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Our Grapes

  • Marlborough
  • Central Otago

MARLBOROUGH - You’re going to LOVE

 

 
THE LOCATION
 

Located on the east coast with mountains to the west, Marlborough is New Zealand’s Premier Wine Region. It is one of New Zealand’s sunniest and driest areas. Marlborough's geography can be roughly divided into four sections. Two of these sections, in the south and the west, are mountainous. This is particularly true of the southern section, which rises to the peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges. These two mountainous regions are the final northern vestiges of the ranges that make up the Southern Alps, although that name is rarely applied to mountains this far north.

Between these two areas is the long straight valley of the Wairau River. This broadens to wide plains at its eastern end, in the centre of which stands the town of Blenheim. This region has fertile soil and temperate weather, and as such has become a centre of the New Zealand wine industry.


Marlborough's fourth geographic zone lies along its north coast. Here, the drowned valleys of the Marlborough Sounds make for a convoluted and attractive coastline. The Marlborough Sounds is an environmental haven, with winding waterways, sheltered bays and native forest. The town of Picton is located at the southern end of one of the larger sounds, Queen Charlotte Sound. Adjacent to Picton is strategic Shakespeare Bay, historically renowned with East India Company’s antiquate designed legendary vessel Edwin Fox which was commissioned in 1853. Shakespeare Bay is also the deep water port facility in Picton Harbour. The Port of Picton includes the Port facilities in Picton Harbour and the Shakespeare Bay located at the head of the sheltered Queen Charlotte Sound on the north-eastern tip of the South Island of New Zealand.

 

 

 
THE CLIMATE
 

Stretching between the Richmond Ranges and Wairau Plains is New Zealand's largest wine growing region. In these bright, but relatively ‘cool’ climate conditions, the grapes have the advantage of a long slow, flavour-intensifying ripening period. The average daily temperature during summer is nearly 24 degrees C but clear cool nights keep acid levels high in the grapes.


Marked diurnal (day/night) temperature variations are a key factor behind the ability of Marlborough grapes to retain both fresh, vibrant fruit and crisp, herbaceous characters. The contrast between day and night also helps to enhance the colour development in the skins of Pinot Noir. Relatively low rainfall during ripening protects the grapes from developing botrytis and other fungal diseases. The region's free-draining, alluvial stony soils help our grape growers to control the growth of their vigorous vines for optimum quality.

 

 

 
THE VINEYARDS
 
The Marlborough wine region represents 62% of total vineyard area in the country. Our king varietal here are Sauvignon Blanc grapes. Its long ripening season also produces superb aromatics, elegant Chardonnays, fine Methode Traditionelle and rich Pinot Noir.

The region's fruity wines include:
  • Sauvignon Blanc -- approx 65 percent of production
  • Pinot Noir -- approx 13 percent of production
  • Chardonnay -- approx 10 percent of production
  • Riesling -- approx 4 percent of production
  • Pinot Gris -- approx 2 percent of production

The majority of vineyard plantings are around Renwick, Blenheim, and Cloudy Bay in the Wairau valley. Further south in the Awatere valley are plantings near Seddon. These are for the most part on old terraces of the Wairau and Awatere rivers. The area is widely considered by many critics to produce the world's best Sauvignon Blanc. One wine critic said that "no other region in the world can match Marlborough, the northeastern corner of New Zealand's South Island, which seems to be the best place in the world to grow Sauvignon Blanc grapes." Also important is the production of Methode Traditionelle sparkling wines, particularly near Renwick, from Riesling, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

 

 

 
THE JOURNEY FROM GRAPE TO GLASS
 

A well known English wine writer said this about Marlborough’s sauvignon blanc: “No previous wine has shocked, thrilled, offended and entranced the world before with such brash, unexpected flavours of gooseberries, passionfruit, lime and even asparagus. It’s an entirely new, brilliantly successful wine style"


Our wines are produced by internationally renowned winemaker Alan McCorkindale. Meticulous vineyard management and innovative winemaking combine to produce a classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, intensely aromatic and lively, bursting with flavours of passionfruit, melon, gooseberry and citrus. It is dry with crisp acid and a typical herbaceous Marlborough pungency.

Full flavoured, vibrant and unforgettable – sheer delight !

                                                                                                           

 


 

 
 

Photo Credits : Ian Trafford

 

MT ROSA - A Kiwi Classic

 
THE PLACE
 

Mt Rosa in Central Otago, is steeped in the agricultural history and culture of the South Island of New Zealand. Mt Rosa is located at the eastern end of Gibbston Valley near the Nevis Bluff, just 20km from the vibrant resort town of Queenstown, the premium tourist destination of New Zealand. The region around Mt Rosa is rich in history - a large amount of gold was taken from this area in the late 1800’s, and recently it was the birthplace of commercial bungy jumping.

