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LET’S TALK numbers. (Something, given my that Guinness launched in Ireland in January. academic record in maths, I never thought I It’s in keeping with the growing movement of would hear myself say.) Specifically, let’s talk moderation and trend towards low-alcohol or about some numbers that have surfaced recently non-alcoholic drink options. and paint an interesting picture for the drinks Another trend highlighted in our ‘Numbers of industry’s year ahead. note’ feature on page 24 is the growing focus on A report from Vinexpo released in January waste and the global industry’s impact on the has tipped New Zealand to be the “standout environment. performer” in terms of wine exports to the US New Zealand’s clean, green image has taken over the next few years. some fairly hefty hits in recent times but there’s It forecasts growth of 9.9%, no shortage of desire on the which bodes well for the local part of the consumer to do New Zealand’s clean, industry’s target of $2 billion of their bit. After all, this is the green image has taken wine exports globally by 2020. year Countdown and New some fairly hefty hits Another report, this time World supermarkets will phase in recent years but from the Ministry of Business, out single use plastic bags there’s no shortage of Innovation and Employment, completely, following shopper desire on the part of the votes. has found that visitors to our consumer to do their bit. shores are becoming more It would seem the time is ripe interested in our wine tourism for the local drinks industry to products, with 25% of international tourists to draw a line in the sand, too. New Zealand seeking out a wine experience While at one end of the scale there is London’s while here and, that in the year to the end White Lyan as the world’s first zero-waste bar, of September 2017, tourists to New Zealand a smaller gesture like ditching plastic straws (as spent a record $10.4bn between them. It would Pernod Ricard has) could also go a long way to seem there are plentiful opportunities for wine making a difference. And I bet those international businesses in both exports and ‘imports’, with tourists would be impressed. tourism becoming an increasingly necessary focus for drinks businesses across the spectrum. Victoria Wells Now, to a slightly lower figure: 0.5%, which Editor – Drinksbiz is the ABV of the new non-alcoholic lager


Painting by numbers

EDITOR’S PICKS 2017 The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc Consistently fantastic wine from renowned winemaker Brent Marris and at a price point that makes it amazing value for money.

Good George Blackberry Cider Plump blackberries straggling through rural roadside hedges are a sure sign of summer and this cider captures their juicy intensity perfectly.

Alipús San Baltazar A newer addition to the line-up of mezcals in New Zealand, the Alipús brand represents a group of family artisan mezcal distilleries in Mexico. Each family uses traditional methods to make their own unique mezcal with distinctively different characteristics, under the Alipús label. A true celebration of a centuries-old craft. DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018 7




Out & About


Beer & Cider Report 


Diary Dates


Beer & Cider News


Industry News


Feature: Numbers of note24

SPIRITS & COCKTAILS Spirits Report: Tequila and Mezcal



Spirits News


Wine Report: Sauvignon Blanc29

Opinion: What’s the story?68

Opinion: Best in show37 High 5: Best of the bunch40


Wine News

Distributor Index


Last Requests - Matt Kirby 



Publisher Karen Boult +64 21 320 663 Editor Victoria Wells +64 27 575 9021 Designer Lewis Hurst +64 21 146 6404 Advertising Roger Pierce +64 9 361 2347 +64 274 335 354

Feature: Numbers of note PAGE 24

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Out & About Chivas Club A motorcycle workshop tucked away in Auckland’s city centre was transformed into a modern speakeasy whisky bar during November. The secret location was only revealed to attendees on the day of the event where guests enjoyed bespoke whisky tastings and special Chivas cocktails alongside live music and entertainment.

Moët Gold Moët & Chandon honoured five New Zealanders at an exclusive red-carpet Moët Gold Party in Auckland in December. The Moët Gold accolade was awarded to young fashion designer Maggie Marilyn Hewitt, entrepreneurs Donielle Brooke and Aiden Bartlett (founders of online fashion site Designer Wardrobe), Olympic athlete and Black Stick Rose Keddell and entrepreneur Michael Goudie, of Clooney Club.



What’s on

FEBRUARY Saturday 10 February MARLBOROUGH WINE AND FOOD The country’s longest running wine festival returns to Marlborough’s Brancott Estate, showcasing wines from more than 40 local wineries alongside gourmet food stalls. R18 event.

Saturday 17 February GREATER WELLINGTON BREW DAY A showcase of breweries, wineries, distilleries, cideries and food from the Greater Wellington region. A family-friendly event. Sunday 18 February NELSON WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL Nelson’s wineries and breweries will be on display at Middle Earth Vineyards in Brightwater, alongside local food. A family-friendly event.

Saturday 3 March BEER APPRECIATION DAY – HAWKE’S BAY Craft breweries and cideries from around the country will showcase their wares at this event in the grounds of historic Duart House in Havelock North. R18 event.

© Kirsten Simcox

MARCH Friday 9 – Sunday 11 March SERESIN WATERFALL BAY FEAST A three day celebration to mark Seresin Estate’s 25th birthday, with New Zealand chef Chantelle Nicholson (Chef Patron of Tredwells, London) creating a degustation menu of lunches and dinners at Seresin Estate’s Waterfall Bay restaurant.

Saturday 17 – Sunday 25 March NELSON BEER WEEK Returning for its second year, Nelson Beer Week offers a range of craft beer-related events across a variety of venues. Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 March DRAMFEST - CHRISTCHURCH New Zealand’s largest whisky education and tasting festival will be held over two days at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena with more than 50 exhibitors, including local and international whisky experts.

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 March NZ HOME BREWERS CONFERENCE - NELSON A weekend of education and inspiration for home brewers with behind-the-scenes tours, MarchFest, and the day-long conference on Sunday 25th, with a line-up of speakers, workshops and networking.

Saturday 24 March MARCHFEST - NELSON New Zealand craft beer, wine and ciders are showcased alongside local food and live music at Nelson’s Founders Park. A family-friendly event.

APRIL Saturday 7 April HOP’N’VINE - INVERCARGILL Dubbed ‘the world’s southernmost craft beer festival’, Hop’n’Vine returns for 2018 with a line-up of craft breweries, cideries and wineries alongside local food at Invercargill’s SIT Zero Fees Velodrome. R18 event.



The UNTOLD story

Collaboration, creativity and expert palates are behind the creation of a new spiced rum launching in New Zealand “One of our greatest achievements was creating something that balanced spice, sweetness and then finished with a delightful savoury note.” – Oscar Eastman, co-creator of UNTOLD Rum

A COLLECTIVE of leading bartenders and artists came together to collaborate on the development of UNTOLD Rum, a new urban brand of spiced rum. The 2-year aged golden Caribbean rum (from Trinidad), is enhanced with natural spices and will be available from March. Designed by bartenders for bartenders, UNTOLD Rum was created with leading Melbourne bartenders Dave Kerr of The Beaufort, Nathan Beasley of Black Pearl, Oscar Eastman (ex-Eau de Vie) and Dre Walters of Sydney’s Lobo Plantation. The project was developed by Asahi Premium Beverages in Australia and Independent Liquor in New Zealand. UNTOLD will be available in a full strength bottled spirit and pre-mixed Spiced Rum canned drinks – UNTOLD with Cola, and UNTOLD with Ginger Beer. While the rum has been designed primarily to mix, the bold yet accessible flavour of UNTOLD gives it a real point of difference. UNTOLD takes its name from the inventive creative process behind its development. The distinctive urban art package design created by New Zealand-born illustrator Andrew Archer and Australian graffiti/street artist Tim Phibs bucks the traditional, masculine ‘rum and pirates’ storyline and instantly sets UNTOLD apart from other rum products on the market. “One of our greatest achievements was creating something that balanced spice, sweetness and then finished with a delightful savoury note to steer it away from the sickly, sweet rums that dominate the market, yet still keeping its authenticity,” says co-creator Oscar Eastman.


“We see UNTOLD as a versatile product or a ‘blank canvas’ where everyone can enjoy it their own way,” says Dave Kerr. “However you approach your experience with it, people can contribute and shape the brand as their own. We worked really hard to make sure that it’s a quality and intriguing product. It’s balanced, works perfectly with our favourite mixers and gives people with a good palate a great alternative in a spiced rum.”


New from Independent Liquor Three new additions to the Independent Liquor portfolio will also be available from March 5.

VDKA 6100

UNTOLD is available from March 5 in all good liquor stores. UNTOLD Rum RRP $54.99, 700ml 37.5% ABV.

UNTOLD Rum with Cola or Ginger Beer  vailable in a 4-pack of 355ml (RRP $12.99) and A a 10-pack of 330ml (RRP $26.99). 6% ABV.

Pronounced ‘VODKA SIXTY-ONE-HUNDRED’. The number 6100 refers to the distance between the territorial waters of New Zealand, where the product is made, and the US, where the brand was designed. Unlike most vodkas that are made from grain or grapes, VDKA 6100 is fermented using fresh cow’s whey and a strain of yeast that has been hand-cultivated in New Zealand for over 30 years. It is finely distilled just three times – all that is needed due to the purity of the ingredients – and passed through a sophisticated filtration system before being blended with New Zealand’s purest natural spring water. A smooth, elegant vodka with a luxurious mouth feel, delivering aromas of salted caramel, fig, citrus and blossom. On the palate, there are note of citrus fruits with a refreshing mineral core, and a hint of caramel to finish. Available in 750ml, RRP $69.99, 40% ABV

Tequila Blu Tequila Blu hails from the official tequila state of Jalisco in Mexico, and tastes like a true tequila should. Unlike common ‘mixtos’ tequila, Tequila Blu uses 100% blue agave grown in four different regions of Mexico. The company’s Jimadors harvest the agave by hand – a method that relies on centuries-old know-how. The thick honey juice is then extracted, fermented and double distilled before being rested in American oak barrels for six months to create a beautifully balanced reposado (rested) tequila. Tequila Blu uses pristine water sourced from beneath the town of Tequila, which flows from local volcano, aptly named “Tequila.” It is handmade and hand packed in Tequila by the world’s most awarded tequila distillery. Tequila Blu has perfectly balanced flavour and an ultra-smooth and oaky finish. Available in 700ml, RRP $46.99, 38% ABV

Spicebox Whisky Spicebox was inspired by crafty Canadian entrepreneurs who smuggled contraband cargo across the border in wooden barrels marked “SPICES” during the Prohibition era. They figured it was the perfect camouflage and that the aromatic spices would infuse the whisky with delicious flavours, creating something extraordinary.  More recently, Spicebox Whisky was developed by master blender Michel Marcil. It is a rye whisky, aged in used bourbon oak barrels for between three to six years and is an incredibly smooth, warm spiced blend. Available in 700ml, $46.99, 37.5% ABV


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Kiwi somms chosen for international scholarship NEW ZEALAND Winegrowers has announced the two New Zealand-based sommeliers selected to participate in the 2018 New Zealand Winegrowers International Sommelier Scholarship. Matthew Bocock of Wellington’s Wholesale Boot Company Restaurant and Anna Krykunivsky of Queenstown’s Imperium Group (Eichardt’s Private Hotel, The Grille & The Spire Hotel) will be the first New Zealanders to take part in the scholarship programme, which was first launched in 2015 for Australian sommeliers. It is now a global initiative, with the New Zealand sommeliers joining scholars from Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe and the USA at the Sommit™ event, which is limited to just 20 sommeliers and will be held in Nelson and Central Otago. Hosted by Master Sommelier Cameron Douglas and Master of Wine Stephen Wong, the events are a celebration of the lesser known aspects of New Zealand wine, with emphasis on the facets that resonate

Anna Krykunivsky

with the sommelier community. “We’re delighted to include two extraordinary New Zealand sommeliers in this year’s programme. Not only will they benefit tremendously from the experience them-

Matthew Bocock

selves, but they will also provide a valuable New Zealand voice for our international sommelier attendees,” commented Chris Yorke, Global Marketing Director, New Zealand Winegrowers.

New Executive Director for Brewers Association THE BREWERS Association of New Zealand has appointed Dylan Firth as its Executive Director, based in Wellington. Firth joins the Brewers Association after four years with Hospitality New Zealand, most recently as Advocacy and Policy Manager. Rory Glass, Managing Director of Lion and Chairman of the Brewers Association, says Firth’s skills, strong networks and advocacy experience will deliver considerable value for the New Zealand brewing industry. “We are delighted to welcome Dylan to the role. He is passionate about the brewing industry and brings significant experience and understanding of the beverage sector,” Glass says. Firth says he is excited about the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the industry. “The brewing industry has changed rapidly in the past decade. I’m committed to providing the Brewers Association members and wider industry with strategic support to help it grow and develop into the future.” The Brewers Association of New Zealand was established in October 2017 as a stand-alone entity, having separated from the Australian Brewers Association. Glass said that the change reflects the unique characteristics of the New Zealand operating and regulatory environments.

Wine Spectator gives the nod to Kiwi wines TWO NEW Zealand wineries have been included in the cover story of the latest issue of Wine Spectator magazine (Jan 31-Feb 28 issue). Mt Beautiful and Yealands each receive coverage in the New Zealand section of the ‘Smart Buys’ article, with four wines from each winery showcased. The new issue is available now through DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018 15


Last straw for Pernod Ricard PERNOD RICARD announced in mid-January that it will stop using non-biodegradable plastic straws and stirrers in any part of its business worldwide. The company says it believes small acts have a big impact and it has asked all its affiliates globally to ensure they are not used at any Pernod Ricard events in the future. Straws have been a mainstay of the drinks industry for decades. In its press release, Pernod Ricard says that a straw used on average for just 20 minutes can take more than 200 years to break down into smaller pieces and often does not fully disintegrate. Vanessa Wright, Group VP Sustainability & Responsibility for Pernod Ricard says the company’s values are intrinsically linked to social responsibility and care. “We know that this type of non-biodegradable plastic is having a detrimental impact on the environment and oceans, and for us it’s crucial that we play our role in helping to prevent any further damage.” Along with contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Pernod Ricard says it is committed to reducing its impact on the environment. The company’s 2020 Roadmap includes reducing its waste to landfills from 913 tons today to 0 by 2020.

Paper straws making a comeback?

ServiceIQ launches blended online learning SERVICEIQ HAS refreshed its hospitality products and is launching a mix of online and paper-based learning resources for schools. For years, ServiceIQ has provided schools with quality learning products that help students gain unit standards and kick-start a career in tourism, retail and the hospitality service industries. Until now, the products have been entirely on paper. But today there’s a demand for a blend of old and new technology: in a recent product survey with schools, over 50 per cent of hospitality teachers showed a preference for products that are a mix of online and paper. ‘Cookery Schools’ is the first product to launch in the new blended format and is a mix of online learning and print material.


ServiceIQ Chief Executive Dean Minchington says it’s designed to give hospitality teachers the best of both worlds. “It’s the same learning material teachers have always used, only now it has been brought to life in a more engaging, intuitive and flexible format for our schools. “We have developed online technology to enhance and deepen the learning experience for students. And we are continuing to provide printed assessments so that teachers can retain control over how and when students’ assessments are delivered. At the same time, we continue to apply the same high standards we’ve always used in developing products, to bringing that learning material alive through the digital channel.”

