BACK in 1973 when Ross and Bill Spence started a small family-affair winery in West Auckland, they hoped that many of the techniques they planned to employ would assist revolutionise New Zealand’s fledgling wine industry.
They called their venture Matua Valley Wines, and within a few years had far exceeded their wildest expectations: after gambling with planting New Zealand’s first-ever Sauvignon Blanc, they went a step further by doing so in the Marlborough region in the north of the South Island, reasoning that it’s distinct micro-climate, soil type and topography would be ideal for the variety.
And the rest, as they say, is history: Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs are now considered amongst the finest in the world, with sales to Australia alone for these wines in the $19-$35 bracket increasing at a phenomenal 21.7 per cent a year.
The latest import from Matua Valley, their Estate Series Paretai Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, is made from fruit grown on the company’s Northbank Vineyard that lays across an ancient stone river bed, and has beautifully intense tropical flavours with an underlining minerality.
It’s well priced at $29.99 for a wine of its calibre; team it up with fresh oysters, or green-shell mussels served with a slightly chili-spiced coriander broth.