Waipara, New Zealand

East Coast, South Island Just north of Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island is an up and coming wine region called Waipara. Pegasus Bay has been shaping delicious pinot noir and riesling from this district for years, and now, finally, the rest of the world is starting to take notice. Waipara is overshadowed by Marlborough to the north and Central Otago to the south, but the rieslings and balanced pinots have captivated me for months now. Being an undervalued wine appellation isn't all that bad, at least from a selfish point of view. As a result there are some good values to be had for wine lovers willing to branch out into the New World. Fleur's patio Two such producers are Weka River and The Crater Rim, both being imported into America by Sober Imports this Fall. These are exciting wines. Weka River, owned by well-known viticulturist Brent "Harry" Harris and Susan Laidlaw, makes hand crafted, deliciously floral pinot noirs and complex dry rieslings. Crater Rim, the passionate brainchild of Ben and Theo Coles, creates a point of difference with their Germanic-style rieslings and Bordelaise-style sauvignon blancs. Their pinot noirs from different regions are terroir driven and totally individualistic. There's not much of these wines made, so keep an eye out for them this October and try to get in on them early before they sell out. Harry-Weka River Pegasus Bay has a consistently good kitchen and lovely landscaped grounds. there is a bounty of great local food from here, and it's proximity to Christchurch bodes well for Waipara and the greater area known as Canterbury's development as a popular wine destination. There is an annual food and wine festival in March that highlights the 30 odd neighborhood producers. It's a special spot. Dicey High Altitude Vnyd I'm off to Auckland today, waiting for the fog to lift off rainy Adelaide. I will be travelling to Hawkes Bay, Marlborough, and Martinborough. I'll report back in the next few days. Oysters at pegasus bay SBlanc with botrytis Steps to nowhere