Kono Sauv Blanc Marlborough 21
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The Māori have lived in New Zealand for more than 1000 years, long before the British colonized the islands. During those years, the indigenous Māori have steadfastly adhered to their traditions and values while slowly cementing their place in New Zealand wine.
One of the most sustainable wine regions globally, 98% of New Zealand's vineyards are certified Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ). In addition to this credential, SWNZ also employs a highly regarded sustainability program recognized worldwide. The foundational premise of this program comes from the Mãori concept of kaitiakitarnga -- the natural balance that occurs when caring for people and the land.
A growing number of Mãori-owned wineries appear each year, all focusing on traditional Mãori culture and values. Jef Sinnott, a member of the TUKU Collective(a group of Mãori- owned wine businesses), explains that: "This relationship between the kaimahi waiana (grape grower), the whenua (land) and its kianga (expression) is what the French call terroir."
One of the country's most prominent Māori wineries is Kono, an agricultural company owned by Wakatū Incorporation. Wakatū, in turn, is a cooperative owned by more than 4,000 Māori families, descended from the traditional landowners of the region.
In your glass, you'll find the Kono to be nicely balanced between racy citrus and lush tropical. There's a nice subtle beam of pink grapefruit that swims in harmony with notes of gooseberry, guava, and kiwi, leading to a vibrant and zesty finish. What I love most about Kono is the balance; not a note is out of place.
Kono is a no-brainer for the warm weather on the horizon; however, the more than ample richness will do well with cool spring evenings. Pair this with shellfish, white-fleshed fish, goat cheese, and poultry.