Capturing the Soul of the South – Waipara Hills Equinox

MEDIA RELEASE: 14 May 2013

Capturing the Soul of the South.

How does one capture the Soul of the South? By producing a special limited edition range of premium wines that uniquely represent the North Canterbury wine region Waipara Valley.

Equinox by Waipara Hills is proud to announce the new vintage release of its range including 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, 2011 Pinot Noir, and a new variety in the Equinox range – the 2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Chardonnay.

Equinox New Releases

Only in a special year is an Equinox wine produced; the fruit needs to express the natural terroir of the Waipara Valley – fortunately the 2012 vintage delivered all that and more. A cool summer delayed the ripening much later than normal helping to retain acidity and develop rich aromatics; a warm stable autumn presented the fruit in wonderful condition.

The 2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Chardonnay was a result of minimal winemaking intervention allowing it to develop and mature at its own pace. Stone fruit and citrus fruit characters burst from the first sip, complemented by subtle smokiness of French oak that will develop further as the wine ages in bottle. “This is the first of this style of wine that we’ve made here at Waipara Hills – I love the concentration, integration and freshness that we’ve achieved. Balancing the fruit with the oak, buttery notes with the oily texture and fresh acidity, this wine has a great poise about it.” explains Winemaker Simon McGeorge. Serve slightly chilled accompanied with roasted chicken, seared tuna or pork belly for a cosy Autumnal night in.

Oak influence is a successful feature of the 2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Sauvignon Blanc. Following on in style from the 2011 vintage, it parades class and exhibits an interesting and vibrant palate that reveals a wonderful mixture of smoke, spice, stone fruit and citrus flavours, a perfect accompaniment with seared scallops. All these characters give the wine its line and length and are a true expression of the ‘Soul of the South’.

The Equinox Range gives Waipara Hills Winemaker Simon McGeorge the freedom to make something different. “I love to explore quirkier styles and methods of winemaking, but always with an idea of presenting something that is ultimately very enjoyable. The wines change and evolve, both in the bottle and in the glass as the wine warms in your hands. The wine sitting there in front of you is proof of that” explains Simon.

Equinox wines are made in small parcels; it carries a personal element of patience and winemakers’ craft delivering complexity, and distinctive, aromatic characters – something the Equinox wines are championing.

Waipara Hills Equinox range – RRP $32 – $34 proudly distributed by Hancocks and available at leading fine wine retail stores and restaurants nationwide. Also available online

2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Chardonnay

2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Sauvignon Blanc

2011 Waipara Hills Equinox Pinot Noir

2012 Waipara Hills Equinox Riesling

NV Waipara Hills Equinox Late Harvest Riesling (cellar door exclusive)

Waipara Hills winery

Established in 2001, Waipara Hills wines have become famous for their intensity, character and complexity – wines that express the true soul of the south. From the Air New Zealand Wine Awards to the International Wine Challenge in the UK, Waipara Hills wines have received more than 200 awards in the brand’s short history. At Waipara Hills our philosophy is simple. It’s about allowing the characteristics of each season’s fruit to shine, then creating perfect balance with as little interference as possible. The result is wine that is rich, vibrant and bursting with complex flavour.

For us every harvest signals the beginning of a new adventure, the chance to create wine that is distinctly from our place – a place where from contrast comes beauty.

More about our Winemaker – Simon McGeorge

After completing a degree in commerce and marketing, Simon studied winemaking at Lincoln University in Canterbury. He then spent several years travelling between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres working harvest and following styles and winemaking techniques, until he was offered a fulltime position at De Loach Vineyards in the Russian River, California in 1999. After four seasons Simon travelled to France for his next harvest and made wine in the Loire.

In 2006 he was excited to be offered a role as winemaker at Waipara Hills, an opportunity to work in an emerging wine region with aromatic varieties such as Riesling and Pinot Gris, two of Simon’s favourites. Several years on, Simon has played an instrumental role in forging the direction of the Waipara Hills wine styles, seeking to reflect both the region that they come from and the people that work to create them.

For more information, images or to set up a media visit with Waipara Hills, please contact Kate Cameron – Communication, PR and Event Co-ordinator – Phone: + 64 21 222 7858 Email:

PO Box 1034, Blenheim 7240, New Zealand | Phone: +64 3 520 6011 | Fax: +64 3 578 1765

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