We are all Sileni

/ Updated on May 31, 2014

On our bucket list of countries to visit, New Zealand is near the top. Having traveled to the Hunter Valley wine region of NSW, Australia, we long to visit the Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay region of this unspoilt land. Two hours’ drive from Taupo makes the Auckland-Taupo-Hawke’s Bay-Wellington route popular for nature and wine enthusiasts alike. The Heretaunga plains at the confluence of the 3 great rivers of the region host the country’s largest concentration of pip and stone fruit orchards. And of course, who doesn’t love the land of the Hobbits.

Instrumental in the establishment of the Hawke’s Bay Wine County brand, the president & CEO of Sileni Estates is a visionary namedGraeme Avery. Along with his team of winemakers and viticulturists, Avery has put Sileni Estates on the map since 1998. The name “Sileni” comes from Roman mythology. Bachus, the God of Wine, had wise and loyal companions known as the Sileni, who loved to celebrate good food, good wine and good company.

We love the 2011 Sileni Chardonnay (find it fast in “luscious & complex” at Teller). This luscious wine is subtle and elegant with complex characters of melon, stone fruit, almonds and hazelnuts. It pairs exquisitely with lobster, and pretty much all seafood or soft cheeses. Our customers love the price ($15.99) as well as the fact that Sileni Estates carries two Sustainable Winegrowing certifications.

New Zealand grape growers and winemakers have long kept the pure NZ image by protecting the environmental integrity of their wine production. Sileni Estates was a leader in pioneering a set of industry standards, including composting to improve soil health in the vineyards, using alternative packaging that requires less energy for manufacturing/transport, and biodiversity. Only vineyards that practice sustainable viticulture receive the ISO14001 certification. Sileni Estates received its certification in 2002.

At Teller, we also have in stock the Sileni Sauvignon Blanc (classic gooseberry & tropical fruit notes that can be found in “aromatic & crisp”) and Pinot Noir (ripe cherry flavors with layers of spice and soft tannins, presently dwelling in “smooth & structured”).

All the wines are under $20 and worth every penny.

Catherine Hester

About the Author

co-owner of Teller Wines in Lewes, DE with her husband Kevin, is a world traveler and shares their adventures at various wineries while offering thoughts on why she and Kevin order particular wines for their customers. Learn more about the Hesters by clicking here. View all articles written by Catherine Hester

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