Among the blended product features, ServiceIQ has created videos, quizzes and has introduced a level of interactivity to enrich the learning experience that will be added to with subsequent upgrades and enhancements. The digital material can be projected in the classroom, and teachers and students can also access it on multiple formats online anytime anywhere.    The online learning resources are supplemented with a small amount of pre-printed and self-printed material that includes assessment forms, activity books, and tutor assessment and delivery guides.  ServiceIQ’s range of blended cookery products is available for teachers to order now for the 2018 academic year. FIND OUT MORE AT SERVICEIQ.ORG.NZ


Sláinte to St Patrick’s Day

Make mine an Old Fashioned, Alexa DIAGEO HAS released a new skill for Amazon’s Echo Show in the UK, designed to help consumers create cocktails at home. Called ‘The Bar’, it is based on the company’s website,, which launched in 2013. The Echo Show is the latest release in Amazon’s voice-controlled home assistant devices and is the first to feature a touch screen. It launched in the US in May last year, and the UK in mid-November. (Amazon has only just launched its Echo and Echo Dot devices in New Zealand and it’s not clear when, or whether, the Echo Show will join the line-up here.) Skills are interactive abilities that Alexa (the personal assistant progamme that runs the device) can use to do a wide range of tasks, and Amazon allows third party developers to create apps around their own products for Alexa, which help consumers tailor ‘her’ abilities to their personal preferences. In the case of Diageo’s skill, consumers can ask Alexa to open ‘The Bar’ and are presented with three different options. They can ‘Make a specific cocktail’ (where the user tells Alexa 18 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018

what they want to make and Alexa provides a recipe and guides them through preparing it), ‘Help me choose’ (Alexa suggests cocktails based on the consumer’s preferences), or ‘Learn techniques’ (Alexa helps consumers master mixology techniques such as muddling). ‘The Bar’ skill also allows consumers to send a shopping list of ingredients or a cocktail-making kit to the Alexa mobile app on their phone or directs them to purchase on Amazon. The skill is age-gated. The Alexa skill was developed in collaboration with Amazon and the digital product unit of global digital creative agency Isobar. Creative Director at Isobar, Daniël Sytsma, said the aim was to make the cocktail making process as seamless as possible for consumers. “This starts with offering the inspiration and recipes to make great tasting and looking cocktails but also the delivery of tools and ingredients through a direct commerce relationship. Simply tell Alexa what you’re missing and everything can be delivered to your home.”

BARS AND pubs can expect a boost thanks to the calendar this year with St Patrick’s Day 2018 falling on a weekend. Saturday March 17th will mark the anniversary of the death of Ireland’s foremost patron saint, St Patrick, who lived from AD385-461. Guinness says it expects around 13 million pints to be poured around the world on St Patrick’s Day. Here are some of the basics to know before you start pulling those pints on March 17th: • St Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the fourth century. He became a priest and travelled to Ireland where he was a Christian missionary and bishop and worked to convert the Irish from their pagan beliefs to Christianity. • He is famed for driving the ‘snakes’ out of Ireland. This is an allegorical reference to the pagan Irish druids. • St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the tiny island of Montserrat in the Caribbean. Known as the ‘Emerald Island’, Montserrat was settled by Irish refugees from Saint Kitts and Nevis in the 17th century. • St Patrick is said to be buried at Downpatrick, south of Belfast. • The toast in Irish Gaelic is ‘Sláinte!’, pronounced ‘SLAHN-cheh’. FOLLOW GUINNESS ON FACEBOOK (FACEBOOK.COM/GUINNESS.NZ) FOR UPDATES CLOSER TO THE EVENT.

LUXARDO again, ... and again ... This time at TASTINGS-Chicago, America’s oldest spirits competition. LUXARDO Fernet 89 Points Silver Medal LUXARDO Bitter Bianco 93 Points Gold Medal – Exceptional LUXARDO Amaro Abano 94 Points Gold Medal – Exceptional LUXARDO Bitter Rosso 96 Points Platinum Medal – Superlative 2017 Best Bitter Liquer

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021 44 95 96

French style with Saverglass High end luxury glassware is available in New Zealand through renowned French company Saverglass PREMIUM GLASS bottles for wines and spirits are a specialty of French company Saverglass, which has a passion for design and creation and is a world leader in the high end and luxury bottle markets. In New Zealand, Saverglass is represented by its wholly owned subsidiary Saverglass NZ Limited, which has been operating in New Zealand for 11 years, previously having been represented by distributors. The service levels and flexibility offered by this close relationship between the French producer and New Zealand distributor mean bottles arrive seamlessly and customers know they are dealing directly with the manufacturer. Each international subsidiary is an integral part of the organisation, and cooperation, resilience and initiative are the company’s passion – along with a pioneering spirit. The Saverglass Group was founded in 1897 and has its Head Office in the village of Feuquières in the significant glass-producing region of Picardy. In 1985, a strategic decision was made to hyper-specialise in the niche luxury bottle market, with flexible small series runs allowing an exceptional range of product. In 1991, a decoration plant was established to complement the highend services and to meet the demand for ever greater sophistication and personalisation in the premium spirit and fine wine, vintage champagne and perfume markets. With a strategic focus on decoration, expectations for 2018 and 2019 have been identified and divided into four major trends: the Contemporaries, Luxocrats, Pathfinders, and Solutionists. Visionary design options for each style have been developed for those who resonate with specific trends. Our goal with these designs to inspire curiosity, to provoke and surprise. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE RANGES AVAILABLE AT SAVERGLASS.COM OR CALL KAREN ON 09 522 2990.


Contemporaries Radical and analytical, these individuals relate positively to their urban universe. Very contemporary, there is a return to functional and practical design, finding beauty in the ordinary.

Luxocrats are optimistic and rebellious. They have positive future-oriented energy with a quest for excellence.

Cosmopolitan Pathfinders are playful and express excitement, love dramatic games and staging and exude a zest for life. They push the limits of good taste, verging on the absurd without fear and are innovative, flamboyant and diverse.

The Solutionists look to reconcile science and humans, to hybridise disciplines. Cohesive and experimental, they look ahead to new global territories where the notions of time and space merge and sustainable development and transparency are fundamental values.


25 years for Lawson’s Dry Hills MARLBOROUGH WINERY Lawson’s Dry Hills is marking 25 years since Ross and Barbara Lawson (pictured right) started selling wine under their own label. A quarter of a century on, the wines are some of New Zealand’s most awarded with numerous trophies and medals from all over the world. Chief Winemaker Marcus Wright, who has been with Lawson’s Dry Hills for 16 years, says it is the International Wine Challenge trophies that resonate the most. “It’s a real endorsement of what we are doing. The IWC in London is probably the most comprehensive wine stage in the world, so we were pretty chuffed with those.” The range of Lawson’s Dry

Hills wines includes Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Gewürztraminer, all made from grapes grown

on company-owned or managed vineyards in the Marlborough sub-regions of the Wairau, Waihopai, Omaka and Awatere Valleys.

To commemorate the occasion, Lawson’s Dry Hills is launching a special wine from the 2017 vintage. Named after the Māori verb meaning ‘to mix’, RANU is a co-fermentation of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The team says the wine fulfils their desire to be innovative while embracing the aromatic grape varieties for which they are famous. Today, Lawson’s Dry Hills exports its wines to more than 20 overseas locations as well as enjoying a thriving domestic market and handles each aspect of the business, from the vineyards through the winemaking process to bottling and distribution. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LAWSON’S DRY HILLS RANU ON PAGE 44.


Online tools to boost wine tourism A SET of interactive online learning tools to help the wine industry grow the value of their tourism businesses has launched, following new research that shows a quarter of all international tourists seek out a wine experience while in New Zealand. The tools were developed by New Zealand Winegrowers and Tourism New Zealand in conjunction with industry representatives and digital learning specialists. It follows figures from the latest International Visitor Survey by the

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment that show around 25% of international tourists to New Zealand visit a winery, cellar door or book vineyard accommodation. The six modules include topics such as leveraging digital marketing, improving service quality and harnessing the Chinese visitor market. “Research tells us that around 25% of all international visitors visited a vineyard or winery and that increases to 42% for those who visit to

cycle or golf. It’s a growing market that is ripe for the picking and we want to help industry get a share of that business by helping them better understand the opportunity,” says Andrew Fraser, Director of Marketing, Tourism New Zealand. “It’s about sharing information with industry about our international visitors, what they are looking for and what they expect from a great tourism experience.” The online tools are available to New Zealand Winegrowers members.

Total number of wine experiences in each region Northland: 25 Auckland: 90 Waikato/Bay of Plenty: 16 Gisborne: 14 Hawke’s Bay: 63 Wairarapa: 51 Nelson: 32 Marlborough: 68 Canterbury: 38 Central Otago: 65

© Imagecentral

Source: NZ Winegrowers

Seifried Estate announces new agents for US SEIFRIED ESTATE has announced that from January 1st 2018 its premium Seifried range and Old Coach Road wines will be imported into the US by AWDirect based in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and represented by 22 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018

Blue Ventures Wine Marketing (BVWM) as National Sales and Marketing agents. The family-owned business is the longest established and largest winery in the Nelson region. Anna Seifried, daughter of company founders Hermann and Agnes, said the appointment is a fantastic opportunity to make an impact in the growing US wine market. “We are thrilled to work alongside the inspiring and talented teams at AWDirect and Blue Ventures,

and look forward to growing the United States market even further. The experience, knowledge and network that these new relationships bring to our business is exceptional, and we’re excited to be included in their portfolios.” BVWM is a fully integrated sales and marketing agency working across the US, and focuses on family-owned wineries competing in the premium and ultra-premium market segment.

Frozen delights for summer TEMPERATURES ARE soaring this summer and the crowds are clamouring for drinks to cool down with – make sure your business can offer delicious frozen slushies and cocktails with help from Kiwi company Zexx, which offers cost-effective, efficient frozen drinkmaking solutions. When things got hot courtside at the ASB Classic in Auckland over January, it was Zexx’s machines creating Mojitos, Strawberry Daiquiris and Pina Coladas to keep the tennis fans happy. Zexx provides locally made beverage products and Italian dispensing machinery to more than 250 sites around New Zealand and overseas, across retail hospitality, party and event catering. Zexx has two core ranges – Triple 3 is a full-fruit, no preservative, 7% ABV

slushy mix, while Fruzo Supreme is 99% fruit juice with no added sugar. Both are supplied in concentrate form as an all-inclusive liquid to reduce onsite preparation time. The Triple 3 machine is ideal for easily creating slushies and other frozen drinks, including the trend for those made with Rosé wine. Zexx Managing

Director, Derek Sampson, says the options are endless. “Our machines can slush any sort of alcohol, which opens up a world of possibilities for bar staff to get creative with value added products.” The Zexx granita (slushy) machines pour product to a standard consistency every time, and Zexx even takes care of maintenance. Zexx is a trusted partner for major restaurant chains Cobb & Co and Mexicali Fresh. Its Fruzo range was used to refresh Cobb & Co’s kids’ drinks menu, while Mexicali Fresh teamed up with Zexx nine years ago to create its popular signature Margarita. FIND OUT HOW TO ADD ZEXX’S QUALITY FROZEN DRINKS RANGE TO YOUR LINE-UP. CONTACT ZEXX ON 0800 556 022 OR VISIT ZEXXNZ.CO.NZ


Contact us now to find out how easy it is

0800 556 022


Numbers of note

Figures that piqued our interest as we head into 2018…



The number of international tourists to New Zealand who seek out a “wine experience” by visiting a vineyard or winery1.


The growth in US visitor arrival numbers to New Zealand in the year ended September 20171. US visitors also spent a total $1.2 billion in that period. US visitor arrivals have increased strongly since direct flights began between Auckland and Houston at the end of 2015. Australian visitors remain the largest international market for tourism spending in New Zealand, totalling $2.6 billion in the year ended September 2017. The next largest market was Chinese visitors who spent $1.4 billion.

200+ million

Total litres of New Zealand wine exported to the “big three” markets (Australia, the UK and USA) in 2017 for the first time ever3.


The price of the world’s only nine litre crystal decanter of LOUIS XIII cognac, known as the LOUIS XIII Le Salmanazar. Crafted by renowned crystal makers Baccarat, it is believed to be the largest crystal cognac decanter in the world and required 20 master crystal-craftsmen to handle over 15 kilos of crystal. It is presented in a display chest with eight crystal glasses housed in a dedicated case, a serving platter and a specially designed spear for sampling and serving. The LOUIS XIII Le Salmanazar is available only at the LOUIS XIII Boutique in Beijing. 


The number of leading trend drivers affecting the global beverage alcohol industry for 2018 as predicted by Radius, the IWSR’s global innovation database4 .

1. Unfiltered

Far from being a flaw, ‘cloudiness’ is beginning to denote not just flavour, but a more natural, less tampered with product. When a trailblazing Scottish craft brewer announced the launch of its inaugural spirits range (BrewDog’s Lone Wolf Distillery), comprising of both a vodka and a gin, it was adamant the later was to be unfiltered. Why? Because this “means that all of the flavour and spirit complexity remains”, it said. Notably, the liquid even louches (creates a cloudy effect) on contact with ice and water, as “removing flavour in the pursuit of vanity makes no sense”. While clarity was once seen as a chief sign of quality, brewers are increasingly marketing beers as unfiltered, communicating to drinkers that the beer is rawer and more flavourful and authentic. And with all of those things being key consumer drivers, we expect an increasing number of players in the ‘unfiltered’ space, most notably when it comes to spirits.

2. Moderation

With young people shunning alcohol in ever-growing numbers, the impact of a generation of moderate drinkers is having a distinct influence on the type of products being launched. It would be hard to ignore the impact of Diageo-backed non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ Seedlip since its 2015 launch. But one resulting trend we’ve recently witnessed is that for Shim cocktails, whereby higher-ABV spirits such as gin and vodka are switched out for lower-ABV alternatives such as sherry, port and vermouth. The sherry-and-tonic and port-andtonic serves are widely tipped to increase in popularity, as fortified wines as a whole are being ‘discovered’ by a new, younger generation. With consumers increasingly unwilling to consume calories or alcohol for products they deem ‘not worth it’, we see an increasing need for premium players in this space.

3. Sparkling

Consumers are becoming ever-more knowledgeable and curious as to what goes into the drinks they consume. There are signs that many are beginning to approach them in the same way they do food; seeking out calorie counts, ingredients and sourcing information. In this simplicity, nothing-added, low-sugar driven market, one of the areas that drinks makers can explore, without compromising on any of these concerns, is texture.

Sparkling therefore – with its premium connotations – is ripe to become a greater area of exploration. From sparkling gins to bartenders adding carbonation to cocktails, we predict that adding fizz to traditionally flat drinks will become a greater area of exploration.

4. Cannabis

Though the full legalisation of marijuana is a long way from being achieved, there’s no doubt that it is already shaping the drinks world. Though cannabis-flavoured and infused products are nothing new, Constellation’s recent investment in Canadian medical marijuana company Canopy Growth, is the surest sign yet that the trend is about to go mainstream. This puts the drinks giant in a good position should national legalisation in the US occur – something that seems increasingly likely. (Currently states such as Colorado, Nevada and California have legalised the drug, and other states look likely to follow in 2018.)

5. Colour

From the ‘unicorn’ trend to the rise of colour-changing gins, 2017 was dominated by the colour of the food and drink we consume, and the environments we drink it in. Why? The simplest and most obvious answer is social media. With most people permanently carrying a high-quality camera, and Instagram growing in both reach and influence, we’ve arguably never lived in a more visual culture. But colour can be both frivolous and significant and its considered use looks set to dominate the year ahead. If 2017 has proved anything, it’s that colour has both power and social currency. The exact shade isn’t crucial; what is, is an understanding by brands that colour is both an easy shortcut when it comes to reaching a desired consumer base, but that it will become ever-more central to ultimate success.

