Finally I did it. I have been meaning to go along and have a wine tasting at Omaka Springs out for several months. It’s a bit like my blogging and Facebook. Great intentions, rubbish activity. So after an afternoon pulling weeds I decided to head out. And it was well worth the wait. Omaka Springs is a relatively small winery and the cellar door is right in the middle of the action. In fact a couple of guys were in the storeroom (which also doubles as the tasting room) getting an order ready when we arrived.
As well as the wines (of which more later) they have olive trees some of which they trucked over from Nelson when they moved to Marlborough. To add a little unique touch there is a small flock of Arapawa Island sheep. These are related to merinos but have evolved in isolation on the island in the Marlborough Sounds. Find out more here http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/arapawa.html.
Let’s get to the wine. Omaka Springs has a good range of keenly priced wines. I thought the pinot noir was delightful and a steal at $20. However, I really want to talk about the sauvignon blanc. Now I am not a big sauvignon fan, I particularly don’t like the high acidity or those grassy, gooseberry flavors. Never was much of a fan of gooseberries. When Margaret told me they had the 2013 vintage for me to try I was skeptical. Generally the new release of sauvignon blanc is way too aggressive for me. However, I was here to taste and explore, so I was game to try. On the nose the sauvignon promised everything I dislike about the variety – green, aggressive, acidic. I was steeling myself. I was beginning to regret my decision to go wine tasting today. On the palate however, it was totally different – more tropical, a touch of sweetness perfectly balanced by the acidity. Beautiful. Many wines can give a false impression on the nose, but this was remarkable.
Also on offer is a pinot gris with a slightly oily mouth coating texture and a merlot (not open for tasting that day, but I have a bottle at home) . Margaret’s excellent knowledge of the wines, friendly manner and storytelling skills capped off a great visit. I’ll be making Omaka Springs a regular feature on our Marlborough wine tour