Fruit wine. Still reading? Pukeko Grove founder Steve Plowman reckons many fruit wines deserve their sickly reputation, but all is not lost. “We’ve [New Zealand] had huge numbers of revolting kiwifruit wines produced in the past, and to some extent we’re still recovering from that hangover,” he says. “When you offer people a glass of fruit wine, they say they don’t like it even if they have never tasted it. We’re changing that.”
Plowman and wife Hayley, who also own and run Hallertau Brewbar and Restaurant west of Auckland, have been offering samples of their selection of fruit wines with meals. The rural location means fruit wines are an ideal choice as their lower alcohol content is preferable for drivers.
They recently entered Pukeko Grove in six categories at the New Zealand Fruit Wine Competition; it won medals in five.
“Fruit wines are really a whole new beverage category,” says Plowman. “With around eight percent alcohol, it’s one of the only mid-strength alcoholic beverages available, making it a good choice for lunch or business meetings.”