6. Waste

Though there have been attempts by the drinks industry to be more environmentally aware in recent years – usually through a focus on packaging – the pressure to cut back on waste is growing. It would be an overstatement to say that waste has dominated the drinks landscape of late, but it’s increasingly informing the conversations we have. And there’s perhaps no market force that has the potential to alter both what we consume and how we consume it as drastically. With news headlines now frequently highlighting issues such as the plastics in our oceans and the predicted global food shortage, pressure from consumers to be more environmentally aware will only grow. It’s up to drinks makers to find innovative new solutions. DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018 25


New Zealand’s position in the growth forecast for the top six wine import market leaders to the US over the next five years2. A new report from Vinexpo estimates that New Zealand will be a “standout performer” with the highest forecast growth, estimated at 9.9%, in terms of imports to the US through to 2021. The Vinexpo data for 2016 also reveals that the US – at nearly US$34bn total value in still and sparkling wines – remains the leader in global value and is expected to lead world wine volume growth in 2017 for the 23rd consecutive year when final outcomes are revealed later this year. By contrast, the wine markets of Europe’s heavyweights – France, Germany and Italy – declined in value and volume in 2016, continuing a long-running trend. Vinexpo says that consumption is forecast to continue to grow to 2021, at a CAGR (Compound annual growth rate) of 1%. Both local and imported wines will grow. • Italy (25.5 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: -1%) • Australia (15.7 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: -1.4%) • France (10.4 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: +2.8%) • Chile (6.8 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: +0.5 %) • Argentina (6.1 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: +0.5 %) • New Zealand (5.2 million 9-litre cases imported in 2016. CAGR 2016-2021: +9.9 %) Sparkling wine is forecast to grow by on average 2% year-on-year to 2021, driven predominantly by North America. In Europe, the world’s largest regional consumer of sparkling wines, the outlook is also generally positive. Even though the UK (the world’s largest sparkling wine importer) is expected to develop strongly, it will nonetheless be supplanted by the US as the world’s most important export destination by 2021. Prosecco is expected to grow most in the US, and in so doing the US is forecast to become the category’s second largest export destination, behind the UK.

The number of New Zealand regions benefiting from the Kiwi wine industry’s global success3. The 2017 Wine Industry Benchmarking and Insights survey report, Ripening Opportunities, was released in December by Deloitte and ANZ Bank. It tracked the financial results of 45 survey participants accounting for 56% of the industry by litres of wine produced, and 41% by export sales revenue generated. The report found that while the production base remains very much Marlborough-centric, the contribution to regional communities across New Zealand via wineries, cellar doors, and growing operations is spread across ten regions. ANZ Commercial & Agri General Manager John Bennett says the report highlights the wine industry’s diverse contribution to regional communities across New Zealand. “The synergistic relationship between the wine and tourism industries is especially exciting and rapidly evolving. Wine tourism – both domestic and international – remains a key growth market for Kiwi wineries and is particularly accessible to smaller producers. And the tourism outlook is bright on a number of fronts including airline arrivals and spend, notably with China becoming our most important tourist market.”

Number of winery cellar doors across New Zealand3.

The world’s first organic single pot still Irish whisky created by Walsh Whisky. In a video uploaded to YouTube in late January, Walsh Whisky founder Bernard Walsh announced the new whisky, which he said is a first for the distillery and for Ireland. It will be released under the distillery’s Writers’ Tears label in around five years.


The ABV of the new non-alcoholic lager Guinness launched early 2018. ‘Open Gate Pure Brew’ was rolled out in 330ml bottles to 250 Dublin pubs in January, with a national launch planned for March. Guinness says it’s been working on the fully fermented non-alcoholic lager for two years at its experimental brewery at St James’ Gate in Dublin. It describes the new brew as: “…a full-flavoured, crisp golden lager with a fruity, hoppy taste...for all occasions!”

References: 1 International Visitor Survey - year ended 2017, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 2 3 Deloitte and ANZ (December, 2017) Ripening Opportunities - 2017 Wine Industry Benchmarking and Insights survey report. Retrieved from 4 IWSR Global E-news December 2017/January 2018 26 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018

RAISE YOUR GLASSES, LET’S TOAST TRADITION AND THE LATEST DRINKS INTERNATIONAL SURVEY RESULTS The results are in, and as East Imperial continue to take their super-premium mixers further around the globe, they continue to leave a lasting impression with the world’s leading bartenders and the best bars in the world. 2018 sees East Imperial once again acknowledged as the 2nd Top Trending Tonic brand globally.* An Incredible result for the young brand with big ambitions. Also, climbing a further 2 places to become the 3rd Best Selling Tonic Brand. Find out why the world’s best are pouring East Imperial and switching to the authentic and traditional choice of mixers. Contact your Hancocks Representative today or visit our website



*Methodology: Drink International looks to gauge the buying habits of the best bars in the world by conducting an annual survey of their owners, head bartenders, and bar managers. The bars that took part – which are referred to as the best bars in the world – are a sample of 108 bars that finished in the top 250 places of the World’s 50 Best Bars. As well as a survey of 476 global bar experts. In each instance, they are asked to rank their three best-selling products in each category, giving an indication of the brands that are selling best.

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Taking Sauvignon to new dimensions

Sauvignon Blanc rules the national vineyard, winery production and exports – Joelle Thomson looks at what’s available locally


UNDER $20 2016 Matua Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $13.99

2017 Forbidden Vines Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $16.99

All stories about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc should begin with Matua Valley Wines, whose original founders – Ross and Bill Spence – were the first to cultivate Sauvignon and produce it on a commercial scale in this country. Their initial Sauvignon vines were in West Auckland, but we now know that Marlborough has proven itself to be the country’s most promising region for this grape and it is home to this dry but overtly fruity and fresh white. It drinks well now and represents great value. 16.5/20

Forbidden Vines is a new label launch from Babich Wines and also includes a Pinot Noir Rosé. The bold packaging hints at the intensity that Sauvignon lovers can expect from this wine for everyday drinking, especially when it’s made from Marlborough grapes, as this newcomer is. 16.5/20


2017 Mission Estate Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $16 Mission Estate is New Zealand’s oldest continuously working winery and has one of the country’s most spectacular vistas from the elevated deck of its restaurant area in Taradale, Hawke’s Bay – a great place to drink refreshingly crisp Sauvignon Blanc. This one is made with grapes grown in Marlborough and it’s a lively, refreshing dry white with a medium body and finish. 16.5/20 MISSION ESTATE


2016 Villa Maria Organic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $17

2017 The Ned Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $17.99

Villa Maria’s organically certified wines are excellent value for money because compliance with independent certification bodies carries a high financial cost, which is clearly not passed on to the customer in wines such as this zesty fresh, delightful everyday white. 17.5/20

Famously built by winemaker Brent Marris, The Ned is one of New Zealand’s best known wine brands today. It has intense flavours with a light touch. It is zesty and succulent, driving the wine to a long, complex finish. Extremely good value for money. 17.5/20



2017 Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc RRP $17.29

2017 Babich Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $19.95

A light body and lower than usual alcohol are the key characters of this Sauvignon, made from grapes grown in Rapaura; one of Marlborough’s sub-regions in the Wairau Valley. The wine contains an average of 25% less alcohol compared with other Stoneleigh wines. Zesty green flavours make it a good wine match with salads and seafood. 16/20

Babich Wines is one of New Zealand’s most iconic wineries, having been founded a century ago and remains in family hands today. This is unusual for a large Kiwi company. It was also one of the first to plant grapes in Marlborough and forge ahead with vibrant, zesty, fruitdriven styles of wine, such as this, which offers excellent value for money. 17.5/20



Babich Wines is one of New Zealand’s most iconic wineries, having been founded a century ago and remains in family hands today. It was also one of the first to plant grapes in Marlborough and forge ahead with vibrant, zesty, fruit-driven styles of wine.



Leefield Station is the newest brand from one of Marlborough’s most experienced winemakers, Brent Marris, who added it to his portfolio when he planted a vast new vineyard in Marlborough.

2017 Church Road Hawke’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $19.95 Hawke’s Bay’s moderate climate provides grapes with softer acidity and more stonefruit flavours than their southern counterparts, which adds diversity to the massive Sauvignon Blanc category in this country. Church Road Sauvignon is one of my favourites, thanks to grapes grown on three different vineyards: the cooler Matapiro Vineyard and the Redstone and Omarunui vineyards, which are warmer. The flavours are softer, riper, rounder and fuller-bodied than many Sauvignons, thanks to great vineyards and winemaking from Chris Scott. 18.5/20 PERNOD RICARD

2017 Leefield Station Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $19.99 This is the newest brand from one of Marlborough’s most experienced winemakers, Brent Marris, who added Leefield Station to his portfolio when he planted a vast new vineyard in Marlborough. It offers excellent value for money with vibrant Sauvignon Blanc fruit-forward flavours, which highlight the outstanding sunny days and cool nights of the South Island, along with ripe tropical fruit flavours and a long, crisp finish. 18.5/20 MARISCO

Sauvignon Blanc – the numbers • Sauvignon Blanc is the most planted grape in New Zealand, with 22,085 hectares of it in vineyards nationwide. It also makes up 76% of the white grapes grown here. • As New Zealand’s biggest wine region, Marlborough has 67.7% of the country’s planted vineyards, 85% of which is Sauvignon Blanc. • Sauvignon Blanc is one of the top three grapes in Hawke’s Bay, which is the country’s second biggest vineyard area. • There has been a 2% increase in Sauvignon Blanc vines planted in New Zealand over the past 12 months. • Sauvignon Blanc has had the biggest growth of all grape varieties in New Zealand over the last 10 years. • In 2008 there were 13,988 producing hectares of Sauvignon planted nationwide. Today, there are 22,085. (In comparison, over the same period Pinot Noir grew from 4,650 hectares in 2008 to 5,653 today; Chardonnay decreased from 3,881 to 3,203 and Pinot Gris grew from 1,383 to 2,469.)



FROM $20 TO $30 2017 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough  RRP $20.95 Craggy Range is one of Hawke’s Bay’s top wineries for quality, profile and wow factor and, although based in the Bay, its winemakers source grapes from other regions for wines such as this vibrant, piercingly fresh Marlborough Sauvignon. Flavours are a intense combination of luscious passionfruit, ripe peach and grapefruit with subtle spicy notes adding complexity. 17.5/20 VINTNERS NZ

2017 Waipara Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $21.99 This wine is made with grapes from Marlborough, mostly grown in the Awatere Valley, which has a longer and cooler growing season than the region’s Wairau Valley. This provides a lean and tight acid structure to this wine, supporting its tropical fruit flavours with freshness and backbone and a long finish. 17.5/20 HANCOCKS

The Bourgeois family of Clos Henri still make outstanding Sauvignon Blanc in Sancerre in France’s Loire Valley, as well as in Marlborough.

2016 Petit Clos by Clos Henri Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $22 This is an amazing wine at any price from the Bourgeois family who still make outstanding Sauvignon Blanc in Sancerre in France’s Loire Valley, as well as in Marlborough. It has a medium body, creamy nuances and a long finish. They clearly have the Midas touch in their top wines, but to deliver such beauty in the glass in their lowest priced wines speaks volumes. 18.5/20 MAISON VAURON

2017 Stoneleigh Latitude Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $22.59 This wine is a noticeable step up from many Marlborough Sauvignons and is made with grapes grown on land that Marlborough winemakers fondly call their “golden mile”: a strip characterised by stony ground, which soaks up and retains the heat of the sun, aiding ripening. The flavours in this top shelf Stoneleigh Sauvignon are all about ripeness, with rich passionfruit, red apples and ripe grapefruit flavours. 16.5/20 PERNOD RICARD


2017 The King’s Favour Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $22.99 Fresh, zingy and flavoursome, this wine is made with grapes grown in Marlborough’s Waihopai Valley, which has warm sunny days and cool crisp nights, elongating the ripening season for the grapes, enabling them to develop intense and complex flavours. 18.5/20 MARISCO

2015 Astrolabe Kekerengu Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $24-$29 The Kekerengu Vineyard in Marlborough is special to winemaker Simon Waghorn, who enjoys harvesting the grapes from here long after he has picked most of his others from the region. This coastal vineyard site has a longer season than other areas, which translates to this wine’s zesty freshness and green fruit aromas, creamy mouth feel and long finish. The softness is derived from the barrel fermentation of 15% of the wine in old oak puncheons. 17.5/20 ASTROLABE WINES


2017 Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, Te Muna Road Martinborough  RRP $24.95

2017 Brancott Estate Letter Series B Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $26.49

Te Muna Road is nine kilometres east of the Martinborough township and home to an increasing number of vineyards, including Craggy’s large terraced one, where the grapes in this wine are grown. The growing season at Te Muna is longer than in the rest of Martinborough (cooler nights equal longer ripening) and the wines have more complex fruit, herb and spice flavours as a result. This is a great white from a little known corner of the North Island. 18.5/20

This wine was launched originally as part of Montana Wines’ ‘Letter Series’, which was the company’s flagship range of wines; in this case, the Sauvignon is bone dry and full-bodied, thanks to nearly half of the wine (40%, usually) being fermented in large French oak puncheons. This tames Sauvignon Blanc’s flavoursome stamp of tropical fruit, without erasing the appealing passionfruit, white peach and guava tangy taste. It has a creamy long finish. A stellar wine. 18.5/20


2017 Babich Family Estates Headwaters Organic Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $24.95 Organic status holds great appeal for many consumable products today and it’s backed up here with certification from BioGro New Zealand. This youthful white has great flavours of zesty grapefruit and intense passionfruit with a long finish. 18.5/20

2017 Whitehaven GREG Sauvignon Blanc 

RRP $28.99

This is a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc made with grapes grown in the cool, crisp climate of the Awatere Valley on a north facing slope, which intensifies the sunshine to late into the day. There’s an interesting softness to this wine, derived from a small portion of oak fermentation that provides a savoury smoothness and full body. It’s a big step-up wine from one of Marlborough’s longest established producers. 18.5/20 PLATEAU GROUP


2016 Villa Maria Reserve Clifford Bay Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $28 Clifford Bay is where the Awatere River pours into the sea and as part of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley it brings zesty high acidity and intense succulence to this lovely dry white with its flavours of fresh herbs, green apples and passionfruit. 18.5/20 VILLA MARIA


The winemaking team at Pegasus Bay are a bunch of dab hands when it comes to making complex, dry, full bodied whites from the classic Bordeaux combo of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

$30 and above 2015 Pegasus Bay Sauvignon Semillon 

RRP $32-$33

The winemaking team at Pegasus Bay are a bunch of dab hands when it comes to making complex, dry, full-bodied whites from the classic Bordeaux combo of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Fermentation in old oak for a proportion of both grapes adds a softening effect to their individual hallmark flavours of high acidity, while also adding creaminess; something the winemakers have dialled up in this cracker of a wine, which ages superbly too, for up to 10 years. 19/20 EUROVINTAGE



Marlborough snapshot 2016 Babich Winemakers’ Reserve 2015 Greywacke Wild Sauvignon Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $34.95      RRP $37-40 The word ‘Reserve’ can mean many things in a wine, in this case it refers to the subtle use of oak fermentation that a minor portion of this wine receives; it may be minor but the impact on taste is major. It adds weight and body, enhancing texture in the mouth, thanks to the savoury flavour notes and gentle softening effect. This wine is long on flavour and full-bodied – a real bells and whistles dry southern white. 18.5/20 EUROVINTAGE

2015 Nautilus The Paper Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $34-$40 This bone dry Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough winery Nautilus was fermented in French oak, which enhances its body and rich flavours, adding creamy complex notes and a long finish. 17.5/20 NEGOCIANTS

2016 Dog Point Section 94  RRP $37-$39 This wine from specialist Marlborough wine producer Dog Point is 100% fermented in French oak, a costly exercise that turns up the volume on complexity, X-factor and deliciousness in this fullbodied, bone dry white. Best of all, it ages superbly too – history confirms up to and beyond 10 years. 19/20 RED + WHITE


This iconic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc was first made in 2009 and the winemaking has remained consistent ever since, says winemaker Kevin Judd, who tweaks winemaking in response to the vintage. The wine is 100% barrel fermented (only 10% of the barrels are new, so that wood flavour is not the prime focus here). He uses 100% wild yeast and puts about two thirds of the wine through malolactic fermentation to soften the acidity. The wine then ages in barrel for nearly a year. This is a statement wine with a full body, powerful aromas and pungent rich flavours with a long, juicy finish. 19/20 NEGOCIANTS

Giesen Marlborough The August 1888 Sauvignon Blanc  RRP $44 The August Sauvignon Blanc from Giesen in Marlborough has more creamy bells and full-bodied whistles than you would expect to find in a Chardonnay at this price, let alone a fresh, dry, full-bodied, fruit-forward Sauvignon Blanc. But this wine rocks a different vibe of intense fruit flavours, buttery complexity and a lingering, flavoursome finish - it’s a delicious surprise from the first sip. 17.5/20

• 85% of Marlborough’s wine production is Sauvignon Blanc • 3 sub regions are planted in Sauvignon Blanc grapes • 45% of grapes grown in the Wairau Valley • 25% of grapes grown in the Southern valleys • 30% of grapes grown in the Awatere Valley

2015 Brancott Dror Sauvignon  RRP $60 Brancott Dror Sauvignon was launched alongside the stunning eight metre tall Dror metal sculpture in the centre of Marlborough at the Brancott Vineyard late last year. The wine is structured (if you’ll excuse the slight pun) like a great white: big and powerful but linear and fresh. It’s an interesting blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris (not, despite its name, a blend of two grapes but one little known variety all of its own). This is pricey but top bars and restaurants should beat a path to the few bottles produced. 19/20 PERNOD RICARD


For distributor details see Distributor Index page 72






Joelle Thomson Journalist, wine writer and author

Best in show A low priced white wine was the shining star at the latest New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition. Joelle Thomson gives her view from the judges’ bench.

