On the 8th Day of Christmas… Yealands Sauvignon Blanc

Behind Door #8

Yealands Family Vineyards

Landmade Sauvignon Blanc


About this winery

Home of the most coastal Vineyards in New Zealand, Yealands Family Wines benefit greatly from their close proximity to the sea.  While ocean breezes may create dry and windy challenges for the vines, the salty sea air also assists in giving the wines their unique flavour profile.  Viticulturalists that desire to nurture top quality grapes love to make vines struggle, and when they do – the final wines produced by the Winemaker can be magical.  The resulting thick skinned berries, with low juice extraction, give birth to beautifully concentrated wines with unique flavour profiles.

Leading the charge in environmental stewardship, Yealands owner Peter Yealands is often toted to have created the most sustainable Vineyard/Winery in the world.  Yealands employs a team of very short Babydoll sheep to keep the grass mowing needs to a minimum, and uses cover crops and hens to keep creepy pests at bay.  Couple that with wind turbines, and a solar panel field on the Winery Roof, and you suddenly have the worlds first Net-Zero Winery.


Tasting notes

A dry, bright, and ‘zesty’ wine, the nose and palate are brimming with tropical fruit flavours of Guava, Passion-fruit, and ripe Grapefruit.  Hints of grassy herbs, dill and a light green pepper scent on the nose are less detectable on the palate.  This is one wine that is very mineral driven in the finish, showcasing the terroir well, and making it a great match for light seafood and vegetarian dishes.

Drink and enjoy immediately!

Perfect Pairings…

Sauvignon Blanc and Goats Cheese are a match made in heaven.  Compliment the subtle grassy notes in this wine with the greenery of spinach, and all of a sudden the true fruit flavours in your glass begin to shine through.  This combination places traditional Greek Spanakopitas high on the list of possible “Perfect pairing” foods.  The salty/briny character of the feta aptly allow the minerality of the wine to shine.

Between Christmas and New Years we often find ourselves enjoying appies and entertaining.  But with all of the hustle and bustle, sometimes you want to enjoy an appetiser that is less finicky.  This is my take on traditional home made Spanakopitas – an ideal match for this wine.  Because you make this ‘Spanakopita’ as a wreath shape, instead of individually folding the triangles, it is a big saver on prep time, and is equally as delicious in the end.

If Spanakopitas are not your thing, this wine is also excellent with seafood.  Think steamed mussels, or seared scallops!

Spanakopita Wreath

Spice grilled salmon with mango-avocado salsa on a white plate


  • 10 sheets phyllo pastry
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted
  • 2lbs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • cup finely chopped brown crimini mushrooms (or portobella) 
  • small finely chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • tablespoons fresh dill 
  • 2 1/4 cups feta cheese, crumbled
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • eggs – beaten
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375ºF Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

Prepare filling:

  1. Pre heat a saute pan on med, once heated add 3tbsp of melted butter
  2. Sauté mushrooms, 2 garlic gloves, and 3/4 of the minced onions until tender and onions begin to brown slightly, about 7-10mins.
  3. Add spinach and Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes
  4. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, and add lemon juice, feta, eggs and salt and pepper.  Mix well to combine.  Gently fold in fresh dill.

Make Garlic/Onion Butter Topping

  1. In a large Sauté pan, over medium heat – Sauté remaining garlic and onions in remaining melted butter.  Once the onions are slightly browned, transfer to a small bowl to later use for basting

Make Spanakopita roll:

Lay out your phyllo pastry on a plate and cover with a slightly damp towel.  Be sure to keep dough covered while working with it.

  1. Lay one sheet of phyllo pastry on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and brush with butter (note, leave 1 edge butter free – you will need this to later pinch the roll together when you make a ring out of it)
  2. Repeat with each remaining sheet until you have all 10 layers of dough and melted butter.
  3. Place filling in a log shape near one edge of the pastry
  4. Roll up the Spanakopita roll, jelly roll style making sure the seam is at the bottom.
  5. Pull ends together, shaping into a ring.  Pinch ends together with your fingers and some water
  6. Using a sharp knife, make small slits in the top of the roll, evenly spacing them apart.
  7. Brush roll with garlic/onion butter mixture
  8. Bake Spanakopita roll at 375F for 45 minutes or until golden.

This roll is best if you make it ahead of time the day before to allow all of the flavours to marry together.  Allow it to cool completely, then reheat before serving.  If you would like to serve it pre-sliced, slice while cool to keep filling intact, then reheat slices.


           – Kathryn

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