Preview of What to Look for at the New Zealand Wine Festival

12
Gugak Center

For oenophiles, the food and wine cognoscente, or those that are wine curious and love a great party, this is Busan’s event of the year; the 3rd New Zealand Wine Festival featuring over 75 wines from 25 wineries this Saturday, June 13th.

Once again, the Park Hyatt Busan will be hosting this Kiwi Fest in the Grand Ballroom while its professional, classically trained chefs will provide the catering with a tasty tapas buffet. Last year saw a nearly three-fold increase in attendees in Busan. Therefore, you may want to save the date and book early.

For the skinny on the island nation’s wines, it’s been noted here that not only has New Zealand had a record level of production last year now ranking it the 17th largest wine producing country, it also charted seven of the top 50 “world’s most admired wine brands” list (including Cloudy Bay, Villa Maria, and Babich available at the event). This exemplifies how the Kiwis remarkable upswing in quality is grabbing global attention.

“New Zealanders are drinking more pinot gris and Central Otago are producing some stunning pinot noirs. However, the world can’t get enough of New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc.”

 

Of course, it helps that NZ has benefitted from a string of great vintages from Hawke’s Bay in the north to the world’s most southerly wine region Central Otago since 2009. Especially with the widely available 2013 vintage, the industry leader Wine Enthusiast magazine gave “Excellent” vintage ratings for Marlborough sauvignon blanc, Martinborough and Central Otago pinot noir, and bestowed Hawke’s Bay first and highest ever rating of “Superb” for its reds. Furthermore, it’s New Zealand’s unique geography, microclimates, terroirs, and cool maritime influence that makes these wines not just special but exciting.

The big four NZ appellations — Marlborough and Central Otago on the South Island and Martinborough and Hawke’s Bay on the North Island — should not be missed. It’s in Marlborough where you would find Cloudy Bay and Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc, the winery that put Kiwi wines on the map and the United States’ most popular Kiwi import, respectively.

Also, this region offers approachable, food-friendly crowd pleasing medium bodied pinot noirs. In Otago, however, the pinot noirs are more introverted, challenging wines that bring more Burgundian complexity. That is why connoisseurs find these wines so contemplatively appealing.

In the southeastern part of the North Island is Martinborough. Like Marlborough, this appellation predominantly plants sauvignon blanc and pinot noir. It’s here, though, with Marlborough as a standard, where one can really experience how a winemaker’s decisions and a sense of place affects the wine’s taste. The wines of Palliser Estate, for example, stood out at last year’s event for it’s sauvignon blanc that was less citrusy than others and filled the glass with more stone and passion fruit.

Their pinot noir redolent with ripe black cherry and a flavor reminiscent of Dr. Pepper was unlike any other. Farther up the coast in Hawke’s Bay is where Bordeaux and Rhone varietals such as cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and syrah flourish. Mission Estate, New Zealand’s oldest continually operating commercial winery, produces these Old World varietals. Wine lovers who are drawn to fuller flavors and texture on a sturdy frame usually gravitate to Mission Estate’s table at this wine tasting.

wine

Recently I had the pleasure of catching up with Simon Walsh, President of TIWI Trade which is Korea’s number one New Zealand Food and Beverage company to discuss changes in the industry and what to look for at this year’s festival. Walsh, who co-founded the company in 2008 with business partner Sunny Myung, described since setting up TIWI “there have been dramatic changes.”

He continued, “The Korean consumer demands more value for their (Won) and is willing to pay for it. Companies that haven’t evolved have been left behind. FTA’s (Free Trade Agreements) and the relaxing of restrictions have been big factors. Koreans living abroad, Gyopos and foreigners introducing new ideas have also caused major change.”

In regards to wine, most wine drinkers know Marlborough for its refreshingly crisp sauvignon blanc and smooth, red-fruited pinot noirs. So I asked him what appellations and varietals are increasing in production, popularity, and others should know. Walsh’s response was food for thought for Saturday.

“New Zealanders are drinking more pinot gris and Central Otago are producing some stunning pinot noirs. However as you mentioned, the world can’t get enough of New Zealand’s sauvignon blanc. So there continues to be a lot of investment in planting areas of Marlborough with our most popular grape. If people get a chance to get down to NZ at some stage they will be surprised at the variety and quality being produced. A number of these varieties are still relatively small scale production. As such, most is consumed locally. This should hopefully change and allow for more exports. Another I would recommend is New Zealand Syrah. These have been turning a few heads internationally for a while.“

Finally, in regards to this year’s event, Business Korea reports these wine festivals have become “a highly-anticipated New Zealand tradition” for seven years running. Here in Busan, the scene here is rapidly changing. At the inaugural event, about 120 celebrated NZ’s fruit of the vine. Last year, over 320 in attendance imbibed some of the Southern Hemisphere’s finest. Therefore, I was wondering: how is the New Zealand Wine Festival in Busan different than Seoul’s? Again, Walsh generously replied.

