The wines of New Zealand have gained an impressive reputation over the last two decades. It was initially Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough that captured the wine drinkers imagination with breathtaking wines of freshness and vivacity. However, during the last decade New Zealand has seen many other great grape varieties achieve worldwide success – not only from Marlborough, but from all over; both North Island and South Island. In particular, Bordeaux and Rhône varietals have been introduced to great acclaim by the world’s wine press.
A recommendation came from Greg and Amanda Day at Kahurangi Estate to look at a winery called Kennedy Point, based on the lovely ‘wine island’ of Waiheke in the north of the country.
After tasting samples of a range of wines at the estate we were in no doubt that these were fantastic and would be enjoyed by 3D Partners – they also complement brilliantly the wines of Kahurangi. All the wines at Kennedy Point are made in tiny quantities and they offer wonderful varietal flavours and aromas, depth, concentration and complexity. They have the ability to age extremely well indeed and are wines which can compare favourably with top Bordeaux and Rhône wines.
Kennedy Point is an organic and biodynamic vineyard based on the magical island of Waiheke just off Auckland. It is a tiny, family-run estate established in 1996. Francis Hutt and Heike Sonnenscheine specialise in making wonderful wines based primarily on Bordeaux varieties, for which Waiheke is highly suited to, as well as Syrah. Indeed, their 2007 vintage of Syrah was voted best Syrah in the world at the International Wine Challenge in 2009.
Waiheke Island is just 35 minutes by ferry from the capital Auckland in the North Island. It boasts a special subtropical climate and over 100km of stunning, unspoilt coastline. It is a very hilly island with an ancient and varied soil structure, making it an excellent place for winemaking.
Kennedy Point are based on the south side of the island. They command a spectacular position high up in the hills, surrounded by ancient Pohutukawa trees (a kind of giant antipodean Christmas tree) overlooking the sea and sandy beaches.