OUR PRODUCERS IN NEW ZEALAND
Dog Point, Marlborough, New Zealand
Owned and run by the 2 men who made Cloudy Bay into the cult New Zealand wine of the 80s and 90s, Dog Point now produces the benchmark Marlborough Sauvignon Blancs. The winery only started in 2004 but has already gained rave reviews from Robert Parker and many of the world’s wine press.
What makes Dog Point’s wines different to other Marlborough producers?
- They own all their own fruit and so have full control over their vines and grape-growing techniques. Fruit quality in the vineyards is key;
- All grapes are picked by hand so that only the healthiest grapes are selected to make the wines, giving real delicacy and purity of flavour;
- Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, the owners/winemakers, believe in minimal intervention in the winery, allowing nature to take its course.
This is our sort of winery at Real Wines; a gem that has not yet been properly discovered by wine drinkers but which we know will be a superstar in the future. We have recently added their excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to our range, as well as their finest Sauvignon Blanc – Section 94 – which has been aged in French oak barrels for 18 months and, like fine white Bordeaux, is built to last several years.
Villa Maria, Marlborough, New Zealand – New!
We are delighted to be Switzerland’s new distributors of one of New Zealand’s best-known wineries, Villa Maria!
Villa Maria is hugely popular in New Zealand, Australia and the UK, but until now remains relatively unknown in mainland Europe. This must be a great opportunity! Every one of Villa Maria’s wines over-delivers in quality at its respective price point. The bottles look classy, the wines taste great, and the prices are very competitive – what more can you ask? Villa Maria are genuine pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry and are the first and only winery to make a Pinot Gris/Grigio that is almost as popular as its Sauvignon Blanc. Their Riesling is consistently superb at the price, with just a very gentle hint of sweetness to balance its crisp acidity and make it widely appealing.
They produce white and red wines at various levels – regional and single vineyard – in all New Zealand’s key wine-producing regions.
Villa Maria’s owner, George Fistonich, believes that the secret to the winery’s success does not lie in chasing awards but rather focusing on making superior quality wine that consumers can readily enjoy. Get this right and the awards naturally follow.
Highlights from Villa Maria’s achievements to date include:
- Named one of the world’s 50 great wine producers by American magazine Wine Spectator
- New Zealand Wine Company of the Year at Australia’s Winestate Wine Awards (ten times in eleven years)
- Owner George Fistonich, knighted by the New Zealand government for service to the wine industry
Felton Road, Central Otago, New Zealand
A true New Zealand superstar, biodynamically-farmed Felton Road is the winery which above all others has brought fame to the world’s most southerly and most dramatically beautiful wine making region of Central Otago at the foot of New Zealand’s South Island. Central Otago is the closest any wine region gets to the beauty of Switzerland, yet with its uniquely dry and remarkably warm climate for its southerly latitude can produce Pinot Noirs, Rieslings and Chardonnays with wonderful fruit concentration and complexity.
For any Red Burgundy lover, Felton Road’s wines are a must try. As Neal Martin from the Wine Advocate puts it “…whenever there is a tasting designed to challenge the supremacy of Burgundy it is usually Felton Road that is ushered into the ring, floats like a butterfly and out classes its bloated Old World champions.”
Decanter magazine considers Felton Road one of tomorrow’s “icon wines”; “every wine region needs a hero. Sauternes has Yquem, Central Otago has Felton Road. From its first vintage a mere decade ago Felton Road has blazed a trail for other winemakers to follow.”
Why are the wines so good?
In our mind, 3 key reasons:
- Their terroirs, painstakingly researched back in the late eighties and early nineties by the original owner, Stuart Elms, and perfectly suited to growing top quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
- The skill and hard work ethic of their winemaker, Blair Walter, who has been with Felton Road from its very first vintage, and somehow seems to raise his game year after year.
- Their belief in biodynamic viticulture and natural winemaking using wild yeasts for fermentation, gravity flow to transfer wines around the winery, no fining and no filtration. No other New World Pinot Noirs better express their unique terroirs than Felton Road’s.
Kumeu River – New Zealand – Auckland
Kumeu River is widely recognised as being New Zealand’s best producer of Chardonnay.
Their vineyards are situated north of Auckland, where they are cooled by breezes from the Tasman Sea only 20kms to the west and Pacific Ocean 30kms to the East. The vines have deep roots and are not irrigated, all grapes are harvested by hand, all wines are barrelfermented using wild yeast, and the top wines then matured in finest French oak for 11 months. The result is a set of wines which is as close in style to top Burgundy as you will ever find outside the hallowed region itself.