Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nelson Ark

One of the fantastic things about the wine industry is the amount of support they give the local community. In the past I have talked about wineries that support the arts and other sectors but there is one business that is supporting a very cool community project – The Nelson ARK.
I am a bit of a softie when it comes to animals (as our two dogs and two cats can testify) and I think these guys are doing a great job not only for animals but for people too. The Nelson ARK (a Charitable Trust) is a community centre which houses a fully functioning no-kill animal rescue shelter.
Its website says that “youth-at-risk and older people are brought together with the animals, as volunteers or participants to help each other in a variety of educational rehabilitative and integrative programmes. The Nelson ARK believes that joining these groups together in a meaningful and caring endeavour will benefit not only the animal and human participants but will have positive effects for the entire community. Our APART (Animals, People And Rehabilitative Training) programme, which is based on successful programmes in the US and Canada, brings together young people, older people as mentors, and animals in an intensive training environment. Dog training teaches the value of patience, discipline and hard work. It also offers young people the opportunity to learn co-operative ways of dealing with problems in the training which will in turn provide alternative coping strategies in their own life. The programmes give youth an opportunity to participate in positive, rewarding experiences where respect for themselves, other people and animals is reinforced.”
So what has this got to do with wine? Well the guys at Richmond Plains are supporting this great programme by donating 20% of all sales from specially labeled bottles of their sauvignon blanc to the Nelson ARK. This isn’t some gimmick to get rid of surplus wine, Michael Cooper gave this wine four stars and it is one of their top selling wines; I love the classic, ripe Nelson sauvignon characters.
At a time of the year when we all think about others and donate to causes like the food bank I think it is fantastic someone is thinking about the animals in our community so when you see bottles with photo’s of dogs on the label at Fresh Choice Richmond and Nelson, and New World Nelson remember that 20% is going to help this great initiative. You can also buy it from Richmond Plains winery in McShane Road. The perfect Christmas gift if you are looking for something for clients or friends.

I have been drinking
We tasted these wines with our friends Nic and Tim so for a change I thought I would tell you what someone else thinks as well as my thoughts.

Sacred Hill Halo Hawke’s Bay Syrah – RRP $24.90
The colour is dark, deep inky red and the flavours are bursting with intense blackberry characters without being sweet and jammy. Layers of black pepper, lashings of elegant oak spice and firm but easy-to-manage tannins make for a complete wine experience and Nic says it is too easy to drink (as he enjoyed more than one glass) and is exceptional buying at this price. You will find it at premium wine outlets or go to www.sacredhill.com

Julicher Estate 2009 Sauvignon Blanc – RRP $18.75
Produced from Martinborough fruit this is similar to a Nelson style sauvignon rather than a Marlborough style. The palate is rich and textural with lush tropical fruit and citrus characters. Ripe fruit acidity ensures it is juicy in the mouth without being harsh. Tim managed to get to the bottom of the bottle (with a little help) and asked if there was any more.

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