Some pictures from Central Otago

The famous view from Rippon, Wanaka

Chard Farm’s Gibbston Vineyard and its spectacular setting

Apparently this scene features in Lord of the Rings

View of Wanaka from the top of a hill

Lake Dustan, looking over to the Pisa subdistrict

Central Otago Pinot Noir masterclass, focusing on structure Draft

Lucie Lawrence of Aurum and Grant Taylor of Valli led this masterclass, which was held at Aurum. Also present were Matt Dicey (Mount Difficulty and Ceres), Paul Pujol (Prophet’s Rock) and Blair Walter (Felton Road), who contributed to the discussion. The idea was to look at pairs of wines that each tackled topics relevant to [...]

Some highlights from a Central Otago Pinot Noir tasting

I arrived in Queenstown to a good English winter: rain showers, low cloud, and a temperature of 8 C. There was snow on top of the hills. This is summer in a cool climate wine region. Time to taste some wine with the mixed international group who’d, like me, just arrived in town.

Eighteen producers gathered [...]

The stunning Te Mata Peak

On Saturday morning, Craggy Range’s Brand Manager Hannah Burns took me up Te Mata Peak. It was supposed to be a run, but this is incredibly steep, so we walked most and ran a bit. It’s truly spectacular, and fortunately the weather turned it on. This is a chunk of marine limestone that rises 400 [...]

Tasting the range at Craggy Range

For the last couple of days I’ve been hanging out at Craggy Range, in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. I was last at Craggy in 2007, on my first visit to New Zealand. The personnel have since changed, but the goal hasn’t – to make some of New Zealand’s top wines. There are 80 hectares of [...]

Four affordable Kiwi Pinot Noirs

As I write, I’m at the departure gate waiting to embark on a rather long journey to Kiwi land. So a chance to write up four affordable New Zealand Pinot Noirs I had the other night.

Seresin Leah Pinot Noir 2012 Marlborough, New Zealand
£20 Noel Young, Fareham Wine Cellar, The New Zealand Cellar
13% alcohol
A blend of [...]

Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2016 Marlborough

Off to New Zealand on Wednesday, so in preparation I thought it would be good to drink some Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. 2016 was a good vintage in the region, with both quality and quantity, and the Sauvignons I’ve tasted so far from this harvest have been very correct and delicious, with ripe, appealing flavours and more [...]

Wines of the year (6) some top New Zealand wines

Another post rounding up some of the star wines that I tasted and drank in 2016. And I drank and tasted a lot last year. Many of these bottles were consumed in New Zealand in January and February. I’m excited to be heading out again in 10 days. Can’t wait. As with the other round-ups, [...]

Canada versus New Zealand: two top Pinot Noirs from 2011 compared, and a lesson learned

Three nights ago I opened this pair of Pinots, both from the 2011 vintage. They’re wines that I’d cellared. The first is the Te Muna Road Pinot from Craggy Range, which I liked enough on first tasting to buy a six pack. I think it’s good to put your money where your mouth is: if [...]

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand

I have a thing for Kiwi Chardonnay. Its day will come. It doesn’t currently get the respect it deserves, but with wines like these from Neudorf, and the stunning wines of Kumeu River and others, things will change.

Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 2015 Nelson, New Zealand
14% alcohol. Complex, intense lemon and grapefruit with some rich pear notes, [...]