Oenotourisme Monde - Partez à la découverte de la Dolce Vita made in Matakana, Nouvelle-Zélande - Les Grappes

Discover the Dolce Vita made in Matakana, New Zealand

After Brick Bay, let's discover Heron's Flight. It has been more than a quarter of a century since Mary Evans and David Hoskins created the first vineyard in the Matakana region: Heron's Flight. Initially French, the grape varieties were later replaced by Italians, rare in New Zealand. Let's go and meet the dolce vita which has settled several kilometres away from Italian soil!

Heron's Flight: the 1st vineyard of the Matakana region in New Zealand

Freshly arrived from Auckland at the end of the 80s, David, a chemist and philosopher from Philadelphia, and Mary, his wife, a professor, arrived in the Matakana with the desire to go green... and red!They start by planting Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay, but soon fall in love with Italian wines.

La Dolce Vita is on its way, the Sangiovese (literally the Blood of Jupiter) was planted in 1994. Little by little they replace their vines with this grape variety, later supplemented by Dolcetto. Stefano Guidi, a Florentine winemaker, has been putting his nose into the vats of Heron's Flight since 2015. Because of its small size, its family side and the passion that emanates from it, the vineyard immediately evoked the Tuscan estates to him.

Their philosophy: to make the best wine possible and to propose a sharing with the land and the people of the land.

Sangiovese & Dolcetto: Italian grape varieties in New Zealand

At Heron's Flight, you will find organic wines but no label, just convictions and the desire to preserve a healthy nature. Without treatment, the vines sink their roots deep into the earth, making them more robust and resistant to weather conditions.

Heron's Flight produces about 1500 cases a year, divided into six wines: four reds, one rosé and the brand new vintage: a sweet Sangiovese wine.

To make this last premium wine, Stefano has created a home-made dryer, where the best grapes are placed on a rack. They dry for 6 months before being pressed with a very old manual press; the few drops harvested will make just over 100 bottles!

Another particularity, Stephano brought back a 500 litre amphora in his luggage from Florence. The bunches are selected, pressed and rest for 6 months in the amphora. No passage in a barrel, for tannins and flavours 100% grape.

This ancestral method is a success, so much so that Stefano had a new, smaller amphora built, the amphorina as he affectionately calls it.

The marriage between the grapes from Italy and the land of New Zealand is original and successful!

Wine Zealand Project (for Les Grappes)

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