By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News
New Zealand’s Invivo Wine, has partnered with talk show host Graham Norton to create the second Graham Norton Sauvignon Blanc, available in Australia for the first time.
In 2014, Norton rolled his trouser legs up and personally stomped a barrel of New Zealand grapes on his TV show to help create his own limited edition Sauvignon Blanc with Kiwi winery Invivo. It was a sell-out success and received rave reviews from wine critics.
Chief winemaker Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne founded Invivo in 2008. Earlier this year Invivo raised $2 million through crowd funding to fuel growth, and were the very first New Zealand company to do so. It is with the same approach Invivo collaborated with Norton, who is a shareholder in the winery, and will continue to release his blend ongoing.
“Graham is a huge Invivo fan and our dealings with him have shown us he really knows wine. So this year we thought we would put him in the driver’s seat,” says Cameron.
The entire Invivo wine blending setup was flown from Marlborough to London so Norton could blend his own wine from scratch, with expert guidance by Invivo Cameron. In a long winemaking session, Norton added his ‘Norton Hemisphere’ magic to Invivo’s Southern Hemisphere Sauvignon Blanc grapes with the final blend featuring Sauvignon Blanc from three of Invivo’s Marlborough growers.
All the blending action was captured on film and has been released on YouTube here.
“We’d never tried anything like this before,” says Cameron.
“As well as all the blending and tasting glassware, we had to transport six distinctive samples of Sauvignon Blanc from our six different Marlborough growers and get them there in perfect condition for the blending… what a mission!”
For Invivo co-founder Lightbourne, the process has been a great fit with the Invivo brand.
“We’re not a big corporate that tries to hide behind advertising or endorsements, we’re authentic and we love that Graham wanted to get personally involved to this degree. He’s come up with a bloody good drop!”
The 2015 Graham Norton’s Own Sauvignon Blanc will retail in Australia from September at RRP $18.99.
Graham Norton's Own
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Alcohol: 12.5 per cent
Winemaker: Graham Norton (with Rob Cameron)
Tasting note: "That's it, my perfect blend… and it's lovely, tropical fruit, a bit of zing… cheers to that!" Graham Norton.