WHEN THE weather gets hot, the wine of choice is white, which is just as well really, given that New Zealand’s strongest vinous suit is white wine. Give or take the odd radical exception, our small and relatively remote maritime nation is aptly known as the ‘land of the long white cloud’ because rainfall is, usually, in plentiful supply. This means our winemakers are forced to play to their strengths and plant their vineyards mostly with white grapes that ripen prior to late summer and early autumn rain, hail or cool temperatures. The hot days and cool nights in this country give white wines a relatively long time to ripen and develop powerful aromatic flavours. The strength of our white wines stood out loud and clear at the latest New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition, held late last year and at which I was one of the judges. It was an interesting and revealing line-up of wines, dominated by whites and a smattering of pinks (Rosé) but, surprisingly, one of the lowest priced wines was the overall winner of Best Wine in Show. The chair of the competition is the enormously experienced wine judge, Jim Harre, who introduced the international 100-point judging system last year, and who says the style of wines winning is heartening. The Best in Show was the humbly priced ($16.99) Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling 2016, which Harre describes as “enormously encouraging” as it highlights everything that New Zealand does so easily with white wines. “I think one of the things we’re seeing across the board in New Zealand wine shows right now is

very high quality fruit coming through in styles like Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and other aromatics, which are not relying on expensive oak or expensive processes in winemaking.” Harre says the high quality in New Zealand white wines is across the board, from Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc to Gewürztraminer and Chenin Blanc (which is sadly in decline due to market perception). There has been a move away from international entries in the New Zealand Aro-

matic Wine Competition and Harre sees this as a generally positive aspect of the show. “Aromatic wine styles in this country certainly don’t get the level of support from wine drinkers that they should. We in the wine industry love the spectrum of the Riesling grape, for instance, and the reason the aromatics show so strongly is because there’s so little done to the wines, in terms of winemaking complexity. These beautiful flavours don’t need any artifice in order to shine.”

The winners – 2017 New Zealand Aromatic Wine Competition Beck & Caul Supreme Champion Wine of the Show

Champion Riesling Trophy Winner

2016 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling

2016 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling 2016

Champion Sauvignon Blanc Winner

MacVine Champion Canterbury Wine

2017 Villa Maria Reserve Wairau Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2017

2016 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling 2016

Champion Pinot Gris Winner

Champion Canterbury Rosé Winner

2017 Summerhouse Pinot Gris

Champion Rosé Winner 2017 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Rosé

Champion Gewürztraminer Winner 2017 Saint Clair Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum Gewürztraminer

2017 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Rosé 2017

Champion Riesling Trophy Winner 2016 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Riesling

Champion Sweet Winner

Champion Other Aromatic Varieties Winner

2015 Tohu Raiha Reserve Noble Riesling 2015

2016 Left Field Gisborne Albariño

Winemaker of the Year 2017 Michael Wood, Obsidian Vineyard


“The Matua Chill Check label is all about using innovation to showcase the flavour, freshness and drinkability of our wines.”

– Chris Darling, Matua Senior Winemaker

Matua launches Chill Check labels Matua, the first producer of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, is using innovative thermographic label technology to bring the symbol of Matua’s story to life when a wine is chilled at its optimal drinking temperature. TO MAKE it easy to identify when a Matua Regional Series white wine is as crisp and aromatic as its winemaker intended it to be, the new Matua Chill Check label activates the appearance of a snowflake and the colour changing of a large Matua Ta Moko on the front label, when the wine is chilled to perfection. “The Matua Chill Check label is all about using innovation to showcase the flavour, freshness and drinkability of our wines. We wanted to make it simple for people to recognise the best temperature to enjoy their wine - a key component for showcasing the quality encased within the bottle,” says Matua Senior Winemaker Chris Darling. The Matua winemaking team conducted extensive trials in the winery to determine the


optimal drinking temperature for each Matua Regional Series white wine. The Matua Sauvignon Blanc, for example, is best suited to a colder temperature of 7 degrees to showcase the aromatic, punchy characters, compared to the smoother characters of the Chardonnay being most enhanced at 10 degrees, and the Pinot Gris best served in the middle at 8 degrees. “New Zealand wines, in particular Sauvignon Blanc, are renowned for their freshness and vibrancy. As pioneers of the variety, it made sense for us to use technology at Matua to maximise their enjoyment,” Chris said. The thermo inks used in each Matua Chill Check label differ depending on the variety, activating the snowflake and Ta Moko at different tempera-

tures. While at room temperature, the label is very similar to what consumers are used to. Matua was granted its own Ta Moko, representing the Matua story, by local iwi elders; from its leadership in producing Sauvignon Blanc, to the winery’s respect for the New Zealand landscape, its pioneering spirit and determination. The winery heads into 2018 after a successful few years on the world stage. Named ‘New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year’ at the 2016 International Wine and Spirit Competition, the Matua Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc went on to achieve Double Gold at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition and was awarded 90 points by Wine Spectator magazine for the 2016 vintage. Wines featuring the new Matua Chill Check label can be found in-store from February 2018.

, What s on THE

outside counts, too. Our new chill check label appears when the wine is perfectly chilled for ultimate enjoyment.


New zealand wine producer of the year international wine & spirit competition 2016


Best of the bunch

Surf the wave of top new wines during the summer months as chosen by Joelle Thomson

01Spy’s top drop 

RRP $32

2016 Spy Valley Envoy Dry Riesling Johnson Vineyard It’s not exactly a one-off, but the 2016 Envoy Riesling is a rarity nonetheless: it’s just the fourth time this bone dry Riesling has been made from the Johnson Vineyard in the Waihopai Valley, Marlborough. The first was in 2006, then 2013 and 2014. It’s made from grapes grown on a free-draining site where stony soils mix with clay on a slight elevation, which provides vines with intense sunshine and, in good years, enhances even ripening and intensely aromatic expression. Winemakers Paul Bourgeois and Richelle Collier use hand-picked grapes, press them to stainless tanks and then into oak vessels for fermentation where the wines mature on lees, gaining softness and a full body. The oak is mature rather than brand new, so it doesn’t leave a flavour imprint of its own, instead working its softening magic on the wine. A great white to serve by the glass with fresh summer salads. 19/20 RED + WHITE


Pedal to the Redmetal 

RRP $21

2016 Redmetal Vineyards Hawke’s Bay Block Five Albariño Hawke’s Bay winemaker Grant Edmonds is having great success with his experimental Albariño – the northern Spanish white grape that’s doing pretty darned well in New Zealand right now, thanks to its thick skins, high acidity and fresh green herb flavours; all of which are hallmarks of whites to which Kiwis can readily relate. This is a dry white with juicy, succulent ripe flavours of yellow fruit, and fresh nutty flavours of macadamias and hazelnuts. It has a long finish and drinks well now, lightly chilled. 17.5/20 RED + WHITE

03Babich big red

05Best bubbly

2015 Babich The Patriarch

Champagne Gatinois Aÿ Grand Cru NV

2017 marked the 100th year of continuous winemaking at Babich Wines in West Auckland and the winery has long since expanded its grape source to include a vast amount of white grapes from Marlborough and reds from Hawke’s Bay, which is home to the three-way blend in this full-bodied beauty from the excellent 2015 vintage. The blend here is Cabernet Sauvignon 51%, Merlot 27% and Malbec 22%. It’s an interesting mix because there’s precious little Malbec grown in New Zealand but it adds depth of colour and flavour to this intense, dry, dark ruby wine, which is power packed with ripe fruit aromas, drinks exceptionally well right now and has the potential to age for up to a decade, possibly beyond, in a cool dark cellar. It has a cork closure. 18.5/20 EUROVINTAGE


For distributor details see Distributor Index page 72

Sacred’s 04 sensational Syrah RRP $49.99

2015 Sacred Hill Deerstalkers Syrah Hawke’s Bay This wine is one of the top Hawke’s Bay reds of 2015 and, compared with many others, represents outstanding value for money because it drinks beautifully now with its rich dark fruit and spice flavours and full body, and can age well, too. A big red, it is made entirely of grapes grown on the Gimblett Gravels and is dry, full-bodied and has a long, long finish. An outstanding wine. This wine has a cork closure. 18.5/20

RRP $67.99

This tastes like Bollinger’s little sibling, thanks to the fact that the father-son team who make it also happen to sell half their grapes to Bollinger and other top champagne producers. Gatinois comes from the village of Aÿ (pronounced “Eyeee”) and it tastes toasty, full-bodied, dry and long on flavour, thanks to 90% Pinot Noir, which provides its savoury toasty notes, and 10% Chardonnay. It spends three years bottle ageing before disgorgement of the yeast sediment, which also enhances the depth of flavour and full-bodied style. A total winner. 19/20

Envoy Riesling is a rarity as it’s just the fourth time this bone dry Riesling has been made from the Johnson Vineyard in the Waihopai Valley


RRP $59.99


Bayer NZ Young Viticulturists forging paths in wine world PLANNING IS underway for the 2018 Bayer New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition, which has created many leaders in the wine world since its inception in 2006. The annual competition aims to nurture the future leaders of the wine industry by bringing them together to network and test the huge range of skills and knowledge involved with producing top quality grapes in the vineyard. It is a tough competition

and widely regarded as a prestigious title to win. Competition National Cordinator Nicky Grandorge says the competition highlights the best and brightest. “The future looks

2006 – Marcus Wickham Owner of Klima, designing and exporting high-tech pruning machines and trellising systems 2007 – Emma Taylor Nursery Viticulturist for Villa Maria and involved with vine research trials 2008 – Simon Bishell Owner, Caythorpe Estate, Marlborough 2009 – Caine Thompson Winery President, Rabble Wines, California 2010 – Stuart Dudley South Island Regional Viticulturist at Villa Maria, and deputy chair of the Wine Marlborough board 2011 – Nick Paulin Newly arrived at AONZ Fine Wine Estates, as Estate Manager of Lowburn Ferry in Central Otago.

good for the New Zealand wine industry as these passionate, highly skilled, well connected viticulturists come through and make their contribution towards producing the high quality, interesting wines for which New Zealand is so highly regarded.” The twelve previous winners of the Bayer NZ Young Viticulturist of the Year have gone on to achieve great things in the wine world. Here’s where they are today:

2012 – Braden Crosby Has bought his own vineyard and in 2017 launched his new wine - On Giants’ Shoulders 2013 – Matt Fox Establshed his own Viticulture and Winemaking consultancy, FVO, based in Marlborough 2014 – Paul Robinson Villa Maria, Hawke’s Bay and now Vineyard Manager for their Te Awa and Joseph Soler Estates 2015 – Caleb Dennis Company Viticulturist for AONZ Fine Wines, a new countrywide venture launched by Steve Smith MW and Brian Sheth. 2016 – Cameron Price Villa Maria, Vineyard Manager for their Gimblett Gravels vineyards 2017 – Tim Adams Vineyard Manager, Obsidian, Waiheke Island


Texture and spice from Waipara Hills THE LATEST Pinot Gris from Waipara Hills has the texture, spice and concentrated flavours characteristic of the region. Waipara Hills winemaker Andrew Brown said the fruit for the 2017 Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Gris was sourced from the Home Block and Deans vineyards in the Waipara Valley, which are graced with deep, free draining Glasnevin gravels. “These soils have great minerality, which enhances the rich and spicy characters of this Pinot Gris.”  The wine has aromas of crisp red apple, quince, and a hint of nougat. “The apple, pear and nougat flow nicely through the palate, finishing with a touch of ginger and crisp acidity,” said Brown. This Pinot Gris is best served lightly chilled, and is ideally matched with slightly spiced Asian dishes. RRP $21.90  HANCOCKS 42 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018



200 years for Veuve Clicquot Rosé

Lawson’s mixes it up with new release RANU

CHAMPAGNE HOUSE Veuve Clicquot is marking 200 years since Madame Clicquot created the very first blended Rosé champagne in 1818. Breaking from the accepted practice of using elderberrybased preparation, she instead blended in some of her fine reds with the classic Yellow Label champagne. The result was the world’s first blended Rosé: the Veuve Clicquot Rosé. Today, the cuvée is based on Yellow Label’s traditional blend (50 to 55% Pinot Noir, 15 to 20 % Meunier, 28 to 33% Chardonnay) and the blend is then completed with 12% of still red wine using red grapes. The wine is then aged three years in cellars before being released. Veuve Clicquot Rosé RRP $99.

TO COMMEMORATE 25 years of the Lawson’s Dry Hills brand, the company has launched a special wine from its 2017 vintage. Named after the Māori verb meaning ‘to mix’, RANU is a co-fermentation of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer. On April 11th, the Lawson’s team picked a single bin each of the varietals, from three different blocks. The Pinot Gris was from the Barnsley block in the Waihopai valley, Lawson’s only Riesling comes from its company-owned Waihopai vineyard, while the Gewürztraminer was picked from the Woodward Vineyard just a few hundred metres down the road from the winery. The three varieties were whole-bunch pressed together and the resulting juice settled for just a few hours before being racked into old oak for fermentation. This was allowed to occur spontaneously and took several months to complete, during which time there was no winemaking intervention. RANU was bottled at the winery on August 17. It has aromas of beeswax, lemon, lime, red apple and delicate florals, with flavours of lemon sherbet and nashi pear, with crisp acidity giving lovely focus.



Perfect food matches at Waipara Hills WITH THE Food Show Christchurch just around the corner in April, the team at Waipara Hills is waiting in anticipation to select the perfect wines to complement cooking demonstrations in the NEFF Cooking Theatre. Headlining the NEFF Cooking Theatre will be some of New Zealand’s top culinary talent including Nadia Lim, Chelsea Winter, Annabelle White, local restaurateur Giulio Sturla and Australian newcomer Luke Hines, who will share their secrets for cooking fabulous meals at home. The Food Show is the ideal partnership for Waipara Hills who produce award-winning wines from the Waipara Valley in North Canterbury. Each recipe is matched with a varietal from their range that works in harmony with the flavours in each dish, creating the ultimate dining experience.


The unique landscape of the Waipara Valley floor and sloping river terraces, combined with the region’s long and dry growing season, provides the perfect environment for the vines to develop slowly, building spicy aromatics. A varied range of soils gives each varietal a platform to develop their unique characteristics to create wines that are rich, textural and complex, perfect for working with a diverse range of culinary flavours. Waipara Hills Winemaker Andrew Brown says choosing a wine and food match is a lot of fun. “There are some simple rules that can guide you, such as saltiness to contrast acidity, but it can also be a chance to experiment and explore your own palate.” “The Food Show gives people the opportunity to see first-hand how our wines can be matched with a range of individual flavours and complete dishes. They can pop over to our stand after the demonstrations to try the wines for themselves,” said Brown, adding that it’s simply the best way to showcase what Waipara Hills does.

