The team at Te Aro Wine have come up with (to their knowledge) a New Zealand first: a sparkling ‘wine’ that undergoes secondary fermentation with the addition of Hawke’s Bay Rewarewa honey. They call it #BeesBeesBees! Inspired by Lelarge Pugeot who uses honey collected on the vineyard to sweeten certain champagnes, Te Aro Wine has instead used flora honey for secondary fermentation, transforming a still wine into a sparkling wine.
“The base wine we used was a skin-fermented sauvignon blanc that had been ageing in the barrel for nine months,” says winemaker Jules van Costello, “which had its own waxy, honey character that we knew was going to work alongside the flavourful, woodsy honey… This is not about doing something crazy but about playing on flavours that we know will work well together.” This said, naming the ‘wine’ was going to be a problem as honey is not a permitted wine additive, “To be honest, we can’t even call it wine,” says van Costello, “so we call it what it is: skin-fermented Martinborough Sauvignon Blanc re-fermented with honey. It’s a bit of a mouthful but it works for us.” tearowine.co.nz