Sunday, March 30, 2008

March 12, 2008 - Waipara

Today's drive north along the East Coast of the South Island took us through Waipara (Maori for "muddy water"), the smallest wine region we'll visit on this trip. Because we still had a good distance to go today beyond Waipara, we limited ourselves to quick stops at only three vineyards. Our favorite of the bunch was Daniel Schuster Wines - the smallest vineyard we visited. The reputation of these wines and their winemaker far outpaces the volume produced.

Daniel Schuster is a transplant from Bohemia by way of a dozen wine regions in the Old and New Worlds. We were lucky enough to find the man himself in the tasting room today. It was the most fun we've ever had tasting wines. We were a rapt audience for his running monologue of Dylan quotes, advice on marital relations, recipe ideas, jokes about the American cities he's visited promoting his wines, and last but not least commentary on the wines themselves. This was also the strongest collection of wines we tasted - there was not a bad bottle in the bunch.

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