The Food Show Christchurch attracts around 10,000 visitors over three days who sample their way through a diverse range of food and beverages, gathering tips and inspiration from culinary experts and local foodies. The 2018 event will take place on 5th – 8th April 2018 at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch. Organisers North Port Events are delighted to welcome NEFF as the Official Sponsor of the Cooking Theatre and New World as the Pantry Sponsor alongside Waipara Hills, who have partnered with The Food Show since 2013.

Kiwis among WSET graduates in London FIVE GRADUATES from New Zealand were announced at the annual Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Awards and Graduation in London in late January. Over 500 wine and spirits influencers and professionals gathered at the historic Guildhall, City of London to celebrate the graduates and award winners. Megan Abbott-Walker, Jorge Ezequiel Cancina Omar, Lois Dongray-Jones, Nicholas Entwistle and Elissa Jordan achieved the coveted WSET Diploma having completed the course at the New Zealand School of Wines and Spirits and joined 435 other graduates from around the world. Their achievements were celebrated as some of only 9,000 people in the world to have ever held the accolade. The WSET Level 4 Diploma is WSET’s highest qualification and recognised globally as one of the most distinguished achievements in the sector. The course develops an in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits from production, regions and styles, to the global trade in wines and spirits. The Diploma is also universally viewed as the stepping stone to the Master of Wine qualification. Upon successful completion graduates receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and are able to use the post-nominal DipWSET and associated WSET certified logo.

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Marlborough The story of the Mission Estate extends beyond Hawke’s Bay. Some of our finest wine comes from our Cable Station Road vineyard in the heart of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. The best natural features of this region combine to create truly special wines with unique varietal character and intense flavours that you’ll love to share.

Forbidden Vines from Babich BABICH WINES has launched a new distinctively packaged range of wines aimed at female consumers. The first releases in the Forbidden Vines range are a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, ‘The Queen of Hearts’ and a Marlborough Pinot Noir Rose, ‘The Weeping Rose’. David Babich, Chief Executive Officer, says Forbidden Vines represents new ground for Babich. “Launching Forbidden Vines will enable us to open new sales channels and appeal to new audiences whilst ensuring that we don’t de-value our Babich Classics range or the broader Babich brand. With this product, we decided to challenge tradition and break the wine label mould through the use of funky, innovative design. We believe the wine in the pack over-delivers on the price point, punching above its weight. Forbidden Vines is very different for our family brand, it’s not the modern classic.” Forbidden Vines, RRP $16.99. EUROVINTAGE





Cheers to summer

The sun is out and so are the crowds. Here, we present some new and classic summer thirst quenchers.



Tui Brewed Bourbon & Cola

Carrot Top U.S. Amber Ale

Sprig & Fern Tasman Reserve

7% ABV, 250ml can 18-pack RRP $29.99 and 250ml can 12-pack RRP $19.99

5.4% ABV, 500ml RRP $10.99

6.5% ABV, 1.25L RRP $12.29

This award-winning drop is a crisp, malty American Amber Ale style. While the malts provide the overriding first impression, there is a healthy burst of hop bitterness that keeps everything in balance, too. Try it with American dude-food: burgers, ribs, curly fries and chicken wings.

Coming across like an elegant, souped-up version of a classic New Zealand pub brew, Tasman Reserve is a full lager in several senses of the word: full in flavour, full in sweetness and full in alcohol content. There is a slight hint of passionfruit on the nose of this amber drop but the fruit elements give way to the sweet caramel maltiness in the tasting. Ideal for those looking to take the step into crafted beer.

Tui has stuck a leg out sideways and leapt from the beer market into the bourbon and cola field. This mid-sweet brew is made with Kentucky bourbon and Tui’s own cola blend. It has a grunty kick of bourbon but still drinks easily. Best served icy cold. Tui fans will no doubt transition easily to this brand new offering, which maintains the Tui personality. An interesting addition to the burgeoning bourbon and cola landscape. DB BREWERIES

Monteith’s Radler 5% ABV, 330ml 12-pack RRP $26.99

Monteith’s Radler has been around for nearly 20 years and is a consistent favourite over summer, thanks to its refreshing citrus note. It’s certainly found its niche this year as the temperature soars. Light hops keep things zippy in this beer, while the zesty lemon twist gives a dry finish. DB BREWERIES

Monteith’s Summer Ale 5% ABV, 330ml 12-pack $26.99

Whereas Monteith’s Radler is all about the citrus, the brewery’s Summer Ale hangs its hat on ginger and honey. Now in its 20th year on the market, Summer Ale is light, with the malt and spiced ginger complexity preventing it from being too sweet. A classic summer serve and ideal with bar snacks or matched with a charcuterie platter or shellfish. DB BREWERIES 48 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018


BRB Double Crossed Craft Lager 8% ABV, 500ml RRP $5.99

Here’s a big take on lager that takes all the familiar elements and doubles down on them. Boundary Road’s Double Crossed Lager has double the hops, double the malt and, at a massive 8%, double the alcohol. The hops are out front but they quickly come up against the malt complexity and the crispness of the lager yeast. Available in a limited edition 500ml bottle. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR

Sprig & Fern East Coast IPA 5.5% ABV, 1.25L RRP $13.99

Sprig & Fern turns out some interesting drops from its Nelson brewery and this limited release East Coast IPA is no exception. The nose has an earthy green note that puts you in mind of the finest produce of Takaka or Motueka. The beer pours golden amber and is a very drinkable ale with muted, balanced hops. A fine introduction for those moving to more hop-driven beer styles. SPRIG & FERN


Lakeman Hairy Bastard NZ IPA 6.7% ABV, 500ml RRP $8.99

Hailing from the shores of Lake Taupo, the Lakeman team pride themselves on grunty beers that will put hairs on your chest. Like the fearsome fellow on their distinctive label, this IPA packs a punch. The nose has an unusual toasty note that could only be described as, well, toast. The fruit flavours are there, though somewhat muted by the malt. A great match with smoked fish (we’re thinking trout). LAKEMAN BREWING


Lakeman Primate Pilsner

Svyturys Baltas Hefeweizen Kvietinis

Epic Solar Flare XPA

5.2% ABV, 330ml 6-pack RRP $21.99

5% ABV, 568ml RRP $3.39

4.8% ABV, 500ml RRP $6.99

While most pilsners go for a single clean hop note, Lakeman’s version has a complexity of flavour and a big hit of bitterness at the end that gathers everything up. Not one for those looking to order a basic lager – this is more a beer for a craft-connoisseur looking to unpack an interesting take on the genre.

The Svyturys brewery is the second oldest in Lithuania and its wares are now available in New Zealand. The Baltas (White) beer pours golden and cloudy. For a wheat beer it’s not too confronting, but rather charms with its citrus overtones. Arriving in a big 568ml can, this would be a good talking point at the bar.

Epic is renowned for extreme hop intensity but this beer shows how good it can be when they dial it back and let their beer-making expertise shine. The hop fruit characteristics are still there, but are carried on an elegant, extremely pale-gold ale. There is mango and guava on the nose but the hops are beautifully balanced with a slight bitterness that comes across as very refreshing. Topped with a beautiful sun-burst of a bottle this is a must-have in the fridge for all good bars this summer.



Baltika 0 Unfiltered Wheat Beer

Epic Lager

0% ABV, 450ml RRP $1.99

5.4% ABV, 500ml RRP $6.99

Baltika 0 is the top non-alcoholic beer in Russia and this wheat beer shows why. Cleverly, the wheat characteristics and cloudiness of the unfiltered brew add character that may have been lost by the deletion of the alcohol. The result is a light but still flavourful drop that has enough going on to stay interesting throughout. A good option for drivers or those simply looking for a drink that won’t, as the Baltika website says “affect the human psychomotor abilities”.

A popular member of the Epic stable, Epic Lager is a beautiful take on the classic form. It has a decent amount of malt but it’s balanced by a strong hop kick that carries a hint of citrus. Like a Michelin-star chef making scrambled eggs, this beer shows how well the best can do the basics. EPIC


Hailing from the shores of Lake Taupo, the Lakeman Brewing Co. team pride themselves on grunty beers that will put hairs on your chest.


Good George IPA 5.8% ABV, 946ml RRP $14.99

This Hamilton brewery’s clean, flavourful takes on classic styles has gained them many admirers across the country and the IPA is a highlight. The hops are tropical and float on the nose, while in the mouth they are juicy and sit alongside the soft malt counterpoint. A great match with curry or fresh Asian flavours, or serve with salty bar snacks to accentuate the fruity hops. The distinctive Good George branded brown 946ml glass “squealer” bottles make it an attractive addition to the fridge for retail stores, too. GOOD GEORGE



Cider Garage Project Hapi Daze 4.6% ABV, 330ml RRP $4.50

Garage Project’s Hapi Daze features a beautifully serene scene on its can: a mountain behind a lake with a sun setting in the background. I mention this because one of the tasting panel commented that the beer, “…tastes just like that picture there”. Hapi Daze is a beautiful pale ale bursting with radiant fruit hops. It has a whistle-whetting quality that rewards repeat trips to the glass and the hop flavour is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Happy days indeed.

Somersby Cider with Pear

Good George Blackberry Cider

4.5% ABV, 330ml 12-pack RRP $24.99

4.5% ABV, 946ml RRP $14.99

Somersby makes hugely popular apple cider, but here they have expanded into a more mellow, softer style. Made with a combination of apple and pear juices this cider still retains that Somersby clarity of flavour, but with the edges rubbed off by the inclusion of the pear. A juicy mouthfeel is neatly encapsulated with a tart and dry finish. Serve ice cold.

Combining two classics of summer – ripe blackberries and cider – Good George’s Blackberry Cider pours a ruby red in the glass and almost resembles sherry. It’s bursting with berry flavour set against a sweet background. Serve in a tall, refreshing summer cocktail or try as a core component of a summery punch. GOOD GEORGE



Harrington’s Rogue Hop Pilsner 5% ABV, 500ml RRP $5.99

This was a contender for beer of the summer at our family gathering this year - everyone seemed to have cottoned on to its refreshing, clean hops and sessionability. It holds up well in the chilly bin and provides more interest than many mass-market lagers, but its Cantabrian restraint prevents it from going off the deep end into hop madness. Rogue Hop pours pale and golden and has a good burst of pils malt keeping its gooseberry hops in check. Get yourself a six-pack (but don’t tell your brother which fridge you’ve put it in). HARRINGTON’S

Lewis Road Lewis Road Orchard Cider (Apple Blossom, Orange Blossom and Peach Blossom) 4.5%. ABV, 518ml RRP $5.99

The team at Lewis Road have turned their attention from luxury dairy products to cider, collaborating with Mills Reef Winery to help brew them. The three varietals use a base of apple cider (made from organic Hawkes Bay apples) infused with natural botanical blossom flavours of apple, peach and orange. The brews arrive in attractive 518ml bottles but at 4.5% they are totally manageable, alcohol-wise. All three have a fine-beaded carbonation that creates a champagne-style finish. The Apple Blossom is a pale golden drop that has hints of berry and honeysuckle throughout. It is full-bodied with hints of feijoa in the finish that add to the complexity. The Orange Blossom is slightly tart but not sour, and the hint of orange comes across as sophisticated rather than gimmicky.  The pale green Peach Blossom, similarly, has a nose full of peach but the taste is crisp and floral, where it could have easily ended up as peach lollies. LEWIS ROAD



Zeffer Zeffer is an award-winning craft cidery that had small beginnings in Matakana, north of Auckland, in 2009. It has since expanded substantially and moved to new premises in Hawke’s Bay comprising a cidery and orchards in mid-2017. In April 2017 Zeffer was awarded the prestigious International Cider Awards Champion for its Cidre Demi-Sec.

Zeffer Crisp Apple Cider

Zeffer Hopped Cider

5% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99 500ml RRP $6.99, 330ml can RRP $3.99

5.4% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99 500ml RRP $6.99

This crisp apple cider is a beautiful pale-gold drop with a green apple tang at the end. There is a bit of musk that suggests pairing it with a fine cheese and the crisp bite finishes the mouthful and provides a springboard for return visits to the bottle. Serve ice cold, perhaps even over ice, for a classy alternative to many of the sweeter options out there.

Zeffer’s hopped cider has a big hop burst on the nose but the taste is slightly more subtle. The apple cider is less sweet than normal and concludes with a hop hit that, crossed with the apple, comes off as a grassy/citrus. Recommend to craft enthusiasts looking to try something different.

Zeffer’s easy-drinking cider does something unusual in that it seems to contain more flavours than its higheralcohol counterparts. The Two Point Five (a reference to the ABV) has a big aroma of tropical fruit punch on the nose, while the glass is bursting with flavours of guava, mango and citrus.

Zeffer Apple Crumble Infused Cider

Zeffer Alcoholic Real Ginger Beer

Zeffer Red Apple Cider

5.4% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99 500ml RRP $6.99, 330ml can RRP $3.99

4.5% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99 500ml RRP $6.99

In the glass, this brew looks like a lager but as soon as you get it close to your nose it bursts with unmistakable and intense aromas of cinnamon and vanilla. There is an earthiness from the oats in the crumble and the sweetness is more of the brown sugar variety than the usual cider fruit-sugar flavour. As close to dessert in a bottle as you can get.

Zeffer’s alcoholic ginger beer is a light ginger tonic that has a refreshing kick of spice from native kawakawa. The spice and the ginger balance thoughtfully and the whole experience comes across as light and refreshing. The Zeffer team suggest trying it with Pad Thai, but we thought it could also pair well with an inventive dessert.

5% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99 500ml RRP $6.99

Something of the Rosé of ciders, Zeffer’s Red Apple has a slight pink blush in the glass and a flavour profile that suggests Old World apples and toffee apples all at once. Rather than tang, the Red Apple rounds out the sugars in a subtle manner – the fruitiness is slightly higher and the effect is more soothing than refreshing. Recommend this to traditional cider drinkers making the transition to a craft cider.

Zeffer Two Point Five Mid-Strength Cider 2.5% ABV, 330ml 4-pack RRP $14.99


For distributor details see Distributor Index page 72



Spotlight on cannabis-infused beverages BREWERS COULD tap into the emerging cannabis-infused beverages trend to attract and retain younger consumers, with a number of companies looking to invest in the sector in anticipation of cannabis becoming more widely legally available, according to international data and analytics company GlobalData. In a news release, the company says it has found that early sales numbers on marijuana edibles suggest that the sector is here to stay, and edibles have strong potential because consumers – especially younger consumers – do not want to smoke. According to a GlobalData survey, 54% of 18-24 year-olds globally say they have never smoked (the highest response by age) compared to just 33% of those over 65. Tom Vierhile,  Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData, says: “The threat of lost sales from marijuana and marijuanalaced products has been on big beer’s

radar for years. Brewers also understand if they want to grow the market, they need to win with younger consumers. But younger consumers are straying from beer in worrying numbers. “In sales collateral for its soon-to-belaunched Two Hats Pineapple Light Beer, MillerCoors says that 40% of its ‘beer losses’ come from consumers aged 21 to 24. It also says that consumers who drink beer at the age of 21 are twice as likely to stick with beer. With support rising for legalising marijuana use in the US, cannabis-infused drinks may be one new way to hang onto younger consumers.” Eight US states have legalised the recreational consumption of marijuana with over 20 legalising medical marijuana. Colorado and Washington state have the most experience with marijuana edibles, and provide a glimpse at the future. Recent cannabis-infused beverage introductions in these markets include

California Dreamin’ cannabis-infused sparkling fruit juices and Cannabis Quencher Sips, launches that demonstrate how beer companies may innovate. However, labels recommend that first-timers drink half the bottle and ‘wait an hour before enjoying more’ due to the delayed effect of marijuana edibles. Vierhile adds: “This delayed effect proved to be problematic for marijuana edibles in first-mover states like Colorado and Washington, which experienced some public health concerns after the legalisation of marijuana edibles earlier this decade. Colorado has just phased in a dosing size restriction of 10 milligrams of THC per serving of cannabis-laced foods and drinks and a universal THC symbol must now appear on each package. Players looking to enter this emerging market will need to consider health and legal factors when designing products and packaging.”


