Winery Reviews


Winery Reviews

Grove Mill Marlborough

Grove Mill has grown rapidly since being established in 1988. While many of the grapes are supplied under contract, a series of vineyards have been either leased or bought outright to increase the amount under the winery’s direct control. Since the first vintage the wines have delivered consistently ripe fruit and are characterised by their […]

Greenhough Nelson

From humble beginnings in 1997 Greenhough has become a first class boutique operation. Despite a relatively low profile it brings a little more glamour to the relatively unsung Nelson region, now dwarfed in viticultural terms by Marlborough to the east. Owner and winemaker Andrew Greenhough makes all the wines to a high standard but like […]

Forrest Estate Marlborough

Forrest Estate is relatively small Marlborough winery achieving good consistency. The wines may not be stunning but they have intense fruit with good varietal character and decent structure. They are not heavy or over-manipulated but show classic Marlborough fruit and vigour. There is an encouraging correlation between price and quality and these wines make a […]

Goldwater Estate Waiheke Island

Kim Goldwater pioneered quality wine production on Waiheke Island in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf in 1978 and has long produced a powerful, structured Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot with good balance, ripeness and concentration in the best years. The wine keeps well and with age impresses more for its elegance and complexity than for concentration but has very good […]

Escarpment Wairarapa

This 24 ha property is the new project (established 1999) of Larry McKenna, who both through the success of MARTINBOROUGH VINEYARD and as prime mover and consultant, is at least partly responsible for sizeable tracts of New Zealand countryside being turned into Pinot Noir territory. The bulk of Escarpment is planted to it; the balance […]

The Crossings Estate Marlborough

The Crossings represents a substantial investment in Marlborough with vineyards spread across three estates, all in the Awatere Valley. The wines are made by George Elworthy solely from grapes sourced from these vineyards. The focus is on Sauvignon, which does particularly well in the Awatere Valley as has long been illustrated by VAVASOUR. The regular […]

Churton Marlborough

The Weavers produce Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir as well as Petit Manseng and Viognier. They have a total of 25 ha of vines on an elevated hillside site with farming being moved fully to organic practices. Sam’s CV features several leading Marlborough wineries including ISABEL. The Sauvignon has good concentration and shows good underlying […]

Church Road Hawkes Bay

Compared with MONTANA’s vast Marlborough vineyard estates, the Church Road winery in Hawkes Bay is a (relatively) small separate entity. Red wines have been developed under guidance from Bordeaux négociant Cordier. A regular Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon is soundly made but usually wants for a little more richness and ripeness, while a Reserve of the same blend […]

Carrick Central Otago

Steve Davies, Carrick’s winemaker, seems to be getting into his stride with the latest releases from the Cairnmuir terraces in the Bannockburn district of Central Otago. The main focus in the estate vineyards is Pinot Noir. The wine has real depth, concentration and spicy, plummy fruit complexity and it is now amongst the best of […]

Cloudy Bay Marlborough

Established in 1985 by David Hohnen of CAPE MENTELLE (Western Australia), Cloudy Bay is probably New Zealand’s best-known winery internationally and produces its most famous Sauvignon Blanc. The pair of Cape Mentelle and Cloudy Bay come under the umbrella of French luxury goods giant LVMH. Despite substantial volumes and changing vineyard sources – there are […]

Brancott Estate Marlborough

Brancott Estate (formerly Montana) is New Zealand’s largest producer, responsible for a considerable amount of the country’s total output. Lion Brewing has now acquired the Corbans and Lindauer brands, which were originally owned by Pernod Ricard. The Brancott Estate volume comes from its Marlborough brands, which include consistently drinkable Chardonnay, Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc […]

Borthwick Wairarapa

Widely experienced Roseworthy graduate Paddy Borthwick has pioneered viticulture in the Dakins Road area since the company was established in 1996. His 27 ha of vineyards are planted on freedraining river terraces, like those to the south in Martinborough, and he has similarly placed his faith in Pinot Noir. Though the vines are still very […]

Bald Hills Central Otago

Here is another rising star to add to the lexicon of Central Otago Pinot Noir. From a prime Bannockburn location the 7.5 ha of vineyard is planted at low densities but yields are kept relatively low. The first vines were planted only in 1997 and like many in the region, are only now beginning to […]

Ata Rangi Martinborough

From an original 5 ha site, brother and sister Clive and Alison Paton and their partners have built an enviable reputation. Their vineyards are sited mostly on the Martinborough Terrace, either owned (this includes the recent acquisition of the Walnut Ridge vineyard) or subject to long-term contracts with neighbouring families. Yields are low, the vine […]

Vinícola Miolo Serra Gaúcha

Miolo is the slickest operation in the region and claims to be the largest producer of “fine wine” and Champagne-method fizz in Brazil. Michel Rolland advises on winemaking. In 2008 Miolo received 120,000 cellar door visitors. It also hosts one day wine courses. Brut Millésime is an equal blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, nicely […]

