Wine From The Other Side

Wine From The Other Side

by Naheen Madarbakus-Ring
Groove Korea Magazine
The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Korea (or the Kiwi Chamber) proudly presents the return of the 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival to welcome in the spring. Choose from the ninth annual New Zealand Wine Festival in Seoul on May 20th, 2017 at the Grand Hyatt, head south to Busan for the fifth annual event on June 3rd at the Park Hyatt, or attend both events for a tantalizing wine experience.
This year’s theme promotes ‘Wine From The Other Side’, to offer wine lovers a taste of New Zealand in each and every glass. Festival guests can take a break from the hustle and bustle of Korean city life to embrace an evening’s entertainment from the Southern hemisphere. Start the journey to the other side of the world by sampling an atmosphere that channels the country’s clean air, pure water and exceptional wine offerings at this year’s New Zealand Wine Festival.
New Zealand prides itself on its fruitful wine offerings with both festival sites presenting bottles from over 20 vineyards. Kiwi Chamber Chairman Dr. Tony Garrett explains “New Zealand has a unique geography and perfect climate which makes its wines truly special”, providing all wine enthusiasts with the opportunity to sample a tasty tipple.
A collection of world-renowned red and white New Zealand wines will be available for guests to smell, sip, and savor. Celebrating established winery brands including Hunter’s, Cloudy Bay and Rapaura Springs, there will be a sweetness or acidity to suit every taste bud. As Dr. Garrett comments “with well over 700 vineyards spread across the country, consumers have a wide variety of vintages from Hawke’s Bay in the north Island to Central Otago in the South to choose from”, firmly placing New Zealand on the global wine map.
Alongside the wine festivities, a New Zealand-themed buffet will also provide guests with a mouth-watering culinary experience. In Seoul, the Grand Hyatt’s outdoor Waterfall Garden presents a BBQ-style buffet ranging from a choice of salads, meat cuts and vegetable dishes to complement a selection of breads and desserts. The Busan evening, which takes place in the Park Hyatt’s Grand Ballroom, will serve up a delectable tapas buffet selection while guests can enjoy spectacular views overlooking the Marina.
The festival will also provide entertainment with a backdrop of music and a live lucky draw will announce winners throughout the event. Spectacular prizes include a return economy ticket to New Zealand by sponsors Singapore Airlines, bottles of wine and other goodies for guests to win and enjoy.
Undoubtedly, the Wine Festivals have been a significant factor toward building firmer relationship ties between local Korean and New Zealand business communities. The recent Korea-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which was signed at the end of 2015, removed 15% wine import tariffs to the ROK, seeing a higher frequency of New Zealand wines appearing on Korean supermarket shelves. Dr. Garrett remarks how “New Zealand wine exports increased 31% during the first full year of the Korea-New Zealand FTA. This is a great story for wine lovers who can now enjoy top-notch Kiwi wines at more affordable prices”. Now the 10th largest exporter of wine to Korea, there are more than 50 world-class New Zealand wine brands for consumers to choose from, with many showcased at this year’s festival.
The 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival offers a taste of Kiwi culture in one evening. Whether looking to taste some exquisite wines, sample some wonderful cuisine or enjoy an evening full of Kiwi-style entertainment, the New Zealand Wine Festival promises to bring a taste of wine (and culture) from the other side of the world, straight here to the peninsula.
More Info:  
Seoul Event: The Ninth Annual New Zealand Wine Festival
Date: Saturday 20th May 2017
Time: 4.00pm-8.00pm
Location: Waterfall Garden, Grand Hyatt Seoul (will be moved indoors if raining)
Tickets: KRW 95,000 (Members), KRW 110,000 (Non-Members), KRW 120,000 (on the door)
Transport: Itaewon Station (Line 6, Exit 2)
Busan Event: The Fifth Annual New Zealand Wine Festival
Date: Saturday 3rd June 2017
Time: 6.30pm-10.30pm
Location: Grand Ballroom (2nd floor), Park Hyatt Busan 
Tickets: KRW 95,000 (Members), KRW 110,000 (Non-Members), KRW 120,000 (on the door)
Transport: Dongbaek Station (Line 2, Exit 3)
Here’s a few sample offerings which shouldn’t be missed at this year’s 2017 New Zealand Wine Festival.
Hunter’s  – Sauvignon Blanc
Hunter’s hails from the Marlborough area on the South Island. The dream of Jane Hunter, this winery has continued to grow as an independent, family-owned establishment in just 30 years.
In 1986, Hunter’s won the highly acclaimed Sunday Times Vintage Festival accolade with an oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc. Since this surprise win, the flagship wine has continued to turn heads in New Zealand and globally for its distinctive taste.
Tasty Tipple Tip: Traditionally, wines from Marlborough, shows a mixture of herbaceous capsicum, passion fruit and ripe tropical fruit aromas. Wine enthusiasts can experience a very refreshing variety of fruity tastes to the palate. These flavors and aromas leave a fresh and lingering finish, making it a fully satisfying wine with a balanced acidity.
Rapaura Springs  – Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Located in the Marlborough area and heading south to central Otago, the journey of Rapaura Springs wines begins at the mouth of the Wairau River. Embarking on a six-month journey through a rocky aquifer, water released to a spring then weaves through the vineyard to provide the winemakers with crystal clear, pure, water for the vines to flourish.
The family-run Rapaura Springs winery recently collected two prestigious awards as New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year and the Sauvignon Blanc Trophy at the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC). Regularly appearing in the critics reviews, Rapaura Springs continues to bottle superior quality and premium tasting wines, year after year.
Tasty Tipple Tip: This wine has pink grapefruit, white nectarine and passion fruit aromas combined with lifted herbal and zesty citrus notes. A textural, fruit driven, wine which offers layer upon layer of delicious citrus and tropical fruit notes. An underlying, attractive flinty-ness combines with these tasty fruit flavors and crisp acidity to deliver a long and refreshing finish.
Babich  – Marlborough Pinot Noir
Babich is a family run winery, which now boasts two vineyard locations. The Babich Auckland Winery and the Henderson Valley Vineyard is a wine haven for any North islander. In 1916, Babich Wines started a spectacular legacy which now spans over three generations to continue bottling some of the best quality reds and whites in the country.
Accolades for numerous bottles are continuously awarded each year. More recently, the 2017 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards brought the winery silver medals for the 2015 Winemaker’s Reserve Pinot Noir. With no less than nine different wine categories to choose from, bottles hailing from the classic to the 100-year wine range makes any occasion special.
Tasty Tipple Tip: Coupled together with stir-fried lamb and eggplant or a steak and mushroom pie, experience the earthy dark fruits of this Marlborough Pinot Noir. Using open vats of various parcels of fruit, the skins are drained off after an extended period and moved to oak casks to elevate the raspberry and cherry components. Enjoy the taste of elegantly tasting fruit with dark tarry notes and a vanilla finish that lingers on the palate after a fine and succulent sip.

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