wine match

Element - - Lifestyle - BY YVONNE LORKIN

This gor­geous gnoc­chi dish from Cos­set Café has com­fort food writ­ten all over it and as soon as I saw wal­nuts and blue­ber­ries in the in­gre­di­ents list I im­me­di­ately raced out and got a bot­tle of Waipara Hills Equinox Pinot Noir 2010 ($29) Why? Be­cause it is packed to the cap with aro­mas of freshly-dug dirt, wild berries and bak­ing spices, that’s why. In the mouth it is de­li­ciously juicy and is edged with cherry, cho­co­late and blue­berry flavours while leav­ing a lush, warm­ing tex­ture on the fin­ish. It works beau­ti­fully with the creamy wal­nut sauce and the tangy ap­ple and blue­berry cider sauce on the side.

Fo­cussed on mak­ing sure their wines ex­press their ‘ter­roir’ and the unique char­ac­ter of their re­gion in the purest way pos­si­ble, Waipara Hills are now part of the “Green­ing Waipara” project. A num­ber of high pro­file North Can­ter­bury winer­ies have joined this ini­tia­tive which is based on local us­ing na­tive plants in and around the vine­yard. Waipara Hills are us­ing Kanuka, Cab­bage Tree and Lance­wood around the vine­yard, Maori Jas­mine at the start of the vine rows and plants such as Bidibid, Muehlen­beckia and Scab­weed be­tween the grapevines.

All of th­ese plants have prop­er­ties which it’s hoped will min­imise the need to use con­ven­tional her­bi­cides and pes­ti­cides on the vine­yard. The win­ery is work­ing with Lin­coln Univer­sity to de­ter­mine what ben­e­fits in terms of pest con­trol, weed sup­pres­sion, dis­ease-preven­tion, soil health and car­bon foot­print im­pli­ca­tions th­ese plant­ings might have.

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