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Wednesday July 3, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday July 3, 2013 MYT 11:30:36 AM
by choong mek zhinphotos by samuel ong
Special occasion: Pellett (centre), Ploy restaurant manager Prakash R. (left) and head chef Daniel Yong at the dinner.
Located at the foot of the picturesque snow-capped Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku in the Awatere Valley within New Zealand’s Malborough region, the 19.5ha vineyard recently turned 10 years old.
It was started by Bridget Ennals and Steve Pellett, who named it after a Land Rover they fondly called Stanley, after African explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. The Land Rover has taken them on a 30,000km adventure from the United Kingdom to Cape Town, South Africa in 15 months.
Both have degrees in horticulture and have travelled the world as fruit technologists until they decided to settle down to continue their adventures within Stanley Estates.
While those who consume the wine rarely ponder on the conditions in which the grapes are grown, it does help to know that it was produced through sustainable viticulture.
Stanley Estates joined the Sustainable Wine Growing New Zealand initiative, and became an accredited grower in 2005.
There are many ways for a vineyard to be sustainable and at Stanley, the company combines efforts such as planting a mixed species of permanent grass swards down the vine rows to prevent soil erosion, mulching prunings back into the soil, planting alder trees as windbreakers as well as allowing sheep to graze during winter to save on mowing and keeping carbon emissions down.
Even manpower is at a minimum with Pellett managing the vineyard most of the time and employing short-term help in the form of international backpackers during harvest season.
He was in town recently to promote the vineyard’s wines, several of which have won awards both in New Zealand and at international events.
Many guests at a recent wine-pairing dinner at Ploy in Changkat Semantan, Damansara Heights expressed delight over the flavourful wines.
Before the four-course meal began, diners had a taste of the 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, the latest of a short but distinguished line of award-winning wines that is refreshing with mineral pureness and citrus and floral hints.
Next, came the combination of the salty goat cheese on a crispy puff with wild rocket and truffle oil paired with a first from Stanley Estates, the 2012 Albarino — a dry flavour with a smooth palate of fruity and nutty accents.
The Pinot Gris 2012 was then served with the Spicy Angel Hair Corned Beef and later with Oreo Cheese Cake, for dessert.
Another medium-dry wine, the Pinot Gris, which is rich with fruit flavour and a slightly spicy finish, was also served.
For the main course, grilled Lemongrass Chicken with Onigiri Omelette Rice was served along with the Pinot Noir 2010, which had berry and plum notes with subtle smoky hints.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.
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Lifestyle, Stanley Estate, PLOY, Wine Pairing
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