This Way In >>

alastair maling mw of new zealand villa maria winery

Just Back From: New Zealand

While eating and drinking (and golfing) my way across New Zealand last week, I was invited to lunch with Alastair Maling, a Master of Wine (MW) and the chief winemaker for Villa Maria Estate wineries, one of NZ’s highly regarded producers.

“We’re better known in the States for our Sauvignon Blancs,” Maling told me over a main course of local lamb (naturally) and more than a few glasses of wine, “but it’s our Pinot Noirs that are really hitting the marks.”

“New Zealand is making some of the best Pinot in the world right now,” agrees EscapeHatch contributor and Dallas sommelier Jason Hisaw. “Their wines are plush and refined, and they express a real sense of place that’s unique to each specific vineyard.”

While it’s easy to find Villa Maria’s Sauvignon Blancs in Dallas  (Costco carries them), their Pinots are tough. (Anyone seen one here?)

That’s a real shame, because, on the whole, New Zealand’s Pinots run a close second to those from Burgandy for their elegance. When you find one, buy it. You won’t be disappointed.

But don’t trust me. Trust Maling:

Recently Published


Wayward Sons, new restaurant from chef Graham Dodds, set to open December 7

Graham Dodds sends word today that he and partners Brandon Hays ...

kelly hightower

Popular chef Kelly Hightower lands at North Dallas restaurant

  Kelly Hightower, the former chef of defunct Oso ...


Iconic Chicago pizza palace Gino’s East opens in Dallas

  Classic Chicago pizza pie shop Gino’s East ...

the theodore northpark center copyright Michael Hiller

Sneak Peek inside The Theodore, the new restaurant from chefs Tim Byres and Scott Romano in Dallas’ NorthPark Center

The Theodore opens its wood-slatted windows and ...

piada interior

Piada Italian Street Food opens first DFW unit in Frisco on November 20

 Piada Italian Street Food expands to DFW with the opening ...

18th and vine bbq dallas copyright Michael Hiller-11

BBQ and grilling guru Steven Raichlen visits new Dallas’ 18th & Vine BBQ, Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse

      A couple of weeks ago, cookbook ...

ranch lc

Hot Date: Free “Farm to Fork Showcase” at The Ranch at Las Colinas on November 16 includes free food, free beer, free whiskey — and a petting zoo

Mark November 16 on your calendar. That’s the date that ...


Dee Lincoln reconcepting upscale Dee Lincoln Steak Bar into casual Lincoln Park Grill

The co-founder of Del Frisco’s continues to rework her solo ...

the theodore

The Theodore, with Scott Romano and Smoke’s Tim Byres in the kitchen, sets opening date

The Theodore, the new NorthPark Center restaurant from Tim Byres, ...