The wines of Sileni Estates
An important producer from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand


Graeme and Gaby Avery

Graeme Avery started Sileni in 1997 with his wife Gaby as a second career, after making his money in medical publishing (Adis International). Based in Hawkes Bay, but now also with a sizeable operation Marlborough, Sileni is a major player in the New Zealand wine scene, with a 1500 ton facility in Hawkes Bay, and crushing 5000 tons a year in Marlborough. Production now exceeds 400 000 cases.

The Averys are partnered in the venture by chief winemaker Grant Edmonds.

Here, I got to taste just a few of their wines. Older notes, dating back to 2002 are also included below these.

Sileni Pinot Noir 2008 Hawkes Bay
A lighter style of Pinot with real appeal. Lovely open, sweet elegant cherry fruit with hints of herbs. The palate is sweet and elegant with nicely rounded cherry and berry fruits, as well as subtle spiciness. Silky texture. 90/100

Sileni Chardonnay ‘The Lodge’ 2009 Hawkes Bay
Toasty and slightly nutty with nice depth of fruit. Rich, toasty, mealy and lively, with nice intensity. 90/100

Sileni Sauvignon Blanc 2010 Marlborough
Sileni lease vineyards and also have some contract growers. Aromatic and grassy with appealing bright fruit. Fresh style with some tropical notes adding richness. Good depth of flavour. 88/100

Sileni Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc NV Marlborough
Very rounded and fruity with nice sweet, slightly grassy fruit, and appealing ripeness. Friendly, fun and accessible. 86/100

Wines tasted 09/11   

An older report from 2002:

The wines of Sileni Estates, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Maraekakaho Road, Bridge Pa, Hastings, New Zealand
Phone: (06) 879 8768  Fax: (06) 879 7187

UK agent: Louis Latour (tel. 0207 409 7276;

A 15 000 case winery established in 1997, Sileni is one of the leading producers in the Hawkes Bay region of North Island, with almost 100 ha under vine. From the wines tasted here it seems that partners Grant Edmonds (chief winemaker), Graeme Avery and Chris Cowper are succeeding in fashioning some high quality wines.

Semillon 2001, Hawkes Bay
Interesting herby, citrus nose leads to a concentrated palate with pure, herby, limey fruit. Good acidity and nice intensity. Very good+ (£9.99)

Chardonnay 2000, Hawkes Bay
Yellow/gold colour. Attractive, classy nose showing toasty oak that combines well with the rich fruit. The delicious rich nutty palate shows good intensity and balance with a fresh citrussy edge. Very good/excellent (£11.50)

Chardonnay 1999, Hawkes Bay
Yellow/gold colour. Classy crisp fruit and attractive oaking, but hard to rate because it was served ice cold.

Merlot/Cabernets 2000, Hawkes Bay
Vivid purple/black colour. Attractive rounded, ripe berry fruit on the nose with a blackcurrant edge. Lovely juicy palate shows a good concentration of berry and black fruits with some tannin on the finish. Not too oaky. Very good/excellent (£12.99)

Merlot/Cabernets 1999, Hawkes Bay
Deep coloured. Rich juicy, sweet berry fruit with a caramel edge on the nose. The palate is chunky, savoury and full flavoured with spicy oak influence. Good concentration. Very good+  

Stockists include Handford (020 7221 9614) and Addison (0800 197 3555)

Find these wines with

Back to top