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  • Writer's pictureSimon & Kevin


Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Our trip to New Zealand was very uneventful (which is always the best way to travel!) but did have a noticeable milestone... The our 1st wedding anniversary occurred mid-flight, but due to the time difference, and crossing the International Date Line, this day was lost to time. Needless to say, skipping our anniversary was unintentional, but quite amusing none the less!

On our last trip to New Zealand, we had the distinct pleasure of going to Marlborough, and visiting No. 1 Family Estate, and kept a special bottle here eagerly awaiting our big move.

No. 1 Family Estate is a true jewel of Marlborough. They are the only winery is New Zealand entirely focussed of Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines. With 13 generations of winemaking lineage (going back to Champagne in France) , they definitely have the pedigree to make exceptional sparkling wine in the classic Champagne style. They have been certified sustainable since 2009.

Winemaker Daniel Le Brun, as well as consulting for other wineries to make sparkling wine, helped to create the Methode Marlborough certification to promote the exceptional "Champagne style" sparkling wines that are made in Marlborough, to try to create a quality mark for the whole region. Currently there are 11 members that can boast this certification. To be eligible, the wines have to be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier (a blend or single varietal) that is grown in Marlborough, made in the traditional method, with a secondary fermentation in bottle. It has to be on lees in bottle and riddled for a minimum of 18 months before disgorging.

We chose the No. 1 Reserve to be our celebratory bottle of wine, to kick off our New Zealand adventure. It is 100% Chardonnay, and has been set aside at the winery for long term aging on lees before being released. This whole process takes several years, and if you've every had the pleasure of vintage champagne, you can taste the fabulous development of the wine, as it spends those extra years on it's lees. Less than 1000 bottles were produced, and we had the pleasure of enjoying #285.

The Reserve had delightful apricot notes, and a toasty slightly brioche finish, the bubbles were persistent, with a great acidity. The perfect way to toast a new life in New Zealand!

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