Wild ferment – Pinot Noir.
We’re delighted to say that most of our wineries, vineyards and restaurants have escaped major damage as a result of the Kaikoura earthquake.
Our thoughts are with those most-affected, particularly our fellow winefolk in Marlborough.
The following businesses are open:
- Black Estate Restaurant and cellar door
- Pegasus Bay Restaurant and cellar door
- Waipara Hills Café and cellar door
- Waipara Springs Café and cellar door
- Greystone & Muddy Water cellar door – Pop up Cafe open this weekend!
- Terrace Edge cellar door
- Torlesse cellar door
Marble Point Winery (near Hanmer Springs) will open for Cellar Door sales tomorrow (Thursday) – its restaurant will remain closed.
Mt Beautiful Tasting Room in Cheviot is undamaged but road closures are making it difficult to get to so it remains closed at this point in time.
Thank you so much for your support – our whole community has been overwhelmed with support from around the world which is really humbling at times like this.
Congratulations to Terrace Edge and Greystone Wines for taking top honours in the 2016 NZ Organic Wine Awards.
Terrace Edge’s 2014 Liquid Geography Riesling received the top honour of ‘Wine of the Show’. Viticulturist, Pete Chapman said “it was a great honour for their wine to receive this award, the style of the Liquid Geography Riesling seems to have captured people’s imagination. Undoubtedly the Waipara Valley produces some fantastic aromatic wines, especially when they are grown organically”.
The top accolade of ‘Vineyard of the Year’ went to Greystone Vineyard. It is part of a wider farm which includes organic sheep, biodiversity areas, ponds and an organic olive grove nestled into the Omihi hills in the Waipara Valley. Marketing spokeswoman Rebecca Jones said the company was “delighted with the accolade. The standard of wine created in the vineyard has been outstanding and is a true testament to the region, their winemaker Dominic Maxwell and their viticulturist Nick Gill”. Along with the Vineyard of the year, Greystone Wines were awarded 3 Gold medals.
In total Waipara Valley Wines were recognised with 7 Golds medals which equates to over 40% of those awarded in this years show. The Gold medal winning wines were: Terrace Edge 2014 Liquid Geography Riesling; Greystone 2015 Riesling; Greystone 2015 Gewürztraminer; Greystone 2015 Pinot Gris; Black Estate 2015 Netherwood Rose; Black Estate 2015 Damsteep Riesling and Muddy Water 2014 Pinot Noir.
Wines of Canterbury are delighted to announce the winner of the Champion Trophy for the 2016 Canterbury Wine Awards as the Waipara River Estate Late Harvest Noble Riesling 2013.
The award was collected by estate owner Michael Peters at the David Jackson Dinner on 18 May. Peter’s said he was “absolutely delighted to take away the champion trophy, in particular as the wine came from the oldest vineyard in the Waipara Valley – a boutique family operation”. Waipara River Estate is a 4Ha family owned vineyard by Michael and his partner Tina Beasley. They produce Rieslings, Pinot Noir, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet/Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate is home to the oldest vines in the Waipara region having been planted in early 1981. The estate’s wines are available through their website www.waiparariver.com or by calling Linda de Vine on 021 483 112.
The chair of the judging panel, Jo Burzynska (Wine Educator and Wine Editor of Viva) said “This was one of the strongest years so far at the competition, with a really impressive line-up of entries in most categories and a number of names new to the show winning top awards. The Riesling class was again one of the highlights, and perhaps not surprisingly yielded the Champion wine of the show; the highly impressive first-time entry, Waipara River Estate Late Harvest Noble Riesling 2013.” Jo was joined on the judging panel by Kirsten Creasy, Winemaker and Oenologist with Hill Laboratories, and local chef and Restaurateur, Jonny Schwass (Mrs Hucks, Harlequin Public House).
Pictured below is Michael receiving his award from Chairperson Neil Pattinson
Liz Carlson reckons Waipara Valley is one of New Zealand’s best kept secrets….. More
Bellbird Spring has joined a burgeoning list of New Zealand vineyards making the change to organic, wine production.
The family-owned vineyard has announced it has been certified as organic by BioGro, New Zealand’s leading organic certification agency.
They are one of seven certified organic vineyards in the Waipara Valley.
It is a labour of love for Guy Porter, the vineyard’s owner, grower and winemaker, who has long practiced organic viticulture as a way of promoting sustainability.
“I think certification will give customers the assurance that comes with an independently certified endorsement,” Mr Porter says.
