Last of what used to be the summer wine

By Roger Moroney

1 comment
Lisa Clarke (left), Helma van den Berg and Tim Turve, from Clearview Estate winery at Te Awanga, with their last pallet of Blush Rosé wine. Photo / Paul Taylor
Lisa Clarke (left), Helma van den Berg and Tim Turve, from Clearview Estate winery at Te Awanga, with their last pallet of Blush Rosé wine. Photo / Paul Taylor

For Lisa Clarke, it's not a bad dilemma.

As Clearview Estate winery's account manager, the past couple of years of ensuring there was enough of their Black Reef Blush ros to cover all the client bases had become challenging as they quickly ran out.

So the winery increased the production of the variety by a third to cater for what she described as a changing landscape of wine drinking.

"Ros is no longer considered just a spring and summer drink - it is being drunk all year round and restaurants and cafes have responded to this change and you'll now continually find it on many wine lists," she said.

That change was underlined by the demand for the variety, and despite greatly upping the volume of the 2014 ros vintage it had all but sold out again.

It had also been a reflection of Hawke's Bay's much-vaunted wine industry and ability to create wines which hit the mark - all year round.

"We thought that increasing production by 30 per cent was a bold move but the demand continues to overshadow supply - so it is an exciting problem to have," Ms Clarke said.

"Here we are in the same position as previous years, nearly sold out before the next vintage is ready, although in previous years it was all gone months before bottling."

She said the winery was down to less than a pallet of the 2014 and she had found herself in the position of having the carefully ration distribution until the 2015 was set to be bottled this week.

Like the 2014, the volume of the 2015 ros vintage was also up by a third and she said the orders were already arriving.

When she started at the winery about five years ago the market was different.

She said a winemaker had told her that "no one can sell a ros in winter" and that it was seen as a summer drink.

"But that trend has changed and it is now one of the most drunk varieties all year round."

The Black Reef Blush is derived from traditional red grapes grown on the Te Awanga vines as well as from a French hybrid grape called chambourcin.

It has picked up gold medals at the Air New Zealand Wines Awards.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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