Welsh honey beer eyes NZ’s Manuka A NEW beer using honey from a Cardiff University project to find a Welsh rival to New Zealand’s famous Manuka has launched in the UK. Mêl (4% ABV) – which means ‘honey’ in Welsh – was brewed by Bang-On Brewery in South Wales in collaboration with scientists at the University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Their Pharmabees project has placed hives across Cardiff in a quest to find a therapeutic Welsh honey equivalent to Manuka.    Bang-On Brewer founder, Neil Randle, says after meeting the School’s Professor Les Ballie through a friend, they realised they could team up to make a brew combining honey with scientifically identified botanicals. “Les and his team have been heavily involved in working towards producing a super honey that combines science with nature. They’ve used scientific methods to identify which flora provide the best natural botanicals that can have a positive effect when consumed. In addition,

50 varieties of hops have also been tested to assess the antibacterial activity against human pathogens.” Once the secret ingredients were established, Bang-On Brewery’s Craig Jackson formulated a recipe to ensure the brew had the right taste and balance. “We are not making health claims about the beer,” says Jackson. “It’s simply about producing a great taste, but we hope the collaborative project may well evolve into something that could change the culture of how beer is consumed in the longer term.”  The first batch of Bang-On Mêl launched at the BBC’s Good Food Show in Birmingham in early December and has gained positive

reviews since going on general sale. Professor Baillie says he hopes this is the first product in a longer-term goal. “It’s very much a stepping stone on our way to developing an alcohol-free fermented adult drink, which we think will have mass market appeal.” Cardiff University’s Pharmabees project is working to identify plant-derived drugs which could be used to treat antibiotic resistant hospital pathogens. Numerous species of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics over the past few decades, so there is an increasing need to prevent and control the emergence and spread of antimicrobial-resistance in hospitals.

Disneyland to get its first brewery BALLAST POINT and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts have announced that the San Diego brewery will open its first Orange County location in Downtown Disney District later this year. While Disneyland Park itself is alcohol-free (with the exception of an exclusive membersonly restaurant onsite), the Disney District is just outside it. Ballast Point says it is planning a three-barrel R&D brewery, restaurant and beer garden. The new venture is part of a wider project at the Downtown Disney District with multiple new retail and hospitality outlets to open. 54 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018


Tuatara switches it up TUATARA HAS launched the fourth beer style in its Switch Six range. The Tuatara Switch Six pack contains a different limited edition beer style, found in the same box, every few months. For summer, it’s Whitecap – a German-style Kölsch Blonde Ale. The brewery has also released a ‘Pale Ales for the People’ 6-pack, which contains six of the brewery’s popular Pale Ale styles.

New look for Peckham’s MOUTERE VALLEY cidery Peckham’s has released its new look 6-packs for its classic range of ciders. The use of different colours for each one reflects the fruit used in each variety. “All our ciders are made naturally.” says owner Caroline Peckham. “Our Moutere Cider is made from 100% tree-ripened apples which we press at harvest time on our orchard. Other fruit is locally sourced and pressed whole before being added to the cider. We never use concentrate or aromas, and we print ingredients on each label so consumers know exactly what they are buying.” Peckham’s grow their own cider apples in the Moutere Valley near Nelson and have produced New Zealand’s Champion Cider for the last three years running. The 6-pack 330ml cans range from 5.2% - 5.8% ABV. RRP $22.99. HOP AND VINE




New World Beer & Cider Awards open Entries are now open for the 2018 New World Beer & Cider Awards, which offer the opportunity for national promotion for winning brands. A GOLD medal win is rewarded with nationwide distribution through 135 New World stores, as well as concentrated marketing and publicity support. Chair of Judges, beer writer and author Michael Donaldson, says it is a great incentive for brewers to put their products forward. “This can propel a brand from relative obscurity to nationwide awareness overnight, with their beer or cider sitting on shelf beside the best-known names in brewing from around the world. ” Breweries do not need to be an existing New World or Foodstuffs supplier, but product availability is key. Entrants are required to have enough stock to be promoted in New World supermarkets across the country. A panel of 15 judges will assess the entries over two days of judging in Wellington in

March. Each entry will be blind-judged and assessed on its merits using a collaborative approach based on technical excellence, balance and drinkability. Gold, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded to worthy entries and the Champion will be awarded to the top entry in

each class. The results will be announced later in the year. Good George Brewing became the first triple-Gold winner in the competition’s history in 2017, including Champion wins for their Amber Ale and Drop Hop Cider. Good George CEO Race Louden says those wins have undoubtedly been a boost for the business, and he encourages other small breweries to enter. “As well as being an affirmation of our brew team’s commitment to quality, the awards saw our product get on more shelves and in more baskets of New World shoppers, which contributed to a substantial growth in sales for Good George,” says Louden. “It’s been a great vehicle to introduce new people to the brand and get our fans trying different brews within our range.” Entries to the New World Beer and Cider Awards close on Friday 23 February 2018. ALL ENTRY DETAILS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE AT NEWWORLD.CO.NZ/NWBCA


Next steps for Sprig & Fern

Plans to add glass bottles to its range mean Sprig & Fern’s award-winning beers will find even more fans

A REFRESHED brand, a new Italian bottling machine and plans for adding glass to the line-up mean 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Tracy Banner and the team at Nelson brewery Sprig & Fern. This year also marks 35 years in the brewing industry for Banner, who started as a teenager in her native England. Over that time she has worked for some of the UK’s biggest breweries, as well as Lion, Speight’s and Mac’s in New Zealand before she and husband Ken bought into the former Tasman Brewing Company in 2009. The brewery was rebranded to Sprig & Fern and the Banners now own it. There are also ten independently owned Sprig & Fern taverns in Nelson, Wellington and Christchurch (the Banners own Nelson’s Milton Street tavern) with a third Wellington site opening this year. Until now, Sprig & Fern’s beers and ciders have been available only in PET at retail, or on tap on-premise. Tracy Banner says the new bottling machine is both PET and glass capable and she plans to add glass to the range by April, which will open Sprig & Fern’s award-winning beers up to bars, cafes and restaurants, who don’t currently stock it due to the PET packaging. “The taverns will have the ability to have some of the bottles in the bars if they want to as well, because we’ll try to introduce some products that are different from what we have on tap.” Banner says new styles in the pipeline for 2018 include a Doppelbock and some Imperials, but one of the first to go into bottle will be Sprig & Fern’s top-selling Harvest Pilsner, which has won four consecutive gold medals at the Brewers Guild of New Zealand Awards, making it

New Zealand’s highest awarded Pilsner. “If we’ve got it in glass it’ll give a lot more people the chance to try it,” she says. “It’s only been in keg and PET. We make it every year and it’s becoming the ‘I must have it’ beer. As soon as it hits the shelves, it’s gone.”

“‘Craft & Beer’ is to indicate that there’s a lot more that goes into a beer – it really is crafted.” Everything rolling off the new bottling line will sport the updated Sprig & Fern branding too, developed last year by Wellington agency Inject Design to replace the original black and white logo. Banner says they knew it was time for a change. “Having the black label with the picket fence was more to do with the taverns, because a number of them have picket fences. But if you’re trying to sell beer in Auckland or Napier or Invercargill there’s no relevance. Then I was at a bar with two of our ciders on tap and when I saw all the other tap labels and our plain black label I thought, ‘Wow, we really have to do something about it.’”

The bright new labels feature a two word description of each beer or cider, something Banner says was challenging to write, but will help those new to the brand easily understand what they’re buying. Sprig & Fern Pilsner is ‘Crisp and Refreshing’, while the Tasman Reserve Lager is ‘Bold and Bountiful’. The labels also feature the words ‘Craft & Beer’, to emphasise the technical ability required for good brewing. “When the agency toured the brewery they couldn’t believe the number of tanks we have. With 18 products it means 50-odd tanks and every single time a tank empties we do a chemical clean (a CIP). Not everybody does that and that’s why we’ve never had infections and we have good consistency with our products. So ‘Craft & Beer’ is to indicate that there’s a lot more that goes into a beer – it really is crafted.” Detailed illustrations form each label’s background, too. “You’ve really got to look at the illustrations because they’re a little bit like Where’s Wally?,” she says. “The Pilsner is birds’ wings, so you think of fresh air. With the Tasman Reserve Lager, there’s Abel Tasman’s face with mermaids and tall ships, and the Tasman Sea.” Tracy Banner says consumer feedback to Sprig & Fern’s new look has been very positive and she believes it’s attracting new customers at retail. “I think there are more people likely to grab the PET now – it looks quite funky and attractive, so you can turn up to a party with it. Then when you see the 18 taps lined up at the bars it’s fantastic. We took a long time over the designs. But it had been nine or ten years so we weren’t going to rush it – we want it to last another ten years.” DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018 57


Flavours of Mexico The popularity of tequila and its sibling mezcal continues to grow. Victoria Wells rounds up what’s available.



Find out more about the individual tequila brands and their backgrounds in our brand guide on page 62.

Tequila – RRP $30-$60 Sauza Silver

Tequila Blu

Espolon Reposado

40% ABV, 750ml RRP $39.99

38% ABV, 700ml RRP $46.99 (NB: Available from March 5)

40% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99

A crystal clear tequila with fresh green apple notes, followed by jasmine and hints of fine spice. It has a fresh agave taste with green apple and hints of citrus. Ideal for classic margaritas or other blended cocktails. BEAM SUNTORY

Sauza Gold 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $39.99

With sweet aromas, Sauza Gold has flavours of cooked agave with sweet caramel notes. Ideal for use in cocktails. BEAM SUNTORY

El Jimador Blanco 38% ABV, 700ml RRP $46.77

A versatile tequila with aromas of agave, apple and spice and mild agave flavour. The finish is smooth, clean and warming. Ideal for mixed drinks. HANCOCKS

El Jimador Reposado 38% ABV, 700ml RRP $46.77

Two months in oak gives this tequila its light gold hue, along with flavours of spicy cinnamon and apple. HANCOCKS

Six months in American oak barrels creates this reposado tequila, which has a balanced flavour and smooth, oaky finish. INDEPENDENT LIQUOR

El Jimador Añejo 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $49.99

A rich tequila with aromas of vanilla, hazelnut and a hint of cinnamon. Aged for 12 months, its agave flavours have mellowed and sit alongside earthy notes with light cinnamon and other spices. A smooth finish with hints of oak and cherry. HANCOCKS

Avión Espresso 35% ABV, 700ml RRP $50.99

A blend of Italian espresso with Avión Silver tequila. It has a touch of sweetness with a clean, dry finish. Serve as a chilled shot, over ice, or use in cocktails. PERNOD RICARD

Arette Blanco 38% ABV, 700ml RRP $54.99

Sweet aromas of cooked agave are followed by fresh flavours of citrus and black pepper, followed by an earthy spice. Ideal for use in any tequila-based cocktail.

Six months ageing in American oak barrels give this tequila a rich golden hue and a spicy nose with a hint of caramel fudge. The taste is bold and full-bodied with rich roasted agave, sweet tropical fruit, vanilla and a long spicy finish. EUROVINTAGE

Arette Reposado 38% ABV, 700ml RRP $59.99

This tequila has been aged for six months in American white oak and has aromas of citrus, caramel and cooked agave, with citrus and vanilla flavours, an earthy note and cinnamon sweetness. The finish is rich and spicy, and has an oily texture. Serve neat or in a tequilaforward cocktail. TICKETY-BOO LIQUOR

Patrón XO Café 35% ABV, 750ml RRP $59.99

A dark, dry coffee liqueur combined with Patron Silver. It has aromas of fresh coffee, chocolate and vanilla, which continue on the palate along with a light tequila taste and a smooth, dry finish. Versatile in cocktails, served over ice, or as a twist on dessert. EUROVINTAGE



Tequila – RRP $60-$100 1800 Silver 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $64.99

A special selection of white tequilas is blended together to create complexity and character in 1800 Silver. It has a clean, balanced taste with hints of sweet fruit and pepper. Versatile enough for serving on the rocks, as a shot or in cocktails. LION

1800 Coconut 35% ABV, 750ml RRP$64.99

Natural coconut flavour is infused into 1800 Silver Tequila to create a distinctive tequila with a slightly-sweet and medium-bodied tropical taste. Ideal for serving on the rocks or in tropical-inspired cocktails – it pairs particularly well with pineapple juice. LION

1800 Reposado 40% ABV 750ml RRP $64.99

This tequila is matured in American and French oak barrels for a minimum of six months. It has notes of buttery caramel, mild spices and a touch of smokiness from the barrel finishing. Perfect for use in cocktails or serve on the rocks. LION

Essential 1800 Artist Series 40% ABV 750ml RRP $64.99

These limited edition bottles contain 1800 Silver Tequila and are released annually, featuring label art from world-renowned artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gary Baseman and Keith Haring. LION 60 DRINKSBIZ FEBRUARY / MARCH 2018

TEQUILA AND MEZCAL Tequila takes its name from the city of Tequila in Mexico, which is northwest of Guadalajara in the state of Jalisco. Legally, tequila can only be produced in this state and in four other regions of Mexico and is recognised as a protected designation of origin product. To be a true tequila, it must be made from the blue agave plant (also known as Weber Blue Agave, after the German botanist who first classified it) and produced in one of those recognised areas. Agave plants are succulents that grow well in Mexico’s hot, arid conditions and produce thick, spiky leaves. Careful tending by the jimadores (agave harvesters) allows the plants to ripen fully – often up to 12 years. When ready to harvest, the jimadores cut away the spiky leaves to reach the core, known as the piña, which resembles a giant pineapple without its top. The piñas are baked over hours or days (depending on the producer) and then mashed under a large stone wheel. The extracted agave juice (wort) is then fermented in wooden or stainless steel vats. This fermented juice is distilled twice to produce clear tequila. This is then bottled as ‘silver’ tequila (also known as ‘plata’ or ‘blanco’), or can be barrel aged to create ‘reposado’ (for minimum two to eight months), ‘añejo’ (minimum 12 months) or ‘extra añejo’ (minimum three years). Mezcal is an agave-based liquor that can be made from any of up to 30 different varieties of the agave plant. It is made in nine different regions in Mexico. While the harvest of piñas is the same as for tequila, the more artisanal mezcal producers use underground earthen pits in which to slow bake their piñas, which imparts the distinctive smoky flavour of mezcal.


Tequila – RRP $60-$100 continued

Tequila – RRP $100 plus

1800 Añejo

Casamigos Blanco

Herradura Añejo

38% ABV, 750ml RRP $79.99

40% ABV, 700ml RRP $94.99

40% ABV, 700ml RRP $104.33

A minimum of 14 months ageing in French oak barrels gives this tequila flavours of toasted oak, vanilla and butterscotch, with a spicy, well-rounded finish. Ideal for sipping.

The Blanco rests for two months in American oak. It is crisp and clean with hints of citrus, vanilla and sweet agave, and a long smooth finish.

A rich, dark copper tequila aged for 25 months, with intense aromas of cooked agave and spices, which are also found in the complex flavour, along with dried fruit notes and toasted oak. The finish is smooth, sweet and slightly spicy.


Avión Silver 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $85.99     

An intense agave aroma with herbal tinges of mint and rosemary, delicate hues of flowers and black pepper, hints of grapefruit and pineapple. Crisp and clean, well balanced and smooth. PERNOD RICARD


Herradura Reposado 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $96.25

Eleven months in American white oak creates aromas of cooked agave with hints of anise, fruit and brown spice. It is rich with sweet cooked agave notes, vanilla, butter and dried fruit. The finish is smooth and sweet with a hint of brown spice. HANCOCKS

Don Julio Blanco

Patrón Silver

40% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

40% ABV, 750ml RRP $99

Crisp agave flavour and hints of citrus, this is the base tequila from which the other Don Julio tequilas are crafted. Clean, dry finish with a touch of black pepper and grassy undertones. Ideal for use in mixed drinks.

