Now thought to be rarer than the kiwi, the native New Zealand falcon is on the brink of extinction. I’ve always been desperate to see a falcon up close, so when Brancott Estate invited me to check out the work they’re doing to encourage them back into Marlborough I was there like a shot. In addition to replanting native vegetation and revitalising wetlands, encouraging the native falcon population back into the area has become a major sustainability effort for the Brancott team. $1 from every Living Land Series wine sold in New Zealand goes toward the Living Land Fund directly benefitting the breeding program of the Blenheimbased Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust. So apart from the obvious ‘possible extinction’ issue, why is Brancott Estate so keen on increasing the falcon population? As grapes ripen they become very sweet, and most birds find them extremely tasty, causing major damage as they feed on the crop. Most growers throw nets over their vines, but netting has its negatives. As Marlborough’s vineyards expand, so does the population of hungry, non-native birds. Ensuring the natural balance of things, falcons prey on these birds, deterring them from ever coming back. “It’s like finding a shark in your pool,” says Falcon handler Diana Dobson.
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has just the right amount of zingy citrus, and toasty undertones with a long, creamy texture makes it the perfect match for the haloumi, pesto and zesty sauce in Federal & Wolfe’s funky, rather flash take on Eggs Florentine.