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A UNIQUE initiative involving a new wine variety and totara trees is set to enhance the profile of the Pohangina Valley’s picturesque picnicking and camping spot, Totara Reserve Regional Park.
Totara Reserve, a Beaujolais-style red wine, is about to be launched by Manawatu’s only vineyard, Pohangina Valley Estate, and for every bottle sold, a $1 donation is to be set aside for the planting of totara trees at the park.
Bronwyn Dymock, who owns the Valley Road vineyard with husband, Nick Dymock, and her sister, Fiona McMorran, said Totara Reserve was a light, chilled, easy drinking cafe/picnic type of red wine that was now linked by name to the popular bush-clad location.
“We were looking for a name in keeping with our brand and the geographical area and started to think of local picnic spots,” said Mrs Dymock. “Totara Reserve has always been a favourite, even before we moved to the valley. It is also a play on the word ‘reserve’ as the wine is new and one of a kind.”
Boutique winemaker, Chris Buring, of Martinborough, has just finished preparing 1000 bottles for Pohangina Valley Estate, with the wine to be officially launched and available to the public from early November.
“We’ve not tasted the wine as yet because it’s best to leave it in the cellar for a month so it can settle down after the bottling process,” said Mrs Dymock. “The winemaker did indicate, however, that the wine’s strong aromas drew favourable comments from those in the bottling plant.”
With the Manawatu District and Horizons Regional Councils supporting Pohangina Valley Estate’s choice of name, Mrs Dymock said the vineyard wanted to give something back to the community.
“Rather than organise the planting of individual totara trees we thought it would be easier to donate some money from each bottle sold to a project at the park. The plantings of replacement totara trees, after winter storms devastated the region and park, is just one small step to preserving and nurturing this unique area.”
MDC Parks and Reserves Manager, Albert James, and Horizons’ Biodiversity and Water Quality Manager, Alistair Beveridge, described the vineyard’s offer as generous and significant.
Mr James said the replacement trees would help with the development of the park, especially in the new camping area, while Mr Beveridge said it was heartening to receive such local support for the reserve.
“I think the Totara Reserve-Totara Reserve hook is really nice and works extremely well,” said Mr Beveridge. “Good on them.”
* The grape used for the wine, initially thought to be pinot noir, is unique and has no match on the University of California’s DNA data base. It is registered as Pohangina Red and is basically an unidentified variety.