is set aside for the hospitality trade, with the second being open to all lovers of wine.

Of course, you don’t have to wait for a formal event, and certainly not until October! By far the most relaxed way to taste wine is at home with friends and good food. Just gather a group of people, ask everyone to bring an interesting bottle and rustle up some wine-friendly food. Kahurangi wines that are drinking particularly well include our Barrique Ferment Sauvignon Blanc, Montepulciano, or anything from our Mt Arthur range.

Wherever the last of the summer sun finds you, we hope there is plenty of time to relax and enjoy the taste of a few of our delicious New Zealand wines. 

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