A pruning masterclass: cane-pruning Sauvignon in Marlborough

The Awatere: time to prune

This morning Mike Eaton kindly took me out to a vineyard he’s working with in the Awatere Valley (Marlborough, New Zealand) to give a quick pruning masterclass.

Here’s the film – it’s quite long at 14 minutes, but it goes into detail about some of the decision-making process in pruning a vineyard.

In […]

Y2KX The Mystical Being 2017, a skin-contact Sauvignon from Marlborough

Skin fermenting Sauvignon (top), with the striking Y2KX labels (bottom). This particular wine is the unicorn on the left.

It was good to try this: a really characterful, interesting Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It’s from Y2KX Collective, a virtual winery, who are specialising on making interesting wines. Alana Mcgettigan is the winemaker here, and the director […]

In Marlborough, where big can be good: Rapaura Springs

Rapaura Springs is a somewhat surprising rising star in the Marlborough wine scene. They are owned by the Naylon family, and I tasted with Brendan Naylon and Sam Harrop who is a consultant here, helping out with winemaking and marketing. Matt Thomson is also involved on the winemaking side.

Rapaura Springs stems from the Spring Creek […]

Interesting Marlborough: meeting the Vandals

The three Vandals

Vandal is a micronegociant project based in Marlborough, New Zealand. It began in the 2016 vintage, and it’s a collaboration between three local winemakers who all had kids, and who wanted to get out of the house more. They’d all been making Sauvignon Blanc since they were young, and now wanted to […]

Interesting Marlborough: Clos Henri

Clos Henri is the Marlborough outpost of the Bourgeois family of Sancerre. They first came to New Zealand in 1999 and decided they wanted to make wine here, but rather than take on an existing project they wanted a blank canvas. Their focus was to be Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, just as in their […]

Interesting Marlborough: Framingham

Framingham is one of the most interesting of Marlborough’s wineries, but they tend to fly under the radar a bit. They are best known for their Rieslings – winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley is a complete Riesling freak – but their other wines are serious, too. Indeed, Riesling is only about 8% of the volume here. […]

Takaki Okada's after-vintage hangi

I landed in New Zealand just in time to catch Takaki Okada’s (Folium Vineyard) after-vintage hangi. For the last few years Takaki has hosted this event. A hangi is a traditional Māori way of cooking, and it involves burying the food in a pit after lighting a fire. A few hours later, the hangi is […]

Zephyr Wines, Marlborough, New Zealand

Ben Glover

I remember meeting Ben Glover years ago (in 2006), when he was working for Brent Marris at Wither Hills. This is where he established his reputation, and later he developed this as winemaker for Mud House. He left fairly recently and is now busy developing his family business, Zephyr.

The Glover family come from […]

Marlborough, where big can be good: Brancott Estate, Deutz and Stoneleigh

The Brancott Estate: view from the tasting room and restaurant

Global drinks giant Pernod Ricard are major players in the New Zealand wine scene, but as this tasting showed, in Marlborough, big can be good. They have a few Marlborough brands. The most famous is Brancott Estate, which used to be Montana. Montana were the […]

Interesting Marlborough: Two Rivers with David Clouston

The Brookby Hill vineyard of Two Rivers

Dave Clouston’s Two Rivers is a great example of a boutique-sized Marlborough winery focusing on making interesting wines from good vineyard sites, while at the same time keeping a savvy commercial hat on. He’s a sole owner and built the business up gradually, starting with no land in […]