I've often wondered why New Zealand was anointed/anointed itself as the land of Sauvignon Blanc. To be sure, NZ SB has been quite successful as an import to the US wine market (and certainly names like 'Monkey Bay' don't hurt its mass appeal to the garanimal-wine-loving crowd). However, I think this success has come at a price. Kiwi Blanc has overshadowed every other grape variety. And this is a very sad thing.
Think about it. When was the last time you sampled a New Zealand Riesling or Gewurztraminer? These grapes have found a very cozy home on the Islands way down under. In fact, while I find most New Zealand Sauvi Blanc, easy-to-enjoy, I also find it a tad bit uni-dimensional (see here for a great descriptor of NZ SB). I have discovered extraordinarily sublime Riesling and intoxicating (in the figurative sense of the word) Gewurz. Think I'm nuts. Take this little NZ non-SB challenge:
Huia Gewurztraminer 2006 - A chewy, thick wine, which echos the Alsatian style but with a bit less earth
Villa Maria Riesling 2005 - A remarkable feat of a wine. This Riesling stews together new world heft with teutonic crispness.
Am I alone in thinking the OenoKiwis might want to diversify their white wine portfolio?