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Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from Marlborough, and Central Otago Carrick Bannockburn Chardonnay 2016.

When I heard last year that Central Otago's Mount Difficulty had been swallowed up by Foley Family Wines (one of US billionaire Bill Foley's many companies), I felt a small sadness.

I'm always being told foreign ownership is not a bad thing, and I agree to some extent. Foley Family Wines, for example, has done nothing but improve the quality and stability of the two Martinborough brands it recently acquired, Te Kairanga and Martinborough Vineyards. Over the short term, anyway.

Winemaker Takahide Sugimoto tasted wine for the first time at age 44. He and his wife release acclaimed California wines. Photo: TakahaWine

If you want to taste an acclaimed California winery’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, you’ll need plane fare and a passport.

Ch.igai Takaha was founded by husband-and-wife team Takahide and Miyoko Sugimoto in 2006.

Friuli-Venezia Giulia’s Schioppettino, the savory, layered red that almost ceased to exist until the end of last century.

Wine experts believe that Italy is home to more native wine grapes than any other country in the world. Yet many Italian wine lovers can’t name more than a handful of the estimated 2,000 varieties of Italy, sticking to their preferred Nebbiolo or Sangiovese. Some of the country’s most interesting grapes remain under the radar and ripe for discovery.

The new COS100 from the Bordeaux 2015 vintage. Photo: Cos d'Estournel

Bordeaux second growth Château Cos d'Estournel is set to release a new cuvée this year.

The new wine, named COS100, is made from a parcel of 100 year-old Merlot vines planted at Cos d’Estournel by women during the First World War.

Rocco Lombardo, president of the highly-regarded wine importer Wilson Daniels. Photo: Wilson Daniels

Brunello di Montalcino might be having a moment says Rocco Lombardo, president of the highly-regarded wine importer Wilson Daniels. The company imports some of the world's most prestigious wines, (Domaine de la Romanée-Conti and Biondi-Santi to name a few), and Lombardo, who is just 30 months into the job, will steer the company into its 40th year this 2018.