Libiamo Amphora Chenin Blanc 2017 Gisborne, New Zealand

This is quite special. It’s an amphora-fermented Chenin Blanc with a dash of Marsanne, that’s on its skins for 222 days, and then pressed and bottled unfiltered with minimal SO2 added. It’s made by Millton in Gisborne, the biodynamic pioneers of New Zealand. This is the third bottle of this wine I’ve drunk, so it’s […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (4) Collaboration Wines

Julianne Brogden is only 40, but she’s already been making wines for 23 years now. She’s Hawke’s Bay born and bred, and worked briefly in the region, before heading out on vinous travel.

Julianne Brogden, Collaboration Wines

She ended up spending 8 years in the Napa Valley, California, where she initially worked a vintage at Havens […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (3) Ash Ridge

In 2000, Chris Wilcock bought a peach orchard in the Bridge Pa district of Hawke’s Bay. At the time, he was working as a banker (he had spells in Switzerland, Singapore and Australia), and initially he didn’t put any vineyards in. Then in 2005 he decided to plant 8 of the 9 hectares, and two […]

Hawke's Bay New Zealand (2) Ant Mackenzie, Craft Farm

Ant Mackenzie, Craft Farm

Ant Mackenzie has been a winemaker for other people for his whole career, but of late he’s begun making wines under his own name. His first winemaking job was at Framingham in Marlborough, and then he moved to Spy Valley, and his final stint in Marlborough was as group winemaker for […]

Hawke's Bay, New Zealand (1) Tony Bish and the Urban Winery

Tony Bish made his reputation as winemaker for Sacred Hill in Hawke’s Bay. While he remains a consultant and a shareholder in the company, his interests have moved away from the direction that Sacred Hill have taken (they now have a large focus on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, and crushed 7000 tons last vintage in the […]

Greystone Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir 2016 Waipara Valley, New Zealand

Greystone’s Vineyard Ferment Pinot Noir 2016

This is the first release of this new wine from Greystone: the vineyard ferment Pinot Noir. They have been talking about their vineyard fermentations for a while: keen to make use of the wild yeast indigenous to their Waipara Valley vineyard, they’ve taken poly bins into the vineyard and […]

Golden Bay: Pupu springs, the source of the Riwaka and the Wainui Falls

I just spent a weekend in Golden Bay, which is part of the Abel Tasman region at the top of New Zealand’s South Island. Here’s a short film of the highlights:

 

It’s a beautiful part of the country, and at this time of year it’s relatively uncrowded. There were three elements that really stood out.

The first […]

New releases from Black Estate, North Canterbury, New Zealand

I’ve been following the wines of Black Estate for a while now, with interest. They farm organically and make wines in a lo-fi sort of way. This is interesting New Zealand, and these latest releases are really impressive.

Black Estate Home Chardonnay Young Vines 2017 North Canterbury, New Zealand
12.5% alcohol. 1 hectare block, 6172 vines/ha, sedimentary […]

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 […]