Amisfield Central Otago

At Amisfield there is now ample evidence of the dividend of investment combined with expertise. The American ownership has enlisted the services of Jeff Sinnott who is now into his stride crafting whites of similar precision and structure that established ISABEL ESTATE as one of Marlborough leading wineries. Since 2006 fruit from over 80 ha […]

Alpha Domus Hawkes Bay

Alpha Domus was established in 1991 and has only been making wines since 1995, yet it has produced some of the best reds from Hawkes Bay in recent top vintages. Grapes are sourced exclusively from vineyards planted to Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon and Chardonnay, plus Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and some Malbec. The Navigator, based […]

Casa Valduga Serra Gaúcha

This smart estate, with accommodation and excellent restaurants, is owned by the third-generation Valduga brothers Erielso, Juarez and João. It produces 1 million litres of quality wine per year, half of which is sparkling. It began to export in 2002. The 200-metre long “Champagne cellar” has a 6-million bottle capacity though it will not be […]

Lidio Carraro Serra Gaúcha

Established in 1998 and debuting on the market in 2004, this self-proclaimed “boutique winery” has a philosophy of “pure wine”. No oak is used, nor is there any filtering, micro-oxygenation or any other form of alchemy. The estate has two labels – SulBrasil and the “premium” Lidio Carraro range. The labels are essentially defined by […]

Valdivieso Curicó

Successful marketing-driven operation which produces an extensive range of wines at all levels. Regular red and white varietals are produced under the Valdivieso Classic label. At best these offer straightforward easy glugging. Some impressive red is produced under the Reserva label, though whites disappoint in comparison. Good Single Vineyard Cabernet Franc and Malbec particularly stand […]

Undurraga Maipo

This estate was founded by Don Francisco Undurraga Vicuña in 1885 but is now co-owned by the Picciotti family from Colombia and José Yuraszeck, a Chilean entrepreneur, and between them they have now formed a holding company, Grupo Vinos del Pacifico, that owns Undurraga, Volcanes deChile, a small production winery and TIB, which specialises in […]

Santa Rita Maipo

Long-established, traditional old Chilean winery which had a wake-up call in the late 1990s and is beginning to produce an increasingly fine range of midmarket and premium wines. The 120 range offers some reasonable straightforward easy drinking; the reds are a better bet generally than the whites. Reserva whites are sound but no more; the […]

Odfjell Vineyards Maipo

Daniel and Laurence Odfjell have established vineyards in Maipo very recently. By Chilean standards this is a small, almost boutique style of operation with a production of fewer than 40,000 cases a year across their range. Winemaking consultancy input is provided by Californian winery operator Paul HOBBS, as well as French enologist Arnaud Hereu. There […]

Neyen Colchagua Valley

This newly established winery is producing just one super-premium red. It was purchased in late 2010 by Huneeus Vintners, which also owns Veramonte. While the winery and property were fouded only in 2002, the origins of the estate and the oldest vine plantings go back to the 1890s. The original adobe stone winery has been […]

Montes Curicó

This is a large producer with an extensive range of estate-grown and externally sourced wines. A decent and approachable range of fruit driven wines is produced under the Classic Series and Twins labels but the best are available under the Montes Alpha label and there are a number of other special bottlings. Chardonnay is in […]

Viña Pérez Cruz Maipo

The first vintage at this winery based on the higher slopes of the Maipo was only 2002. They have established themselves though among the best from this, the oldest of Chile’s red wine regions. Their Liguai farm is blessed with finely drained alluvial soils with a high rock content and the resulting grapes offer real […]

Loma Larga Casablanca

This family owned winery has now been established for over a decade. Their vineyards are located in a protected valley providing a warmer climate than some parts of the region and protecting their sites from the cold southerly breezes prevalent in the region. As a result some of the greener notes that can be apparent […]

Viña Leyda Leyda

Based in the sub-region of the same name this winery has vineyards a few kilometres further inland than those of the nearby San Antonio region just to the north-west. The cooling effect of the ocean provides a benevolent environment for impressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Planting of the 249 ha of vineyards was first commenced […]

Haras de Pirque Maipo

Eduardo Matte acquired this 600 ha estate in the higher reaches of the Maipo Valley in 1991 and over the next couple of years planted 120 ha of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère as well as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The property is perhaps better known as one of Chile’s best thoroughbred horse breeding studs. […]

Viña Garces Silva San Antonio

The first vintage here was as recent as 2003 and the quality being obtained from cool, coastal Leyda vineyards to the seaward side of the coastal mountains is impressively fine. Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are produced from vineyards planted in well-drained clay/loam soils. Gewürztraminer has also now been planted and should have much […]

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