While we have been aware, down under in New Zealand, of the endless winter grinding on up in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in the UK, we have been too preoccupied with our endless summer to care. As I write another cloudless day has dawned and the difficult decision has to be made: should I water the veggie patch? While farmers in New Zealand have been struggling with the worst drought in 70 years the rest of us have been enjoying every day of it, none more so than those in our wine industry. It’s predicted that the vintage of 2013 will be, well, vintage! We tried out some local chardonnay and merlot/rose at the excellent Mahurangi River Winery north of Auckland in the middle of the region’s “wine country”. The view from the restaurant window sums up summer —incredible! The food was pretty excellent too.


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