Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 2

This is the second of a two-part series about our wonderful time at Villa Maria‘s Cellar Door in Marlborough, New Zealand. Our host, winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, is talented, creative, knowledgeable and friendly. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience at the most-awarded winery in New Zealand.

And the wines are magnificent. Kat poured nine for us, ranging in price from $16-$43. Read on for more details. And then, head out to your nearest retailer that sells Villa Maria wine to pick up a few bottles. Of note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria, therefore many wines are readily available in the U.S.

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Visiting Villa Maria in Marlborough-Part 1

On a recent trip to New Zealand, we had the fortune to spend time at the country’s most-awarded winery, Villa Maria. Thanks to our host, talented and knowledgeable winemaker Kathrin (Kat) Jankowiec, we tasted many amazing wines at the Cellar Door in Marlborough. Of note, we have enjoyed Villa Maria’s popular wines many times in the past. This made our experience in New Zealand even more exciting and memorable.

Villa Maria crafts excellent wine at affordable prices. Wines from 28 grape varieties are exported to more than 60 countries. Many are widely available in the United States, and we strongly recommend you try them.

On a local note, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is a distribution partner for Villa Maria.
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Holiday Whites

White wine for the holidaysWhite wine pairs extremely well with the holidays for many reasons. A glass perfectly complements seafood dishes and appetizers. You can serve it at a party, take it to a gathering, or give it as a special holiday gift.

An array of white wines caught our fancy lately. Our palates have always preferred Sauvignon Blanc, but we recently tasted refreshing citrusy Albariño and a surprisingly delicious Riesling.

Here is our list of white wines (and a few tasty rosés) that we enjoyed in 2018 and recommend to grace your holiday plans, whatever they might be.

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Refreshing Sauvignon Blanc

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 1.26.51 PMWe love Sauvignon Blanc with seafood all year round; but in the summer months, we absolutely adore the crisp, refreshing flavors even more. Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with hot sun on the deck or warm summer nights. This wine drinks well alone, but it also pairs nicely with prawns, scallops and oysters, in addition to other seafood dishes, sushi, some cheeses, and grilled veggies such as asparagus.

While the most popular style is “light and crisp,” other styles include “fruity and smooth,”  “rich and creamy” and “elegant.” And some winemakers combine more than one style. The flavors can range from grassy to tropical.

Sauvignon Blanc is both an old-world and new-world wine, grown and produced in Washington state, California, British Columbia, New Zealand, France and other wine regions. What many people don’t realize is that Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc are the parents of Cabernet Sauvignon. During the 18th century in Bordeaux, the Sauvignon Blanc vine paired with Cabernet Franc to parent the Cabernet Sauvignon vine.

Here are some excellent Sauvignon Blancs that we recently tasted, ranging in price from $18-$25 MRP. Let’s start out with some Washington State wines, before turning to New Zealand. Continue reading