Cathay Pacific always strives to impress its passengers with the best-possible inflight services and products. Serving a range of award-winning wines has long been one of the keys to satisfying the palates of the airline’s passengers, thereby enhancing their travel experience. To that end, Cathay Pacific’s professional wine-tasting panel is delighted to present four organic wines produced by a collection of the most famous vineyards in Australia, Chile, France and New Zealand.
These prestigious organic wines will be served between August and October on a rotational basis:
- Château Maucoil Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 France
- Explorer Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 New Zealand
- Viña Las Niñas Colchagua Valley 2014 Chile
- Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz McLaren Vale 2014 Australia
Being organic, the viticulture of these wines is founded on the cornerstone that healthy soil produces high-quality fruit. One of the key principals of organic wine includes treating the soil as a living entity. Proud organic grape growers endeavour to maintain the richness of the earth, which is teeming with worms, grubs and other species that help aerate, nourish and activate the soil.
Organic wine signifies that a winery is passionate enough about their terroir to nurture, protect and gently handle their soils and vines so as to produce the finest wine possible from their vineyards.
Commenting on the newly introduced wines, Cathay Pacific Head of Catering Aaron Claxton said: “Over the years, our wine and beverage team has been on the lookout for widely-acclaimed wines from different corners around the world, including organic wines. In fact, organic wines are embraced by many not just because of their organic nature, but also for their environmentally-friendly production. We are delighted to offer a great selection of organic wines on our flights, which truly meet the high standards of our discerning passengers. We hope that they will appreciate this promising collection, both for their flavour profiles and the care that has gone into making them.”
Explaining the premise behind organic wine, Master of Wine Debra Meiburg, one of Cathay Pacific’s wine consultants who participated in the airline’s organic wine tasting, said: “The grapes must be organically grown and the production of the wine itself must be organically managed. In an organic vineyard, grapes are grown without chemical fertilisers, weed killers, insecticides and other synthetic chemicals. In the cellar, organic wines are produced from organic grapes and without synthetic additives or processing agents.”
Organic wines generally contain low levels of sulphur dioxide, which is commonly used as a wine preservative, making them a popular and appealing choice for those considering their health and wellness.
This year, Cathay Pacific offers more than 40 wines from countries including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, the United States, Chile, Australia and New Zealand on board its flights. Around 1.8 million bottles of wine were consumed in 2015.
About the new selection of organic wines
Château Maucoil Côtes du Rhône Villages 2014 France
The family has made wine in this region for generations. It is hard to imagine a more stressed soil made up of sand and river pebbles than that found in the southern part of the Rhone valley. Yet this historic estate produces gentle and smooth red wines by blending the region’s dominant varieties of Grenache, Syrah, Carignan and Mourvédre. The old vines produce a deep colour with an exciting spicy-fruit aroma. The ripe tannins support a rounded palate with dark berry flavours. The overall impression leans to a more rustic era. It is a wine that demands beef, lamb or even spicy food.
Explorer Central Otago Pinot Noir 2014 New Zealand
It is said that grapes only grow in beautiful places and the site of this vineyard certainly fits that description. The owners also have a property in Gevrey Chambertain in Burgundy, France and as such have a double commitment to Pinot Noir. The gravel and silty clay of this terraced vineyard in the lower slopes of the Central Otago Valley produce excellent fruit. The Pinot Noir clones planted are Pommard and Dijon. The aroma of the wine combines hints of oak and sweet berries. It is elegant with a concentrated berry red plum flavour that follows through on the finish.
Viña Las Niñas Colchagua Valley 2014 Chile
This vineyard is nestled in a horseshoe-shaped valley 600 metres deep on the west side of the Andes Mountains. Gentle breezes coming in from the South Pacific Ocean create ideal conditions for high-quality fruit production. Several individual plots of Mourvédre, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are brought together to make a complex wine that has a whiff of new oak and dark red fruit in the aroma. The mouth feel is textured tannins and intense blackberry flavour. This wine brings to mind roasted meat from a grill with aromas of smoky charcoal.
Gemtree Bloodstone Shiraz McLaren Vale 2014 Australia
Throughout the wine world there is a claim that the best grapes always face the sea. If true, this vineyard situated in the foothills of the Adelaide ranges that overlook the Southern Ocean is a great example. A multi-award winning wine, it comes from selected sites that express varietal Shiraz character. The soils are ancient limestone speckled with semi-precious gemstones. The maritime climate ensures maximum quality grapes. The aroma is all fruit, mulberry with a touch of nutmeg spice. It leads to a palate layered with generous fruit and rounded tannins that support a lingering finish.