February 05, 2021

New Zealand Wines Unsung Heroes

If you’ve traveled to New Zealand then you’ll know there is so much more to New Zealand wine than our sizzling sauvignon blancs. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of a visit to our shores, did you know New Zealand is home to many other noteworthy whites including chardonnay, pinot gris and dry Riesling. Not to mention ravishing reds like pinot noir, syrah and cabernet blends… So it’s time to put the spotlight on three of these lesser known New Zealand wine superstars.


New Zealand’s geography is perfectly suited to craft white wines full of delicacy, finesse and freshness. This is thanks to our maritime climate, long sunshine hours, crisp nights and some of the most southerly latitudes in the wine world.

One such white is the noble chardonnay whose reputation has suffered over recent years due to a deluge of cheaply produced, homogenised and heavily oaked examples flooding wine stores. We’re pleased to say, this is nothing like what you’ll find in our chardonnay.

Our winemakers draw their inspiration from the legendary whites of Burgundy, producing chardonnay that is elegant, restrained and, in many cases, highly ageworthy.

In the warmer, sunnier north, in places such as Hawke’s Bay, chardonnay is scented with fresh tropical fruits and has wonderful rounded textures and a backbone of minerality. As you move south to cooler overall temperatures you’ll find elevated acidity and a leaner, more citrus-driven profile.


When it comes to Kiwi reds, Pinot Noir is the reigning king. Our winemakers have earned themselves a formidable reputation on the world stage with this notoriously difficult to grow variety. However Syrah is quietly emerging as a force to be reckoned with, particularly for collectors and those who favor bolder reds.

Elegant, cool climate expressions of Syrah can be found in New Zealand’s South Island regions, but the majority comes from the warmer North Island, primarily Hawke’s Bay, home to the unique, mineral rich soils of the Gimblett Gravels wine growing district. New Zealand Syrah is more like a Southern Rhone-style of wine, not a Shiraz from Australia.

Cabernet blends

Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends have a long history in New Zealand, dating back to the mid-1800s. Today our winemakers craft elegant, yet powerful blends by elevating the structure and finesse of cabernet sauvignon with the full, ripe fruit of merlot. These wines are exciting when enjoyed young but are well worth cellaring where they will develop a rich complexity with age.

Join us for a guided tasting of New Zealand wine

Experience three fantastic examples of lesser known New Zealand wine varieties with our New Zealand Wine Week Tasting Pack which includes a virtual wine tasting.

The three wines included in the sampler and tasting are:
A beautiful Mills Reef Chardonnay from their 2014 vintage, arguably one of the best, if not the best vintage for New Zealand chardonnay. This unforgettable wine proves without a doubt that age and beauty are absolutely compatible.

The Syrah we have chosen is the 2016 Clearview Cape Kidnappers Syrah. Exhibiting floral violet notes, black and white pepper, subtle spicy anise and liquorice oak, it’s the perfect match for venison, beef or lamb.

To round out our sampler is the exquisite 2016 Vidal El Legado Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, a truly world class wine with intensity, texture and depth of flavor. Hailing from the infamous Gimblett Gravels you’ll enjoy notes of cassis, black olives and ground black pepper. This wine is ready to drink now until 2035.

$89.00 including shipping and guided tasting

These wines retail individually for $136 + shipping, but to celebrate New Zealand Wine Week we’ve slashed the price of this three bottle sampler to $89 including shipping.

Plus you’ll be personally invited to participate in a virtual guided tasting with our US based New Zealand wine expert David Harlow on Friday 12 February or Thursday 18 February at 6pm PST.