The station was named after Mt Rosa (1316m), one of the highest points on the hills to the south in 1910 when it was subdivided from the larger Kawarau Station.

Early pioneers established Mt Rosa as a legendary merino sheep station (farm) and it is only recently that it has become one of the largest vineyards in this dynamic wine growing region. There are a few yarns going round the wine world about our place - the Gibbston Valley, deep in the spectacular Southern Alps of New Zealand.

 

They reckon it's one of the better spots to grow Pinot Noir grapes, so fifteen years ago we sent the last of the sheep off to greener paddocks, and planted some vines. Turns out the dry stony soil that made our pasture so poor grows pretty good grapes. Seemed like we were onto a good thing, so we planted more vines, trying a few different varieties. In two shakes of lambs tail we had one of the biggest vineyards in the region.

 

Size isn't everything, of course, but all manner of people seem to get quite excited after a mouthful of our wines. Michael Cooper even wrote “Possibly the best Pinot Gris to come out of Central Otago yet” about our 2003 vintage. We're not given to displays of emotion - except on Bledisloe Test days, of course - but deep down we're a wee bit pleased with the kerfuffle our wines have caused. And we'd be even better pleased if you and your mates enjoy them too.

 

Mt Rosa was the original ram paddock for Kawarua Station. Kawarua Station was 206,000 acres and ran 40,000 sheep, a snow in 1903 killed 16,000 of them. In 1910 it was split into 16 runs, Mt Rosa's 5450 acres being one of them.
 

 
THE VINEYARDS
 

Some of the earlier vines were planted at Mt Rosa in the 1970s, rabbits and sheep ate them all. Wool prices were crap and by 2000 we decided that a vineyard was the way forward and so we began here.

Planting of Mt Rosa’s 36 hectares (90 acres) started in November 2000 and was completed in November 2004.

6 ha            2000
12 ha          2001
9 ha in        2002
8 ha  in       2003

 

In Practice
We planted the following mix :
Pinot Noir          23 ha
Pinot Gris          8.5
Sauv Blanc        0.5
Riesling             1.8
Gamay               0.5
Pinot Blanc        0.5
Chardonnay      1.5

Production

Vintage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Cases (total)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pinot Noir

1000

1032

1062

3000

2500

5000

5000

Pinot Gris

327

0

423

1440

2921

2100

2000

Riesling

 

               

 

770

910

910

910

Sauvignon Blanc

 

 

205

500

500

500

500

Gamay Rose

 

 

200

500

500

500

500


Of the above production we also sell additional fruit to existing clients.
Currently we are exporting to Ontario, Alberta, Australia, U.K. and parts of Asia.


 
 
SUSTAINABILITY
 
We were officially registered in 2001. We are not actually tree hugging moon barkers but we live on the place and have a vested interest in maintaining the quality of the land and the vineyard.

For example:

  • Our vineyard is all grassed with the exception of the alyssum rows.
  • We use a CDA sprayer that allows us to use approx 15% of spray that would be used in a conventional vineyard.
  • We plant alyssum every 9th row , this helps to provide cover and breeding ground for a parasitic wasp that preys on leafroller larvae, thereby eliminating insecticide use.
  • We are committed to using liquid fertilizer , being a blend of seaweed, whale urine and ground up mermaids + other beneficial elements.
  • We have 4 soil water monitors that allow us to only use the water we need to meet the growth requirement of the vine, saving huge amounts of water and power.
 
AWRADS / MEDALS
 

We have entered only a few shows since we began production, results have been :

Wine for Asia 2005

Medal

NZ International Show 2007

Medal

2003 Mt Rosa Pinot Noir

Gold

2006 Mt Rosa Pinot Gris

Gold

2003 Mt Rosa Pinot Gris

Silver

2006 Mt Rosa Pinot Noir

Bronze

 

 

 

 

New ZealandInternational Wine Show 2006

Medal

SydneyInternational Wine Show 2007

Medal

2006 Mt Rosa Riesling

Bronze

2006 Mt Rosa Pinot Gris

Blue Gold

 

 

 

 

Australian Small Winemakers 2006

Medal

Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2008

Medal

2006 Mt Rosa Riesling

Bronze

2007 Mt Rosa Pinot Gris       

Gold

2006 Mt Rosa Sauvignon Blanc

Bronze

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wines for Asia 2009

Medal

Auckland Royal Easter Show 2009

Medal

2007 Mt Rosa Pinot Noir

Platinum Gold

2008 Mt Rosa Pinot Gris     

Gold