Fine Wines and Sumptuous Lodges In New Zealand

I'm picking up a lot of the cassis—the black currant fruit," says Steve Skinner, the assistant winemaker at Trinity Hill Vineyard in Hawke's Bay, as he swirls a sample of almost vermilion liquid around his glass. "But I'm seeing the savory side of the bottle aging—a certain leathery character and a lot of lanolin." Travel in New Zealand and you had better learn to speak the language of vintners and wine tasters. You might find yourself chatting about Cabernet with a cabbie, and Pinot Noir with a parking attendant.

Twenty years ago wine connoisseurs scoffed at the idea of anything good coming...

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