WAIRARAPA, NEW ZEALAND
When Scot Christine Kernohan went through a 'mid life career crisis' in the mid 1990s, she ditched the computer industry that she had 'somehow got herself into' and bought Gladstone Vineyards. The oldest producer in Wairarapa, Gladstone wasn't really any great shakes when she took over, but in the two decades since her commitment to producing great quality wines that aren't from the New Zealand Wine style book has really paid off.
The first thing to know is that we aren't talking Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or Central Otago Pinot Noir. If you want power, these wines aren't for you. However, if you want these two grapes with new world fruit, but an old world elegance, then look to this North Island producer and enjoy. The second thing to know is not to rush. These wines can age beautifully. If you want fuller fruit, by all means drink them young, but waiting a couple of vintages unveils exquisite balance, great softness and delicate fruit that the power of youth masks.
I love these wines, and suggest that if you want to move away from the norm in New Zealand, you give them a try.