When you’ve got a lake, picture perfect scenery, and the world’s southern-most grown grapes, you’ve got a recipe for success.
Now, the last time you were near a mountain may have been for the ski season. I, personally, don’t have mountains come to mind first when I think of grapes being grown. Instead, I’m reminded of why I’ve never gone skiing again.
Now, I don’t blame you for not knowing what the term ‘continental climate’ means – it’s a school day for me as well. However, I do deserve more marks against me because of I kind of live in one – you’d think I’d be able to be somewhat educated about my surrounding environment.
Down under (beyond the real ‘down under’ – Australia) is a mountainous climate that has a few winemaking secrets up its sleeve. You’ll hopefully at least know that climate plays a significant role in how grapes are grown, which is why Rippon Vineyard is so unique and fascinating.
The South Island of New Zealand has some interesting weather pass through it (this is where I feign knowledge and understanding). Central Otago proudly shows off the fact that it has a true continental climate. This means that some parts of the year are unbearably scorching hot, and then other times are freakishly cold.
In a nutshell, a continental climate is an environment that gives you the best of both worlds, depending on what time of the year it is. While the change may upset you, it doesn’t bother the grapes. In fact, this type of terrain is extremely fertile when it comes to winemaking.
You can see why Rippon has found their home here. Maybe they first came here because they were greedy for the sight-seeing – or they wanted to improve on their ski skills. Or perhaps they arrived in the southern-most viticultural capital in the world because they knew there was wine – and money – to be made.
Honestly, it’s pretty hard to beat sitting in front of the kind of picturesque lake that beggar’s belief while sipping on some of New Zealand’s best wine. I mean, surely tasting wine is a sport by now, right?
If you’re someone who wishes all the snow in the world would melt and the long, sunny days would stick around instead, then you’re in luck. Longer days of sun is one of the perks of having a continental climate – and the grapes don’t mind it too much, either.
Rippon Vineyard Wine
Rippon Mature Vine Riesling 2017: you can thank the hard-working sun for the flesh put into this wine. The root hairs of this vine have connected with the rocks below – and you know what that means. It’s a mature vine, and some of the best Rieslings have come from mature vines (respect your elders).
You’ll feel almost dizzy from the headiness in this wine – but it’s not a bad thing. There’s power in a mature Riesling.
Emma’s Block Mature Vine Pinot Noir: because we just can’t get enough of the old mature vines, let’s showcase another. Emma’s block faces in an easterly direction on the lakefront. This runs ancient clay reefs together with schist gravels.
Words to describe this Pinot Noir 2017: fine, sleek, detailed, with animated femininity (interpret as you will).
Rippon Sauvignon Blanc 2017: fermenting in French Oak had a significant role to play in the production of this wine. Don’t be fooled, however – it wasn’t for the oak but for the form of the barrel itself.
High lees take charge of the mouthfeel that goes well with the unhurried wild ferments.
If you have enough glasses of Rippon Vineyard’s outstanding wine, you may just be able to spot Gandalf walking around the mountain that sits guarding Lake Wanaka closely.
Whatever time of year it is, there’s magic in the air. There’s also magic in the water, too – which is why you don’t want to miss out on Rippon Vineyard wine.
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November 28 • certification
Certification vs. Real-world Experience
A sommelier’s ultimate mission is for people to share your love and passion for wine. One sommelier’s nose and mouth are completely different from the next, so individual smell and taste will differ greatly from one expert to the next.
November 09 • Best Bars
The world’s Best Bars
What makes a great bar? Is it the ambience, the signature cocktails, the music, the history?
From classic to modern, the list of the best 50 bars around the world ...
November 03 • singani
Singani in the U.S., a Bolivian spirit revolution
It was only made for domestic consumption, as it had for hundreds of years. Produced only in the Bolivian high valleys, singani has been distilled since the 16th century when the Spanish arrived in South America. Initially, it was made from grapevines brought by monks who needed sacramental wine. The name for the drink is believed to come from a village near the mission that first distilled it.
September 29 • Bolivian Wine
Bolivian Wine: from the Andes to your Table
Bolivia may not instantly come to mind when one thinks of wine, but the South American country has a long and rich viticulture history that dates back to the arrival of the Spanish missionaries, who first planted vines around the wealthy silver-mining city of Potosi in the mid-16th century.
September 25 • Coffee Producers
The ‘Arabica’ Whisperer
The best part of waking up? Well, it’s coffee, of course.
Humanity truly runs on this beverage that helps millions of people around the world wake up, work and function. And if it’s of the Arabica variety, its delicious ‘kick’ will keep you going strong all day long.
September 15 • Latino Heritage Month
Raise a toast to Latino Heritage Month
The Empire State Building kicked off Latino Heritage Month by shining red, white and green colors onto the New York skylight on September 15 in honor of the Mexican flag.
August 16 • Music
PEOPLE ARE STRANGE: Jim Morrison
Jim was quoted in his poetic nature: “Being drunk is a good disguise.” He said. “It means I can talk to assholes.”
May 31 • Civil rights
Hennessy: The Cognac of Hip Hop & Civil Rights (Part 2)
It’s safe to say we would all agree Hennessy and Hip-Hop are associated with each other in a special way. We would even go as far to say, Hennessy has reached global iconic status thanks to that fact. That being said, while the cognac of hip-hop was catapulted to its iconic stature thanks to the help of artist like Tupac and Nas, what we don’t know by looking at the surface is that Hennessy has a long standing tradition of supporting people of African decent.
July 15 • shots
The First “Shot” Ever Served: A Tale of the West
It’s always a race against the heat in the West. Hell, there’s a score of difference races around here. There’s a race to the riches and a race to the hills where the riches lay. There’s a race to food and shelter and the means in which a man might make to get them. There’s a race to the women and to the brothels and saloons where you can find them at. I don’t look for my women in those places but I often find myself in them for other races. Mine is a race to whiskey. It’s only a matter of time before I find myself in one today.
November 12 • Chile
Todo lo que tienes que saber sobre los nuevos vinos chilenos: nuevas regiones, nuevas variedades y aclamados productores de moda, una SommClass de la experta en vinos Loreto Ruiz.