This silver tequila from Patrón is handmade in small batches. It is crystal clear, soft and ideal for mixing. Smooth and sweet on the palate with fresh agave, hints of citrus and a finish of light pepper.


Herradura Plata 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $91.11

Light straw in colour, this tequila is aged for 45 days. It has aromas of green and cooked agave, with herbal and slightly woody notes. Flavours of agave, wood and citrus notes give way to a smooth, clean and warming finish.



Casamigos Reposado 40% ABV, 700ml RRP $104.99

This Casamigos is aged for seven months. A golden colour, it is soft and slightly oaky with hints of caramel and cocoa. It has a silky texture with a medium to long smooth finish. FEDERAL MERCHANTS

Don Julio Reposado 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

This barrel-aged tequila spends eight months in American white-oak barrels. Golden amber in colour, it has aromas of mellow lemon citrus and spice layers with touches of ripe stone fruit. In the mouth it is soft and elegant with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla and light cinnamon, and has a rich, smooth finish with dried fruit, nuts and a touch of caramel apple. Best served chilled on the rocks or in mixed drinks. MEXI-FOODS





1800 Tequila takes its name from the year in which the first tequila was distilled and aged and its bottles are a distinctive triangular shape that references the ancient Mayan stone pyramids found throughout Mexico. 1800 Tequilas are all made from Weber Blue Agave grown for 8-12 years in Jalisco.


Alipus was created to provide a market for family artisan mezcal distilleries in Mexico so they could stay in business and continue their traditions. It offers a range of premium artisanal mezcals hand-distilled in small family distilleries in rural pueblos in the state of Oaxaca, in southwest Mexico. The distilleries preserve the traditional centuries-old ways of distilling mezcal, which are slow and labour intensive. Each mezcal reflects the individuality of the family’s craftsmanship.


Arette tequila is made at the El Llano distillery in the town of Tequila. One of the oldest distilleries in the region still in production, it is operated by the Orendain brothers, who are descendants of one of the most recognised families in the tequila industry.


Based in Jalisco, tequila producer Avión uses blue agave grown on a single estate at 7000 feet above sea level in the highlands of Los Altos, which creates a richer and naturally sweeter tequila. It describes its distillation processes as “the art of inefficiency”, referring to the fact its Master Distiller removes significant ‘heads’ and ‘tails’ during distillation, meaning it takes up to 30% more agave to make one bottle of Avión, versus other ultra-premium tequila. Each bottle is also hand-filled and individually penned with the batch and bottle codes. Avion also uses a proprietary ultra-slow filtration system to create a smooth profile in its tequila.


This tequila brand was created in 2013 by actor George Clooney with longtime friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. The name Casamigos translates from Spanish as “house of friends”. It was bought by Diageo in June 2017 for US$1bn. At the time, Diageo described it as “the fastest growing super-premium tequila brand in the US.” Casamigos is a small batch, ultra-premium tequila and its traditional production includes slow roasting of the piñas in brick ovens, use of pot stills, a proprietary yeast blend and extra slow 80-hour ferment.



Del Maguey (pronounced ma-GAY) is an artisanal mezcal company founded by American artist Ron Cooper in 1995. He works closely with family producers in the Mexican region of Oaxaca, who create the Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals. Each mezcal is named for the village where it is made, with the varying micro-climates and soils contributing to the individual flavour profiles. Del Maguey mezcals are made from mature agave Espadin, twice distilled and produced the original, 400-year-old hand-crafted way, with no chemicals, colourings or additives. Production is limited to exclusive quantities per year to preserve quality.


This tequila takes its name from Don Julio Gonzalez, who founded the brand and its distillery in 1942 in his native Jalisco, with the aim of making the world’s first luxury tequila. He eschewed the customary tall tequila bottle for his product (tequila was usually stored under the table), instead wanting to create a product worthy of display on the table and that diners could see over, so the shorter bottle was introduced. Production of Don Julio tequila follows traditional methods of hand-harvesting and steam cooking of the piñas in brick ovens for three days. Ageing is carried out in reclaimed white oak barrels.


This tequila brand launched in 1994 and takes its name from those who harvest the agave plants used in tequila production, the ‘jimador’.


A premium tequila maker based at the San Nicolas distillery in Jalisco. With its distinctive illustrated labels and reputation for playing rock music in the distillery to ‘inspire’ the agave, Espolon is regarded as something of a cult favourite.


Tequila Fortaleza traces its family roots back to 1873 and the establishment of a tequila distillery in Jalisco by local Don Cenobio. A second family distillery in the region, La Fortaleza, was subsequently revived by his great-great-grandson in the late 90s and the brand launched in 2005.


Gracias a Dios, which translates from Spanish as ‘Thank God’ is an artisan mezcal producer in Mexico’s state of Oaxaca. This mezcal is made from 100 per cent Espadin Agave, grown for eight years. The agave’s piñas are cooked for four days in a dirt oven before crushing, fermentation and distillation. This slow underground cook gives the mezcal aromas of smoke and spice, followed by fruit and a slight astringency.


Tequila Herradura traces its origins in Jalisco from 1870, remaining family-owned for 125 years. The name ‘Herradura’ means ‘horseshoe’ in Spanish, and is said to relate to the discovery on the hacienda property of a horseshoe that was thought to be lucky. Horseshoes are still displayed in the historic hacienda in Jalisco (now a museum) and, as with those on the bottle, they point downward “so that good fortune may pour out for those who enjoy Herradura”.


This ultra-premium tequila brand launched in 1989 and takes its name from the Spanish term for “the good boss”. Its entire tequila-making process is based at Hacienda Patrón in Jalisco, where the hand-harvested piñas are baked in small brick ovens then crushed by a two-ton volcanic stone Tahona wheel and a roller mill. The resulting mixture is fermented for three days, distilled and aged in handmade barrels where applicable. The distinctive Patron bottles are handmade by Mexican glass artisans. In January it was announced that Bacardi would acquire 100% of Patrón in a US$5.1bn deal.


Don Cenobio Sauza founded his tequila distillery in Jalisco in 1873, with his son and grandson following in the family business. Now owned by Beam Suntory, Sauza tequila is still produced at the original distillery.


Tequila Blu is made in the town of Tequila, in the Mexican state of Jalisco. It uses water sourced from beneath the town, which flows from a local volcano, aptly named “Tequila.” Tequila Blu uses 100% blue agave grown in four different regions of Mexico.

For distributor details see Distributor Index page 72


Casamigos Añejo

Fortaleza Añejo

Gran Patrón Piedra

40% ABV, 700ml RRP $114.99

40% ABV, 750ml RRP $196.99

40% ABV, 750ml RRP $750

Aged for 14 months, this tequila has a complex aroma, with soft caramel and vanilla notes. There is balanced sweetness from the Blue Weber agaves, subtle hints of spice and barrel oak, with a lingering smooth finish.

This golden-hued tequila is aged for 18 months in American oak, creating bold aromas of caramel, vanilla, butterscotch and cooked agave. It is rich and complex with mouth-filling flavours of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, citrus, and hazelnut.

The word “piedra” means “stone” in Spanish and refers to the large stone wheel used to slowly crush the cooked agave piñas after harvest. Following distillation, this aged offering from Patrón rests in new oak barrels for at least three years, the requirement for an extra añejo tequila. A deep mahogany colour, Gran Patrón Piedra has a sweet aroma of fruit, fresh mushroom, light citrus, and toasted French oak. The taste is sweet, yet rich and complex, combining an herbaceous agave flavour with light vanilla, and fresh mushroom. The finish is smooth and long-lasting.


Fortaleza Blanco 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $125.99

Rich aromas of citrus and cooked agave, with hints of olive, earth and black pepper. Flavours of citrus, cooked agave, vanilla, basil, olive, and lime. The finish is long and deep, complex yet easy to drink. Ideal for sipping. TICKETY-BOO LIQUOR

Don Julio Añejo 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

Don Julio Añejo Tequila is barrel-aged in smaller batches for 18 months in American white oak. Rich and complex, it has aromas of citrus with a touch of caramel, while its full-bodied flavour is a balance of cooked agave, wild honey and oakinfused butterscotch. The finish is bright and lightly spiced. Best served neat or on the rocks. MEXI-FOODS


Herradura Seleccion Suprema Extra Añejo 40% ABV, 750ml RRP $629.99

This very special Extra Añejo is aged 49 months, giving it a dark amber colour and aromas of agave, dry wood, vanilla, cinnamon and rose petal. It has complex flavours of rich vanilla, oak and dried fruit. It is creamy and soft in the mouth with a long finish. HANCOCKS


Casamigos was created in 2013 by actor George Clooney with longtime friends Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. It is a small batch, ultra-premium tequila made using traditional production methods. It was bought by Diageo in June 2017 for US$1bn.



Mezcal Gracias a Dios Espadín

Gracias a Dios Cuixe Wild Agave

Alipús San Andrés

45% ABV, 700ml RRP $86.99

45% ABV,700ml RRP $129.99

47.7% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

This mezcal is made from 100 per cent Espadin Agave, grown for eight years. On the palate the spice and smokiness give way to sweet fruits and a hint of citrus. Dry and spicy on the finish.

Unique monumental agave, whose elongated piña grows out of the ground, are harvested after 15 years for use in this mezcal. It has strong aromas of moss and moisture and persistent flavours of clove, white pepper, cinnamon and apples. Ideal served with chicken, salads and Mediterranean cuisine.

Fermented in cypress vats and distilled by Don Valente Angel from agave Espadín grown at about 5,000 feet on thin calciferous-soiled low hills and terraces. It has an intense agave aroma and a nicely integrated agave/smoke combination on the palate. A powerful tasting mezcal with strong fruit, but doesn’t overwhelm with alcohol.


Gracias a Dios Espadín Reposado 45% ABV, 700ml RRP $93.99

This 100 per cent Espadin agave mezcal is aged for four months in American oak. On the nose it has spicy oak, wild herbs and citrus pith, while the palate brings more spice, smoke and minty, fruity elements. Balanced and fragrant, with earthy notes. TICKETY-BOO LIQUOR

Gracias a Dios Tobala Wild Agave 45% ABV, 700ml RRP $129.99

This mezcal uses agave harvested after 15 years. It is vegetal and funky, with notes of smoke and peat. Balanced and complex on the palate, with integration of discreet fruit and spice, and a hint of lime zest. Perfect oiliness. Flavours of capsicum and thyme balanced with sweet agave notes; slightly tropical with a hint of mint. Long well rounded finish. TICKETY-BOO LIQUOR


Gracias a Dios Tepextate Wild Agave 45% ABV, 700ml RRP $129.99

This mezcal is full of character thanks to the wild agave grown for 25 years that is used in its creation. Mineral flavours, along with citrus notes of grapefruit and lime zest. TICKETY-BOO LIQUOR

Alipús San Baltazar 47-49% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

This mezcal is produced by Don Cosme Hernandez and his son Cirilo using Maguey Espadin agave roasted in a stone oven pit, then crushed using muledriven Chilean tahona and fermented in pinewood tubs. It has gentle smoke aromas with flavours of roasted agave, a hint of sweetness, an earthy note and smoky finish. NEAT SPIRITS


Del Maguey Chichicapa 46% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

Complex flavours of quince, spicy herbs, dried fruit and citrus, and a long, smooth finish with smoke, bitter chocolate, citrus and overtones of mint. MEXI-FOODS

Del Maguey Ibérico 49% ABV, 750ml RRP $POA

This unique mezcal is made with Ibérico de Bellota ham, the legendary meat made of free-range, acorn-fed, black-footed Ibérico pigs from Spain. It has a spicy floral nose of carnation, tropical aromatics of gardenia and jasmine, ripe pear, dark fig, notes of wet green hay and forest floor. Caramel-like on the palate, it is soft and full-bodied, with a big middle palate. The long finish tastes of roasted root vegetables and umami, leaving the mouth with terracotta, a slate-like minerality and a touch of salinity. MEXI-FOODS



All signs point to a G&T WELLINGTON CRAFT soda maker Bootleggers has teamed up with Motel Bar and nine New Zealand craft distillers (plus Hendrick’s and Old Tom) to make the Bootleggers Gin & Tonic Compass. The differing gin styles are each paired with one of Bootleggers five tonic flavours YOUR BOOTLEGGERS GIN & TONIC COMPASS to create G&Ts divided into CLASSIC SUMMER Classic, Summer, Winter and This Way Please Wild Roses Experimental. Ideal for bar staff Back from the Beach Pretty in Pink seeking inspiraGarden Riot Classic G&T tion or consumSurprises Me Bitter Spice ers looking to try something Maker’s After Favourite Gardening new at home. Available with Trick or Treat a Bootleggers Mixed Tonics WINTER EXPERIMENTAL pack (delivered), or in a framed A2 poster. N

30ml Hendricks Gin

30ml Ariki Gin 15ml Rose water

topped with Cucumber tonic water Fresh Celery dipped in rock salt

topped with Classic tonic water Lavender garnish



30ml Lighthouse Gin Fresh sliced strawberries Fresh Basil

topped with pink grapefruit tonic water

Simply mix 1 parts gin to 4 parts Bootleggers tonic water


Riot & Rose gin Fresh Nasturtium and lavender garnish

topped with Elderflower tonic water


30ml gin to 125ml (half bottle) of tonic water serve over ice.

30ml Curiosity Gin Negroni Special Grated chocolate Two dashes Coffee Pimento Elemental Bitters

30ml Karven Gin Large wedge of water melon

30ml Rogue Society Gin Beetroot wheel in the bottom of the glass Two dashes of chilli bitters

Lemon wedge garnish

topped with Blood Orange tonic water

topped with Blood Orange tonic water

30ml Reid & Reid Gin Fresh Rocket soaked in lime infused olive oil Rock salt rimmed glass

Sacred Springs Saffron gin Tangerine garnish topped with Elderflower Tonic water MN TU AU

topped with Cucumber tonic water

30ml Old Tom gin Three dashes all spice bitters 5 ml Grapefruit juice 15 ml cold Harpoon brew coffee Grapefruit slice garnish


Seedlip to widen portfolio UK BRAND Seedlip is looking to broaden its range following a top-level appointment. In a tweet in January, the non-alcoholic spirit company announced plans for an expanded portfolio of new brands with the appointment of Claire Smith-Warner, former Head of Spirit Creation for Belvedere. Touted as “what to drink when you’re not drinking”, Seedlip was founded in 2015 by Ben Branson, who created the spirit in his kitchen using a small copper still and a copy of The Art of Distillation from 1651, which details how to make non-alcoholic herbal remedies. Seedlip received investment from Diageo-backed Distill Ventures in mid-2016 and expanded into the US in December the same year. It is currently only available in the UK and US and is stocked at some of the most exclusive bars and restaurants. The Seedlip range comprises two variants: Seedlip Spice 94 (aromatic, earthy, woody) and Seedlip Garden 108 (herbal, grassy, floral).



