New Zealand Spotlight - June 2020

‘New Zealand promises to be very favourable to the vine.’

So said the pioneering Reverend Samuel Marsden in 1819 – but even this visionary mind would no doubt be impressed with quite how far and how fast this country has become a world class producer of great wines.

As a serious wine producing nation New Zealand is, in world terms, still just a young pup. With approximately 40 years of commercial wine-making experience under their collective belts they punch significantly above their weight with the immense quality of their wines. As vineyards are now reaching peak maturity, ever more refined wine-making, and with a greater understanding of the varied sites and soils – there’s never been a better time to buy these amazing wines.

We have championed some of the greatest producers here for a very long time, bringing into the UK the extraordinary wines from Rippon for more than 20 years. Our first vintage of Felton Road was 2005 and greats like Ata Rangi have been on the shelves for more than 15 years. Kumeu River is a more recent partnership – but shipping these fabulous wines from Auckland for the last few vintages has been a complete thrill.

‘The eye-catching depth of New Zealand wine across a myriad of styles is of significance to wine collectors and drinkers because this is a group of wines that mark a clear step away from the oceans of sauvignon blanc that first put this place on the world wine grid.’

What we love about these wines is their distinctiveness. It is always easy to make comparisons between wine regions – but these pristine examples are completely Kiwi. They bring to life this magical landscape and could not really be from anywhere else. Pure-fruited and detailed Pinot Noir, textured and lithe Chardonnays and the unmistakable bounce of those Sauvignons. Such diversity and incredible quality is the real delight of wines from New Zealand today.

So we are shining a light here on some of the best producers from top to toe of both Islands. You’ll find wines from these ‘known names’ as well as some of the smaller producers we love too - like Tongue in Groove, Two Rivers and Brodie Estate. This is a roll call of some of the great and the good, reaching from Auckland in the North to Central Otago in the South. With different varieties and styles to suit all palates.