wine watch

Element - - Living - By Yvonne Lorkin http://www.face­book.com/marl­bor­ough­fal­cons

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.

cle Bbancett nstate Liv­ing Land 0Lab­den­nay 2$$9 ($2$)

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.

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