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Sileni Estates

New Zealand

A top producer representing one of New Zealand's top wine producing regions

This month's International Wine Club features selections from the newly formed Sileni Estates that originated from New Zealand's second largest wine producing region of Hawke's Bay. In many ways, Sileni Estates represents the epitome of New Zealand's emerging wine industry.

Founded less than a decade ago by Auckland entrepreneur Graeme Avery, Sileni Estates is the crown jewel of the nearly thirty Hawke's Bay wineries. Avery admits to being passionate about wine for at least the past four decades, and decided to jump into the wine business after selling his international medical publishing business back in 1996. Avery astutely figured his extensive business background in international marketing could benefit his newly formulated wine endeavor.

The bought the original land for Sileni in 1997, that was located about ten miles from the city of Hastings in the Hawke's Bay growing region on New Zealand's eastern shore of the North Island. Sileni Estates, by the way, is named for the Roman vintage deities associated with Bacchus, the god of wine. Sileni Estates' first release came in 1998, and comprised of only 4,000 cases.

Sileni Estates intends to grow significantly in the next few years, according to Graeme Avery. "It's all about the style of our wines," he recently commented. "Sileni Estates, like most New Zealand wines, are all about freshness and intense fruit flavors within the wines. It's almost as if there's a vibrancy of fruit flavors. At Sileni Estates, we are actually more European in style than some others, a bit lighter on the palate. And, our wines react perfectly to the lighter cuisines that are rampaging the entire world". Avery sees his impeccable winery as mirroring the potential for even greater New Zealand wines. "It's about business and developing a plan that works for everyone," he added. With Sileni Estates' continuing achievement, one could consider that last statement as already accomplished. Cheers!

Map of the area

The Flag of New Zealand

Picture of The Flag of New Zealand

The stars on New Zealand's flag represent the Southern Cross constellation which can only be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. This emphasizes New Zealand's location in the South Pacific Ocean. The Union Jack in the top left-hand corner on the blue field recognizes historical foundations in that New Zealand was once a British colony and dominion.

The flag's origin dates back to 1865, when the British Government instructed all vessels from the colonies must fly the Union Jack on the blue field with the seal of the colony on the right side. New Zealand did not have a recognized seal, so the vessels flew a flag without any markings until reprimanded by the British Government. "New Zealand" was added the the flat in the bottom right corner, and later shortened to "NZ" in red letters with white boarders a few years later. In 1869, the Southern Cross replaced "NZ" on the flag. Even though the flag was still officially a maritime flag, it was used on land and gradually became recognized as New Zealand's national flag in 1902.

New Zealand Slang

Picture of New Zealand Slang

Banger - sausage
Biscuit - cookie
Blow me down - surprised expression
Box of budgies - as happy as
Brekkie - breakfast
Cheers - goodby, thanks, or good luck
Cheerio - goodbye
Chook - chicken
Corker - very good
Cracker - very very good
Crikey dick! - gosh! wow!
Cuppa - cup of tea or coffee
Fancy - hanker after somebody
Kiwi - a resident of New Zealand
kiwi - endangered flightless native bird

New Zealand's Wine Growing Regions

Picture of New Zealand's Wine Growing Regions

New Zealand has ten main wine growing regions, each exhibiting a great diversity in climate and terrain. Differences in climate may be explained by the variation in the harvesting date of Chardonnay. In the warmer and more humid northern regions of Northland, Auckland and Gisborne, Chardonnay harvest may begin in late February or early March while in Central Otago, the world's most southerly Chardonnay vineyards, harvest usually starts in mid to late April - a difference of 6-7 weeks.