Where in the wine world are we? Picturesque but marginal edition


We haven’t done one of these for a while. But a site reader thought he could stump everyone with this shot from his travels (click to enlarge). As a clue, he writes “while this vineyard is in among the more picturesque parts of the region, it’s by no means the part of the region you go to to find the best wine.”

Details to follow! But in the meantime, where in the wine world was he?

UPDATE: Good guesses! The picture comes from kiwi lover Eric Arnold, author of First Big Crush: The Down and Dirty on Making Great Wine Down Under, who sent in the picture along with this commentary, satellite imagery, and a map! He writes:

“It’s a marginal piece of land at best. It’s out by Rarangi, toward the coast, which is a tiny dirty-hippie beach community; so it’s pretty sandy over there–nothing like the stony, minerally heart of the Wairau Valley. The highest-quality vineyards of Marlborough are about 10km inland from here, and on the south side of the river. While I’m not sure exactly what wines come from this specific vineyard, I do know that some of the grapes for Monkey Bay also come Rarangi. So I would say that while this vineyard is in among the more picturesque parts of the region, it’s by no means the part of the region you go to to find the best wine. The beach isn’t so bad, though….”

Click to view satellite image

The big red box is where most of the Sauvignon Blanc is grown in Marlborough. The small red box is this vineyard.

Thanks for playing. Send in your photos if you have a good one from your travels!

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20 Responses to “Where in the wine world are we? Picturesque but marginal edition”

  1. Santa Lucia Highlands/Monteray?

    That looks like the view from Haan Vineyard (or somewhere that sounds like Haan that I went to last year with my family)

  2. Sierra Foothills?

  3. South Africa?

  4. I was also thinking South Africa

  5. Looks like Chile to me, the Colchagua valley – maybe Caliterra?

  6. Central Coast, CA in my opnion

  7. I think its Chile but one of the lesser appellations. Maybe Rapel of Curico

  8. Not South Africa. Too flat. I’m thinking Chile too.

  9. Robertson region – South AFrica!

  10. South Africa (Klein Karoo?) or northern parts of Chile.

  11. Perhaps Central Otago.

  12. I’d say Chile, near Argentina ?

  13. Capachoal valley, Chile ?

  14. I thought of Santa Lucia Highlands, but there’s no configuration of flat ground at the base of those hills in quite that same way; the flat ground is further east, on the valley floor.
    It’s definitely not the Sierra Foothills. Could be Alto Adige, toward the South.

  15. Very good guesses, all from the New World!

    The answer, in fact, had to do with the flightless, nocturnal bird, the kiwi!

    Since I can’t paste photos to the comments, I updated the original post with satellite imagery, a map, and a comment from the photographer, none other than (NZ) wine book author, Eric Arnold!

  16. Ah, it’s too bad I came late to the show. Although I don’t know if I would have guessed correctly. Eric makes a good point, however. While vineyards may not always produce the best wine, they certainly can make for great photographs.

  17. Since my guess, Central Otago, came closest to the right answer, I think Tyler Colman, a k a Dr. Vino, should award my instinct a prize. The prize should capture the quintessence of New Zealand sauvignon blanc.

    Therefore, Tyler please send me: a bottle of Grand Cru grapefruit juice, a bundle of fresh lean asparagus, three green apples, a jar of dried thyme, a half-pound of baby peas, a bag of gooseberries and a tin of small white pebbles washed smooth by a virgin streamlet.

    If these items do not come readily to hand, a CD of Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in “Der Rosenkavalier” will more than suffice.

  18. Howard,

    Yes, congrats on being the only one to guess Aotearoa!

    Ha! If you intend to ingest all of those items at once, I will gladly provide them. 😉



  19. Howard-

    Since this is a marginal vineyard at best, likely producing unintersting run-of-the-mill wines, you should get something more appropriate: like a sancerre. 😉

  20. Eric,
    Since you’ve struck gold as an insightful fan of New Zealand whites, I find your suggestion that I reach for a Loire white a trifle, well, insancerre.



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