“People always ask me this. One is not better than the other, as they are both special in their own way. Seoul is outdoors in the sun from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. While Busan is an indoor setting from 6.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. This will be the third time in Busan and it keeps getting better. People in Busan know how to have a good time. Throw in some excellent New Zealand wine and great New Zealand music and you can’t go wrong.”

I haven’t made it up to a wine event in Seoul yet. Though having been to the previous two wine fests in Busan and met Simon Walsh, Sunny Myung, and dozens of wine reps here; he’s right. I certainly second Walsh’s last sentiment. Salud!


To find out more about this weekend’s wine fest check out the event page here.

 


The Latest Haps

NewsEntertainmentLifestyleFood/DrinkTravelSports
chinese1

THAAD Affecting Chinese Tourism to Busan

Tourism in Busan has suffered a serious blow due to the Korean tourism restriction policy implemented by China following the announcement about THAAD being established in Busan.

0 comments
park-geun-hye-reuters

Korean Parliament Votes for Impeachment for Park

South Korea’s parliament voted on Friday to impeach President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal, suspending her powers, reports Reuters.

0 comments
parkgh

President Park’s Fate Likely Decided This Afternoon

The motion to impeach president Park Geun Hye have been formally carried out by 171 lawmakers from the main opposition Democratic Party, minor opposition People’s Party and Justice Party lawmakers.

0 comments
Source: Filmlinc.org

Japanese Cinema Premier Festival to be Held at the BCC

The “Japanese Cinema Premier Festival,” will be held from the 10th, for two days, at Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

SNL Korea Women Under Fire for Groping Male Hosts

Some female cast members of SNL Korea are under fire after a video of them sexually grabbing a popular K-pop boy bands genitals has sparked outrage on Korean social media.

0 comments
Image: YouTube

Have Your Say: Do You Like Busan’s Newest Branding Video?

The City of Busan has released its newest branding film entitled “Busan Brand Film” in hopes of promoting the city domestically and internationally.

0 comments
egg

AI Epidemic Spurs Drastic Increase in Egg Prices

Egg prices in the nation are on the verge of having a drastic increase.

0 comments
reindeer

Join the Gwangan Reindeer 5K Dash

For those looking for a little holiday exercise and fun, the Gwangan Reindeer 5k Dash is taking place on December 18th.

0 comments
Source: Filmlinc.org

Japanese Cinema Premier Festival to be Held at the BCC

The “Japanese Cinema Premier Festival,” will be held from the 10th, for two days, at Busan Cinema Center.

0 comments
salmon-dinner

Four Delicious Ways to Bid Adieu to 2016

Enjoy four restaurants that set the stage for the ideal holiday meal with warm atmosphere and flavorful food, inspired by our European counterparts.

0 comments
hq gwangan

Three Great Events at HQ Gwangan This Weekend

HQ Gwangan is once again having a big weekend of events with great food and drink specials.

0 comments
Image: Gorilla Beer Co.

Busan Beer Tour Hits Five Gwangalli Favorites

Five of Gwangalli’s favorite craft brew places are teaming up for the “Busan Beer Tour”.

0 comments
Gwangju Democracy Bell - site of the November '80 massacre

Travel Korea – Giving Gwangju a Go

One city that should be on the map for anyone canvassing Korea these days is Gwangju — Korea’s most indie of cities.

0 comments
Beomeosa's second gate, Cheonwangmun, or Gate of the Four Heavenly Kings was originally built in 1699 and houses the four kings or divas guarding the entrance of the temple. Beomeosa is a Buddhist temple in Busan, South Korea. Built on the slopes of Geumjeongsan, is one of the country's leading urban temples constructed in 678.

Travel Korea: Busan’s Beomeosa Temple

Founded in 678, the temple offers a unique view into the life of Korea’s Buddhist Monks.

0 comments
Image: SR

New Super Rapid Train Service in Korea Begins Friday

High speed rail travelers will have a new option on the Korean peninsula as the SR bullet train service begins this Friday.

0 comments
Image: Claw Digest

Lotte Giants Sign Parker Markel, Lose Lindblum

The Lotte Giants have signed American pitcher Parker Markel for the 2017 season.

0 comments
kimchi

Lotte Giants Players Join in Winter Kimchi-Making Event

Lotte Giants players, including Kang Minho, Son A-sub, Jeon Joon-woo, Kim Moon-ho, and Jeong Hoon will participate in a winter kimchi making event today.

0 comments
Image: Busan City

City to Tear Down Gudeok Baseball Park and Gymnasium

The city office has decided to tear down Gudeok Baseball Park and Gymnasium and operate it as an exercise park in a smaller scale.

0 comments

 

 

Comments

comments

HQ bar