There is a common misconception that all Syrah grown in the New World is known as Shiraz but in reality this is far from true. New Zealand wine-makers universally refer to this noble grape as 'Syrah', a policy for which one individual can claim the credit. Alan Limmer of Stonecroft vineyard in Hawke's Bay was the first Kiwi wine-maker to plant Syrah in the post-war era when, in 1988, he propagated some cuttings from the national archive at the Te Kauwhata research station on the South Island. Alan was keen to differentiate his temperate climate offering from more blockbuster Australian wines, hence his decision to bottle his inaugural vintage as Syrah. Friends, neighbours and countless New Zealand wine-makers have since followed suit. Thus, in this part of the New World, at least you will find plenty of Syrah but very little Shiraz.
Former chemist Alan is still bottling some fine Syrahs over 2 decades since. The Stonecroft Syrahs exhibit classic black fruit tastes and supple tannins with a fresh finish - they're a wonderful tribute to an outstanding pioneer.