“We are really excited to be recognised as a sustainable and environmentally-friendly vineyard.”
Bellbird Spring is just the latest in a steady stream making a change towards sustainable practices.
New Zealand has jumped from having just six certified organic wine growers in 1999, to boasting 165 certified organic vineyards, 69 certified organic wineries and 104 companies as of 2015.
Organic wineries now account for almost 10 per cent of all wine production.
While sustainable practices had been a way of life for years, Mr Porter sees the value in gaining official certification.
“We realised it wasn’t enough to have organic practices,” Mr Porter says.
“We needed to be seen to have them, and that required accreditation.”
Because Bellbird Spring was already practicing organic viticulture and using organic-registered inputs, BioGro granted the vineyard some retrospective accreditation so they did not have to wait the standard three-year conversion period.
The first Bellbird Spring organic wines were expected to be on the shelves within the next 12 months. However, Mr Porter says the taste of his much-loved wine would remain the same.
“Our wine styles are very traditional. We use relatively few inputs, and those we do use are appropriate for organic production.”
While Marlborough is the biggest wine-producing region in New Zealand, it actually only produces about 5 per cent of the domestic market’s share.
BioGro spokeswoman Elissa Jordan says many wineries were making the shift to organic production.
“There is increasing and ongoing interest in conversion,” she says.
“While many newcomers will try for a couple of years and then withdraw, once a vineyard has been certified for more than 3 years it is likely to stay certified for the long term.”
Jonathan Hamlet, chair of Organic Winegrowers New Zealand, says it is a positive shift for the wine industry.
“One of the biggest advantages is sustainability and looking after your land for the long-term and not having the negative effects of the synthetic input on your vineyard,” Mr Hamlet says.
“It’s about giving value to your product and showing you have a really big commitment to that sustainability.”
Mr Hamlet hoped other vineyards would follow suit in becoming organically certified.
“We think it’s a really positive move for the New Zealand wine industry as a whole.
“New Zealand is a very clean-green country to be producing wine and we think that being as sustainable as possible is key to us holding value to our product and giving it integrity when taking it to the world.”
What is organic wine?
Organic wine and grape producers rely on working with ecological processes and naturally derived products. The use of synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides, or herbicides are not permitted in organic wine production. Organic wine producers often rely on cultivating and nurturing rich soil and insect life.
About Bellbird Spring:
Bellbird Spring is a small, family-run vineyard located in the Waipara Valley.
New Zealander Guy Porter has worked in the U.K. wine trade, studied winemaking at the University of Adelaide’s , Roseworthy Campus, and worked internationally as a winemaker. In 2002 he returned with his family to North Canterbury, where they planted their original vineyard, Home Block. Block Eight, their second vineyard, was planted in 2004.
Bellbird Spring uses traditional practices such as oxidative handling of juice, indigenous fermentations and the use of old oak barrels to form characterful wines for food.
Pinot Noir grapes are fermented with indigenous yeast in small lots, worked by hand-plunging.
Family is important to Bellbird Spring, with three generations living on the vineyards.
Hear Nik Mavromatis of Greystone & Muddy Water and Angela Clifford & Lynette Hudson from Tongue in Groove talking about the harvest so far.
This story was broadcast on Radio NZ on Friday 8 April 2016.
On July 17th Mount Brown Estates in the Waipara Valley collected four trophies, including the coveted ‘Wine of the Show’ for their Mount Brown Estates Grand Reserve Pinot Noir 2013.
The Trophies awarded were: Pinot Noir Trophy, Red Wine of the Show, Estate Grown and Produced Trophy and the champion Wine of the Show.
Mount Brown Estates is family owned and run by Tony Rutherfurd and daughter Catherine since 2003. Their three vineyards produce Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Merlot. In 2013 they built a winery on site and employed Frank Manifold to set-up and run it. The Mount Brown Estates Grand Reserve Pinot Noir was the first wine produced in the new winery.
Director, Catherine Keith, said “We’re proud to be another Waipara Valley vineyard achieving great things on the international stage and it is further evidence that the Waipara Valley is fast becoming one of the premium wine producing regions of New Zealand, particularly with its Pinot Noir”.
The Mount Brown Estates range of wines can be found in New World supermarkets and selected stores through-out New Zealand or online at http://www.mountbrown.co.nz/
The Boutique Wine Awards, held in Sydney are in their 20th year, and are open to Australian and New Zealand wineries producing 250 tonne or less under their own label. Judges included Bob Campbell and Huan Hooke.