Yealands + Fego
Last month, the Bottle Bitches (that’s us!) were lucky (/awesome) enough to be invited to a special event at Fego, in Sevenoaks, showcasing the wines of Yealands, a winery based in Marlborough, New-Zealand - a region renowned for its Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
A selection of five wines was presented to us by Yealands UK-representative Helen MacFarlane, each carefully paired with delicious dishes by Fego’s executive chef Andrew Wilson and his team.
Here are Kate & Caro’s thoughts on the evening (Angela was getting ready to tie the knot the next day, HAAAAA!).
But first, a little bit about Yealands.
Set on NZ’s single largest privately owned vineyard, Yealands pride themselves on innovation and sustainability - two key assets that have been at the core of everything they do since their opening in August 2008.
As the world’s first winery to be accredited CarboNZeroCertTM from inception, Yealands make the most of the natural resources available to not only power but maintain their operation, using solar and wind power, sheep and pigs as lawn-mowers, and recycling pruned vines into fuel, with the ultimate goal of becoming energy self-sufficient.
CARO: First, let me tell you how great it felt to be invited to such event (thank you Hannah & Jaya!). As Fego had been on my radar for a while, this was the best opportunity for me to see what the fuss was all about.
Now, despite my lack of enthusiasm for Pinot Noir, NZ wines, and lamb (which were all on the menu), I was pretty pumped about delving into both Yealands’ wines and Fego’s cuisine. And guys, I was not disappointed!
The wines seemed to have been chosen to reflect the versatility of Yealands, with each of our individual palates seemingly enjoying at least two of the five wines presented. Even my partner Dan who, after a bad experience of getting shit-faced on cheap white wine in his teens, could not get near the thing, ended up enjoying most of the light-gold liquid in his glass - much to his own surprise!
My highlights were absolutely unexpected:
An easy-drinking Sauvignon Blanc with flavours of sharp and slightly fizzy passionfruit, and a lingering elderflower.
Aaaaaand - WAIT FOR IT - a flippin PINOT NOIR!! Copper-coloured with earthy and spicy hints, and a lingering taste of that fag you give into after having one too many glasses. But in a unique, well-balanced way, ha!
That’s right, Yealands’ Landmade Pinot Noir is officially the first of its kind to get a thumbs-up from me. Even weirder, this Pinot was paired with lamb cutlets that were simply incredible. Conclusion: three things that would normally not make it in my house ended up having me asking for more.
And no, I was not drunk.
KATE: I looooove Yealands wines. I've been picking up their Pinot Noir to impress friends (not Caro, but other friends– though knowing what I know now, I totally could've impressed Caro with it!) for the last few months so when we were invited to sip all their wines (and eat some delicious Fego food) I was like sign. me. up.
As per usual, I looooved both the Pinot Noirs we tasted. But I really really loved the Landmade Pinot Noir which was rusty, complex and mysterious. You can't buy it in wine shops in the UK but you can buy it directly through Yealands and honestly? I think I need a case or two. It's insanely delicious. Please can we take a Bottle Bitches field trip to New Zealand??
You get it, we had a fabulous time in perfect company, with great wines, tasty food, and in an awesome venue! So much so that we already can’t wait for Fego’s next wine evening, which we hear will be South African-themed - can you hear Caro screaming with excitement?