Tim's Blog

More about the Family of Twelve

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Continuing my preview of our exciting lineup of wineries represented at our New Zealand tasting this month.

James and Annie Millton established Millton Vineyards and Winery in 1984. Their four individual dry farmed vineyards are situated on the East Coast of New Zealand in the wine appellation of Gisborne. Located just a few kilometres from the South Pacific Ocean, this wine region enjoys a temperate maritime climate with warm summers cooled by afternoon sea breezes, bright autumns and crisp, clear winters. A small artisan winegrower, Millton has been certified for organic wine production since 1989 and gained the biodynamic certification Demeter in 2009.

We visited Craggy Range in 2014 – read the blog.  A truly extraordinary operation set up by Terry Peabody – an Australian businessman and Steve Smith MW – a world class Kiwi viticulturist, with a state of the art winery and visitor centre situated in the shadow of the spectacular Te Mata Peak in the premium wine growing area of Hawkes Bay. It makes wines from Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough, with an emphasis on single vineyard wines that offer the best terroir for specific grape varieties.  We will be tasting Syrah, grown in the Gimblett Gravels area of Hawkes Bay.

The Fromm Winery, the smallest of the family, was established in 1992 by Hätsch Kalberer and Georg and Ruth Fromm. Whilst the Fromms returned to Switzerland many years ago, now with 25 year old vines, Hätsch continues to make wines that truly show the expression of the soil.   All grapes are organically grown, hand-picked and the wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts with minimal filtering or fining so that the wines truly reflect the sites and soils they come from in the Southern Valleys region of Marlborough.

Pegasus Bay has been rated as one of New Zealand’s top five producers by influential Robert Parker.  The vineyard was established in the mid 80’s by the Donaldson family, who were pioneers of the Canterbury wine industry. The vineyard is in the Waipara Valley, 30 minutes drive north of Christchurch. Its sheltered position, but proximity to the sea, give it warm days, cool nights and a dry autumn, resulting in a very prolonged ripening period. The vineyard is now almost 30 years old with the main focus on Riesling and Pinot Noir.