Tim's Blog

Twelve of the best of New Zealand

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Our celebration of New Zealand’s Family of Twelve approaches, and I’ve been reminding myself about the wineries whose wines we will be tasting.

Twelve independent wine producers from across the two islands, who share best practice but retain very distinct personalities, including:


Kumeu River, the most northern of the family, whose vineyards are in Auckland. The Brajkovich family have made wine since 1944, and four siblings now run the business. Winemaker Michael was New Zealand’s first Master of Wine, and his Chardonnays regularly wine top awards.
Ata Rangi, meaning “dawn sky” or “new beginning” is a small winery with a big reputation for serious Pinot Noir in Martinborough (now known as Wellington County). It is owned and managed by a family trio – Clive Paton, his wife Phyll and his sister Alison. We met Clive and Phyll in 2015 during our New Zealand tour – find out more.

In Marlborough, Lawson’s Dry Hills consistently produce world class award winning wines. Established in 1980 by Ross and Barbara Lawson, who still work with a young ambitious team of winemakers and viticulturalists, the wines are made from some of the best vineyards in Marlborough. Of particular interest is the use of French oak in fermentation of their Sauvignon Blanc.

And to the south, in Central Otago’s Bannockburn sub-region, Felton Road is dedicated to making wines from fabuous vineyard sites in the warm, dry and dramatic Pinot Noir lands of Otago. Biodynamic vineyard practices and minimum intervention in the winery result in some of the finest wines of New Zealand.

Over the next couple of weeks I will give a bit more information about this exciting line up of wines – places are already filling up so book soon!

Richmond Wine Society meets on the 21st and 22nd March.

Teddington Wine Society meets on the 31st March.