Winery Reviews


Winery Reviews

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 […]

Cono Sur Rapel

This operation was established in 1993. There are extensive estate-owned vineyards and the company sources fruit from Casablanca, Maipo, Rapel and the Bío Bío Valley. Under the Bicicleta label some attractively fruity reds and whites are produced. Reserva Especial labelled Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all decent and well priced, while the Visión […]

Viñedo Chadwick Maipo

A recently established premium label owned by ERRAZURIZ, with a vineyard located on the northern bank of the Maipo river into the foothills of the Andes. The 300 ha property has been in the Chadwick family since 1945. The vineyard covers a mere 15 ha of the best stony/clay soils. It is now planted to […]

El Principal Maipo Valley

This 54 ha Maipo estate has been developed by Bordelais Patrick Valette, with the vineyard planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot. El Principal is a modern Bordeaux style and as at many Bordeaux properties a second wine, Memorias, is produced to ensure the integrity of the grand vin and to this is now added […]

De Martino Maipo

This Maipo based winery produces a fine range of reds and whites not just from the home vineyards but from a number of other areas as well. The winery and its new winemaker Eduardo Jordan place considerable emphasis in finding the best potential areas for each varietal. The Estate wines as is the case with […]

Casa Marin San Antonio

This pioneering family owned winery , just 4 km from the ocean, is in the vanguard of the new and potentially very fine coastal wine region. Founded in 2000 Casa Marin is is now planted to 50 ha of the original varietals of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Gris, Gewürztraminer and Riesling and is […]

Viña Casablanca Casablanca

Established by SANTA CAROLINA well over 10 years ago this has been a consistently impressive producer of good, sometimes very good cool-grown whites. Reds are produced as well and these wines are mostly now vinified from warmer growing areas. There is a fairly wide range of wines produced under the Céfiro label and a number […]

Casas del Bosque Casablanca

Founded in 1993 by Juan Cuneo Solari, Casas del Bosque has grown from a boutique winery to one producing around 1 million bottles a year. All wines are tank fermented with commercial yeasts but nevertheless, some wines of high quality are produced. Gran Reserva and Pesqueñas Producciones (small production) wines are particularly fine. There are […]

Casa Silva Rapel

Among the best of Chile’s newly established winery operations, Casa Silva was set up in 1997 and winemaking is supervised by the experienced Mario Geisse Garcia. The winery owns three different estates and has a total of some 830 ha of vineyards, so is not a small operation by any means. All of the vineyards […]

Carmen Maipo

Carmen is owned by the large SANTA RITA operation. Production here itself is not inconsiderable with vineyard holdings now spread across many of the major regions. As a result an extensive range is produced, both red and white. The regular whites and particularly the reds are well-crafted and full of vibrant, ripe and crunchy fruit. […]

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