If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s the importance of the great outdoors — and the importance of a good bottle of wine. Both offer an escape from the day-to-day, which comes in handy at a time when jet-setting is limited.
Now, there’s a way to combine these two loves in a different kind of pairing. Enter: Ponga Sauvignon Blanc.
Ponga’s quaffable wine is made in the iconic Marlborough region of New Zealand. The brand is named after the symbolic ponga fern, which is native to New Zealand, by the country’s indigenous Māori people. The ponga, or silver fern, is now the official symbol of New Zealand and can be spotted everywhere from sports jerseys to the country’s coat of arms. The distinctive silver-white color on the underside of the ponga’s leaves glows at night, serving as a guiding light to adventure seekers who forge ahead even under the cover of darkness.
In Māori mythology, the plant represents new life, growth, strength, and peace — values we can all use more of as our ability to live a venturesome life is put to the test.
Ponga’s Sauvignon Blanc begins its story on the northeast side of New Zealand’s South Island, where the Wairau River flows north along the foothills of the Spenser Mountains and into the warm, bright valley of Marlborough. The region boasts ideal conditions for growing Sauvignon Blanc: sunny, with a dry and temperate environment, and fertile and free-draining soil perfect for growing high-quality wines.
Ponga is just as quintessential of New Zealand as its namesake, embodying the classic flavors of Marlborough — the largest and most well-known winemaking region in the country. It’s bold and expressive, with vibrant aromas of citrus and tropical fruit and is accented with chalky mineral tones from the terroir.
Home to more than just prime wine production and ponga territory, this region boasts misty forests in its Richmond Range and coastal towns like Kaikoura teeming with wildlife — and opportunities to explore.
While it may be difficult to travel there right now, here are a few ideas to experience New Zealand’s great outdoors right at home. After all, it’s all about the journey, whether it’s long and arduous, or short and sweet!
Go Plant Spotting
Do as the Māori do and let the ferns guide the way. Taking your love of plants outside is one of the greatest ways to reconnect with nature and discover something new. Even if you can’t make it to the magical forests of New Zealand, chances are there’s a state or national park not too far away. Sketch or snap pics of the ferns you find along your stroll to compare them to the silvery ponga fern when you get home (check the Ponga label to spot the differences).
Paying homage to the Māori people and their spirit of embracing the darkness, try your hand at venturing out in the nighttime (we won’t tell if you use headlamps) to do some stargazing. Once you’ve made your way to a clearing, spread out a blanket and some fruits (key-lime pie counts) and get cozy with a bottle of Ponga Sauvignon Blanc. Depending on the cloud cover, be prepared to spend some time under the stars, waiting for the perfect glimpse of Orion’s Belt. Pro tip: Download apps such as Star Walk 2 or SkyView Lite and impress your companions by knowing your Canis Major from your Cassiopeia.
There’s nothing quite as gratifying as finishing a tough hike, setting up camp, kicking off your boots, and getting dinner going over the campfire. Well, that’s a lie. Cracking open a bottle of wine after said hike is probably the most gratifying part of the journey. Throw some mussels in a pot, pour in a splash of Ponga Sauvignon Blanc, and save the rest for yourself. Come to think of it, we may be getting into glamping territory — even better. (The hike is optional, too.)
Who says you need to break a sweat to go on an adventure? A picnic, preferably at the beach if we have it our way (NZ is an island with 9000-plus miles of coast and over 700 beaches), is a great way to get some fresh air, vitamin D, and a change of scenery. Pack a cooler full of Ponga Sauvignon Blanc, local oysters, fresh watermelon slices, and your work here is done. Just don’t forget the SPF.
The truth is adventure can be as simple as doing something unusual. Channel NZ from afar by watching a rugby game, learning about the Haka, or having Sauvignon for brunch. Or, embark on a “Lord of the Rings” movie marathon to explore the unreal Kiwi landscapes of NZ until the time comes to do it in person. Just add a merino blanket and a glass of Ponga for the full NZ experience.
This article is sponsored by Ponga Sauvignon Blanc.