Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 611

8 | AUSTRAL I AN & NEW ZEAL AND WINE ADVERT I S ING PROMOT ION 4 AUGUST 2022 BABICH WINES MEET THE PRODUCER T he story behind the oldest family owned winemaking company in New Zealand began more than 100 years ago, and many thousands of miles away in Europe. “My great-grandparents were poor Croatian farmers and made the big decision to send their children to New Zealand,” says third-generation winemaker David Babich (left). “My grandfather, Josip, left Croatia at just 14 and never saw his parents again.” Many new arrivals to New Zealand, like the Babich family, worked in the north, digging and selling a resin called kauri gum. “These people loved to share a bottle of wine at the end of the day and my grandfather saw a business opportunity. A farmer at heart, he began planting vines and by 1916 he had a licence to make and sell wine.” Josip’s sons and then grandsons followed him into the business and Babich became early pioneers of organic and, later, vegan wines. They’re still committed to sustainable practices, including water-conservation projects and being 100% certified sustainable by New Zealand Wine Growers. “Wine is in our DNA,” says David. “My grandfather spent 70 years in this industry and lived to see us start exporting wine back to Europe – that would have been really meaningful to him.” Babich Organic Sauvignon Blanc Offer £9.99/75cl (was £12.99) (bin 459722) The organic grapes for this wine come from Headwaters, an organic site in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Fresh, with gentle nectarine flavours, a touch of honeysuckle and a spicy, crisp finish. Where would we be without a chilled Sauvignon Blanc (or a juicy red) on a hot summer’s day? These are six of the best MEANWHI LE , IN NEW ZEALAND Yealands Reserve Sauvignon Blanc £11.49/75cl (bin 569047) Made by one of the top sustainable wineries in the Marlborough region, this gorgeous white has aroma notes of guava, blackcurrant bud, sweet pea and passion fruit, with concentrated fruit flavours and a long, crisp finish. It’s especially good with seafood. The Doctors’ Sauvignon Blanc £9.99/75cl (bin 792063) Winemaker Dr John Forrest has pioneered the production of naturally lower-alcohol wines in New Zealand. This award-winning Marlborough white is 9.5% alcohol, but it has bags of flavour, including tropical fruit and herby aromas. Wither Hills Sauvignon Blanc £11.99/75cl (bin 822385) The winery is named after the Wither Hills bordering the vineyards in the Wairau Valley in Marlborough. The style of this Sauvignon Blanc is spot on, with guava and citrus flavours that have a touch of minerality and a lovely crisp finish. Astrolabe Pinot Noir* £18.99/75cl (bin 825533) A beautiful Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in New Zealand’s Marlborough Valley, this has been fermented with wild yeasts and aged in French oak barriques for 10 months. Rich, smooth and moreish. Pair with duck, game or wild mushroom dishes. Cowrie Bay Hawke’s Bay Merlot 20% off £7.99/75cl (was £9.99) (bin 520027) This mellow red is from Hawkes Bay on the North Island, a region renowned for producing particularly great Merlot. Perfectly juicy with ripe plum flavours and a soft, smooth finish. Rapaura Springs Rohe Rapaura Sauvignon Blanc* £18.99/75cl (bin 689296) An elegant Sauvignon Blanc made from grapes grown in a single sustainable vineyard in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. Winemaker Matt Thomson has captured the region’s classic passion-fruit flavours brilliantly. *Selected stores