Vintage Report 2016

Prior to Christmas all the talk was about drought.  Fruit set was good but would we have enough water to get through the season and what effect would this have on bunch size.  Certainly the river was low.  But of course Mother Nature intervened and a couple of timely rains in January during the critical cell division phase when the berries size up meant that…
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Nautilus Cuvee Brut NV during August

August is blending month for the base wine of our Nautilus Cuvee.  First we assemble the 2015 vintage components, usually 2 Pinot Noir and 1 Chardonnay.  These wines have been through malolactic fermentation and have been sitting on their yeast lees since April. Over this time they deposit a lot of tartrate crystals on the side of the tank as you can see by the…
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Vintage 2015

  A few chilly nights in spring caused some sleepless nights and while there were no visits by Jack Frost to our blocks the cooler weather did influence flowering and only a moderate crop was set.  All the talk over summer was about drought and with the lowest rainfall in over 80 years recorded over summer the valley was looking extremely dry and a good…
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ABC to BBC

Last week we attended the annual Australia & New Zealand winemaker’s tour road show run by our distributors, Negociants New Zealand.  This 4 city whirlwind trip involves a bunch of Ozzie & NZ winemakers showing of their wines & certainly a fun time is had by all.  Each day started with a series of master classes and Nautilus Chardonnay featured in the master class ‘ABC…
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Vintage 2014 Report

A mild spring and warm & settled December resulted in a good fruit set and higher than average cropping levels.  Considerable fruit thinning was carried out across all varieties to ensure the vines were balanced. Throughout spring and early summer the season was warmer than average and we were anticipating an early vintage.  Post-Christmas temperatures were more normal but we still managed our earliest start…
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One from the bucket list – Champion Wine of Show at the Air NZ Wine Awards.

On Saturday night at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards dinner I had the privilege of collecting both the trophy for best sparkling wine and the Champion Wine of Show for our Nautilus Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV.  Collecting the Best sparking trophy was exciting enough but to get the Champion Wine of the show took it to a whole new level – that was definitely…
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A Very Special Sauvignon Blanc…

The Nautilus Winemakers Selection Sauvignon Blanc, like the Four Barriques Pinot Noir, is a wine we have made occasionally when we think the vintage quality warrants it.  Previously allocated to the UK market, this wine is for the first time being released here in NZ. The style of this Sauvignon Blanc has always been at the technical forefront of what we are trying to achieve…
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Gruner - Comp

Groovy Baby…

You may not have heard of it before, but Gruner Veltliner is an exciting new wine variety for New Zealand consumers and winemakers alike. Grüner Veltliner (AKA Grüner, GruVee or GV) is the most prized varietal in Austria and “Today, no self-respecting restaurant wine list, whether in New York or Hong Kong, can afford to be without at least one example of this, Austria’s signature white…
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Sleeper vintages – every vintage is not the same!

One of the great things about wine is that every new release is the result of the unique conditions from that growing season. While there will be some consistency from year to year rooted in the terroir and the house winemaking style, every wine is invariably a snapshot of the year in which it was grown. One of the challenges we face as winemakers is…
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Nautilus Bubbles

***Nerd alert*** The technical side of methode traditionnelle sparkling wine.

This week we are disgorging the latest batch of our much beloved Nautilus Cuvee.  Disgorging is the last step in the process to prepare the wine for release and this particular batch was blended & bottled (“tiraged” is the technical term) in 2009.  The wine is a blend based principally on the 2009 vintage with a small amount of older reserve wine to give additional complexity…
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