By Deborah Jackson, editor National Liquor News
This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of New Zealand's oldest wine brands, Babich Wines. To mark the occasion, Babich has produced a limited release of the most exclusive wine in its history.
General manager and third generation winemaker David Babich, explained to TheShout the significance of the 100 year milestone.
"New Zealand wineries are relatively young and New Zealand is seen as the 'New World'. It's a significant milestone for us as we're the first New Zealand family winery to celebrate 100 years to a global audience.
"Our business (and industry) has experienced massive change and has evolved a lot over the past 100 years. We have been at the forefront of developing new wine styles, trailing new grape varieties, moving into new regions and putting New Zealand wine onto the world map. One hundred years on, we are New Zealand's most experienced family winery," said Babich.
To mark the anniversary, Babich has produced a limited release of the most exclusive wine in its history. One hundred magnums and 330 standard bottles of the special edition 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon are available for a limited time, with a portion of these to be made available in Australia.
"We needed a very special wine to celebrate 100 years. When 2013 proved to be such an incredible vintage, and the Cabernet Sauvignon from our Gimblett Rd vineyard was so outstanding, it was decided to put a small parcel of these grapes aside. We identified the best rows and then hand-picked fruit was crafted into a small volume of exceptional wine and aged for 18 months in two barriques of French oak. The wine comes in a highly designed box with a certificate personally signed by (managing director) Joe Babich adding to its authenticity."
Along with the special release centennial Cabernet Sauvignon, the Babich family will be sharing 100 never before heard stories from its history, throughout the year. The stories will be shared online and on special 100 year point of sale material.
“We are throwing the doors open and sharing the most intimate parts of our history,” said Babich. “These stories touch on every emotion. A few will have you laughing out loud, some give an interesting glimpse at what winemaking was like in New Zealand in the 1990s, and others are simply hard to believe.
“They really demonstrate that deep personal connection we have had with the vines, the land and the wine since that first bottle was produced by my father, Josip Babich, in 1916 – when he was just 20 years old.”
For more on Babich Wines see the June edition of National Liquor News, availble mid-June.