Scotland welcomes first female coppersmith THE CENTURIES-OLD coppersmith craft at the heart of making the famous stills for Scotch whisky distillation has its first ever female recruit. Rebecca Weir, 18, from Alloa in Scotland’s Central Lowlands, has been recruited by Diageo Abercrombie as a first-year Modern Apprentice and is believed to be the first woman to join the coppersmith trade in Scotland. She is part of the latest apprentice intake at Diageo Abercrombie alongside 16-year-old Calum McTaggart and Steven Key, 34. The apprentices will learn how to hand-beat copper sheets and weld them into whisky stills, as well as being trained in state-of-theart computer aided design techniques. Rebecca gained the coveted spot on the Abercrombie apprenticeship programme following an impressive interview. The former Alloa Academy pupil said: “My guidance teacher told me about the apprenticeship opportu-

nities with Diageo. I wasn’t put off by gender stereotypes – I don’t think that should stop anyone from doing what they want to do. It’s really exciting to be part of something which is so important to the whisky industry.” Diageo Abercrombie is Scotland’s oldest copperworks. It hand-crafts bespoke stills for Diageo’s sites across Europe and is experiencing one of the largest peaks in demand for its specialist engineering services in its history. While a traditional product, Scotch is still innovative and new ranges requiring a diverse range of stills in different shapes and sizes are constantly being launched. Diageo Abercrombie has created thousands of copper stills since its creation in 1790, and now employs 43 coppersmiths at its site in Alloa, some with more than 40 years’ service, with a further nine apprentices to help ensure growing global demand is met.

Smokin’ new release from Woodford Reserve WOODFORD RESERVE’S Master Distiller Chris Morris has put a unique twist on the latest release in his Master’s Collection, using distinctive cherry wood to smoke the malted barley. A limited release through Hancocks, the Cherry Wood Smoked Barley is the 12th in the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection series and one of the first Kentucky Bourbons to use malted barley exposed to cherry wood smoke. The Master’s Collection was created to honour the pioneering work at Woodford County Distillery in the 1800s by owner Oscar Pepper and Master Distiller James Crow. They are credited with refining and defining key processes such as sour mashing, yeast propagation, copper pot distillation and the maturing of whiskey in new, charred oak casks. Their work defined bourbon and subsequently rye whiskey as they are known today. Woodford Reserve’s Chris Morris uses each release in his Master’s Collection to pay tribute to their work by applying their handcrafted methods to a variety of grain recipes, fermentation styles and maturation processes to create a range of unique whiskeys. With 30% malt content, the Cherry Wood Smoked mash bill has a higher concentration of malt than a traditional bourbon. AVAILABLE THROUGH HANCOCKS – HANCOCKS.CO.NZ


2017 Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection Cherry Wood Smoked Barley APPEARANCE: Rich amber. NOSE: A complex mingling of deep caramel, brown sugar and dark chocolate top a layer of cherry jam and nutty crumbles dusted with wood spice.  TASTE: Intense smoked almond and malt character sweetened with cherry pie filling and a touch of caramel. FINISH: Long smoked almond notes fade into a rich cherry fruit jam. 700ml, 45.2% ABV


Bacardi buys Patrón in US$5.1bn deal FAMILY-OWNED BACARDI Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, announced in January that it would be acquiring 100% ownership of Patrón Spirits International AG and its PATRÓN® brand. It follows Bacardi’s initial acquisition of a significant minority stake in Patrón in 2008. The deal is worth US$5.1 billion and is expected to close in the first half of 2018.

Patrón is the world’s top-selling ultrapremium tequila , and tequila is one of the fastest-growing and most attractive categories in the spirits industry. Super-premium brands continue to experience the fastest growth, and the trend is expected to continue. “Adding Patrón to the Bacardi portfolio creates a tremendous opportunity for the brand outside of the United States as Bacardi’s international distribution network will help grow Patrón around the world, increasing scale in the U.S. and globally,” said Mahesh Madhavan, CEO of Bacardi Limited. The Patrón leadership team, including Chief Executive Officer Edward Brown, Chief Operating Officer David R. Wilson, and Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applbaum, will continue in their roles.

Following the closing of the deal, John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Patrón tequila, will serve as an ambassador for Patrón in the role of Chairman Emeritus and intends to work with Bacardi in further advancing their combined dedication to philanthropic projects and environmental consciousness. Patrón’s efforts have included support for food banks, education, and disaster relief, as well as development of an ecofriendly reverse osmosis irrigation system, a process of recycling agave fibres from the tequila production process for use as fertiliser compost, and reforestation of trees in the community surrounding its tequila manufacturing operations in Jalisco, Mexico.


Dominic Roskrow Drinksbiz UK-based world spirits expert

What’s the story?

Knowing the background of the brands at your bar is becoming even more crucial as competition for the consumer dollar heats up, says Dominic Roskrow

SO HERE we are, well into 2018 already and (if the experts are to be believed), we’re in for a busy year behind the bar. Depending who you are reading or listening to, this year we’re going to see a fashion spike for rum (particularly premium white rum), for aged gins, for world whisky, for craft spirits, and even for niche vodkas. Add to that the fact that an increasing number of bars are seeking out rare ‘one off’ brands, and even making their own spirits to go alongside their ‘do-it-yourself’ bitters, and the bar is starting to look like a very busy place indeed. Almost inevitably, the competition for the attention of the consumer is set to intensify. Never has the need for bar staff to know their drinks and to be able to draw on a strong back story been more crucial. Well-informed bar staff could be the difference between a standard sale and a premium one, and that in turn could be the difference between the success or failure of a business. We know that today’s barfly is happy to trade up to a better quality drink, but it has to be sold to them. They may not want cheap, but they do want value for money. They need a reason. In fact, it’s probably better to say anything rather than nothing at all, as one unidentified New Zealand barman in

Well-informed bar staff could be the difference between a standard sale and a premium one, and that in turn could be the difference between the success or failure of a business.

Scotland proved. A while back, a senior brand ambassador for whisky distillery Morrison Bowmore (now part of Beam Suntory), was having a quiet drink at a hotel bar at the end of a long day. The only other person at the bar was an American tourist, and he was asking the New Zealand barman about various single malts, where they were from and what their names meant. “The barman was doing very well, too, until he came to one of my company’s malts, Auchentoshan Three Wood,” recalls the brand ambassador. Auchentoshan, pronounced ‘Ock-antosh-an’, is called Three Wood because the whiskey is matured in three different types of cask. “Without a flicker, the barman says ‘Oh, that’s named after the golf club,” our narrator continues. “And then he adds, ‘They do a seven iron, too, and next year they’re launching Auchentoshan Putter.’”

It is one of the nicest whiskies I have ever tasted and very, very occasionally I treat myself to a nip.


“I nearly fell off my bar stool.” But the American tourist bought a dram of the Three Wood anyway, said he loved it, and promised to buy a bottle at the airport to take home. “I introduced myself to him,” said the brand ambassador, “and by the time he had left, my company not only had one more bottle sale, it had an ambassador heading back to the States. I didn’t have the heart to correct him on the golf club.” It works both ways. In a local pub near me there is a bottle of Compass Box Flaming Heart costing £9.50 (NZ$18.40) for one shot. It is one of the nicest whiskies I have ever tasted and very, very occasionally I treat myself to a nip. I know it will be there because no one in that pub knows anything about it, so there is nothing to tell the customer, and as a result the price becomes prohibitive. That pub is now running down its whisky selection and trying its hand with local gins. True story.

Distributed by Federal Merchants & Co Ph: +64 9 578 1823 | E:

Take me to the Yarra

Bars from around the country are competing to win a unique trip to Australian craft distillery Four Pillars in South Australia’s Yarra Valley THE AUSTRALIAN craft gin brand is offering Kiwi hospitality staff a rare opportunity to go behind the scenes of the distillery, meet the founders and distill their own Four Pillars gin as part of a new sales incentive in partnership with distributors Tickety-Boo Liquor. The incentive, which began in mid-January, will run for eight weeks and see two people from each of the top three winning bars travelling to Australia in April for a Four Pillars experience and to tour Melbourne’s thriving hospitality scene. Four Pillars was founded in 2013 by friends Cameron, Matt and Stuart with the aim of bringing a modern Australian sensibility to the fast-growing craft gin

Participating venues 1885 Ancestral Annabels Azabu Bedford Soda and Liquor Britomart Country Club Caretaker Casa Publica Cod and Lobster Coley and Punch Cork Bar Cotto Crumpet Fukuko Gin and Raspberry The Gin Room The Halcyon Hawthorn Lounge Jervois Road Library Love Bucket The Lula Inn Parasol and Swing Pocket Bar and Kitchen Tiny Triumphs Zanzibar


landscape. It has built a reputation for its distinctively local gins that use rare, native and traditional botanicals and are distilled in a custom-built Carl still from Germany. The Four Pillars range includes Rare Dry Gin, Spiced Negroni Gin, Modern Australian Gin, Navy Strength Gin, and the unique Bloody Shiraz Gin. Four Pillars also has its own bar and distillery door at its Yarra Valley site where it is open for tastings and masterclasses. Four Pillars Gin has partnered with its New Zealand distributor, Tickety-Boo Liquor to offer the ‘Take Me To the Yarra’ sales incentive for bars. There are 26 venues competing to endorse and drive sales of Four Pillars Gin across an eight

The prize! A weekend behind the scenes at Four Pillars and touring Melbourne’s top bars The top three bars will each choose two staff to take part in ‘Take Me to the Yarra’, which includes: • return flights to Melbourne with accommodation for two nights • a visit to Four Pillars Distillery in the Yarra to make their own batch of Four Pillars Gin with

week period ending in mid-March. Using any Four Pillars gin, they must create a ‘Signature Four Pillars Gin & Tonic’ that reflects their venue’s theme/vibe, and a ‘Four Pillars Cocktail Special’. Three winning establishments will be chosen based on the top three total orders of Four Pillars Gin product direct from Tickety-Boo during the sales period, and the Instagram reach of a venue’s Four Pillars-related posts. Winners will be announced on Tuesday 13th March on Tickety-Boo’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and via email. FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE: FACEBOOK.COM/GROUPS/ TICKETYBOOLIQUOR OR ON INSTAGRAM: TICKETYBOOLIQUOR

Cameron McKenzie (Distiller/ Founder) and the Four Pillars Distillery team. Followed by dinner in the beautiful Yarra Valley. • a day at the Healesville Country Races to enjoy rail-side action from the Four Pillars Marquee. • Sunday night exploring Melbourne’s hospitality and bar scene with Sam Ng (Four Pillars Brand Ambassador), visiting some world-renowned venues such as Gin Palace, The Everleigh and Black Pearl.

Say hello to four of our favourite gins. Internationally recognised. Uniquely Australian.

RARE DRY GIN Double Gold: New York WWSC 2017 Double Gold: San Francisco WSC 2016 Double Gold: San Francisco WSC 2014 5/5 stars: Difford’s Guide

SPICED NEGRONI GIN Master: Global Gin Masters 2017 Gold: Hong Kong IWSC 2015 Silver: IWSC 2016 5/5 stars: Difford’s Guide

NAVY STRENGTH GIN Trophy/Best Gin: Hong Kong IWSC 2016 Master: Global Gin Masters 2017 Master: Global Gin Masters 2016 Master: Global Gin Masters 2015

BLOODY SHIRAZ GIN “The Australian answer to sloe gin” Difford’s Guide, 4.5/5 stars “Part gin, part wine, all delicious”

NEW ZEALAND TRADE DISTRIBUTOR: Tickety-Boo Liquor Limited +64 9377 7597 | @fourpillarsgin


Distributors Astrolabe Wines


Mission Estate

Sprig & Fern

03 577 6794

0800 699 463

06 845 9350

03 544 8675

Beam Suntory


Moët Hennessey

Sur Ltd

0800 505 123

021 193 2164

0800 226 650

021 44 9596


Hop and Vine

Neat Spirits

Tickety-Boo Liquor

021 507 230 027 433 0687

022 350 9288

09 377 7597

DB Breweries

Independent Liquor


Tuatara Brewing

0800 746 432

0800 420 001

0800 634 624


Epic Beer

Lewis Road

Peckham’s Cider

Villa Maria

0800 212 337

0800 800 553

03 543 2959

0800 505 656


Lakeman Brewing Co.

Pernod Ricard

Vintners NZ

0800 388 766

021 794 225

0800 655 550

0800 687 9463

Federal Merchants & Co


Plateau Group

Whisky Galore

0800 846 824

0800 107 272

Garage Project

Maison Vauron

Q Liquid

04 801 8076

09 529 0157

09 636 7730



Quench Collective

03 344 6270

09 522 9684

0800 946 326

Good George Brewing


Red + White

07 846 9364

03 476 3094

0800 946 379


Premium Mixers now available from Federal Merchants & Co | P: 0800 846 824


The view from the other side Matt Kirby has been with Clearview Estate just three years, but is already making his mark as Winemaker at the Hawke’s Bay winery On getting started in the wine industry I started a Bachelor of Winemaking and Viticulture in 2003 at Latrobe University in Melbourne. I was working as a chef at the time and completing an apprenticeship. The full-time study and full-time work made for an interesting time, and it was an extremely busy period of my life. Before that, I completed two years of a marine biology degree at James Cook University in Townsville. I have since found that quite a few winemakers in the southern hemisphere have taken a similar academic route – it must be something about the sea and the vines.

On coming to New Zealand I had worked in Central Otago on two occasions before moving over to Hawke’s Bay in January 2015. I really like the pioneering time that the New Zealand industry has gone through over the last 30 years. It has really shown a remarkable ability to adapt and grow quickly into a recognised fine wine country, and show a unique sense of place.

On the attraction to working at Clearview Estate I think it was the 2006 Clearview Reserve Chardonnay. I tried it at a tasting in South Australia and really liked its acidity and concentration. Clearview Estate is one of those dream jobs: small enough to

“I really like the pioneering time that the New Zealand industry has gone through over the last 30 years. It has really shown a remarkable ability to adapt and grow quickly into a recognised fine wine country, and show a unique sense of place.”

be hands-on in all aspects, successful enough that sales are good, and still family-owned! The surf break on the way to work helps as well.

On adjusting to winemaking in the Hawke’s Bay climate and surprises along the way I guess from a professional point of view the answer to this is fairly simple: natural acidity. Most regions in New Zealand are planted with varieties that are considered to be on the edge from a viticultural point of view. This means that some years they may not reach complete maturity, however, in the majority of years you have vines that produce fruit with complete balance between physiological ripeness, acidity level and sugar accumulation. Therefore additions that are fairly common in other parts of the world are unnecessary, giving the wines of New Zealand, and more to the point Hawke’s Bay, a real sense of purity.

On his proudest achievements at Clearview so far There have been three that stand out. Winning Wine of Show at the 2016 New Zealand International Wine Show. Being named Runner-up Winery of the Year by Raymond Chan in 2017 and being selected to be part of the Air NZ Fine Wines of New Zealand programme by six very knowledgeable Masters of Wine.

On current projects We had a catch up with the team from NZ Wine Story recently, who are doing a project looking at New Zealand’s place in the world of fine wine. They were looking at the evolution of New Zealand wine, through particular producers and discussing the rapid rise of quality wine that we produce here. It is a really exciting documentary called A Seat at the Table. I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

On the future of Syrah and Chardonnay in Hawke’s Bay Syrah is a variety that works really well in Hawke’s Bay, and it is especially exciting to see the slowing down of comparison to that of the Rhône. The Syrah from Hawke’s Bay is very distinctively from Hawke’s Bay and being comfortable that it stands out as a fine wine on a world stage is very cool. For me, Chardonnay is the variety that creates the most discussion between me and my peers, and the general public. People are so engaged by the variety and have a real passion when talking about it. I guess because it is so versatile, and can have so many different expressions.

On future projects at Clearview We have taken on a few new vineyards around Te Awanga, so for us the next few years is about learning what works for those particular sites. It is also about improving the way we speak to our customers; looking at our digital marketing strategy and keeping people informed of the goings on around the estate.

On challenges and opportunities facing the wine industry The sharing of knowledge and ideas from the older generation to the younger generation of winegrowers is vital. Succession planning for the intellectual property that has been obtained is really important. New Zealand is a relatively young industry and we all need to learn from the fortunes and challenges of the past, to keep growing in the future. SEE THE TRAILER FOR ‘A SEAT AT THE TABLE’ – SEARCH ‘NEW ZEALAND’S WINE STORY’ ON VIMEO.COM


0800 863 693

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Somersby cider with


Drinksbiz February March 2018  
Drinksbiz February March 2018