At Nautilus we make a trio of what we call ‘aromatic’ wines. We introduced the 1st of these – Pinot Gris, in 2000. Back then Pinot Gris was considered an ‘alternative’ variety and there was very little planted. If fact we were one of the first to plant in Marlborough. Now this variety is very popular with consumers and is grown and enjoyed throughout the country. Pinot Gris has a home in Alsace, France and also in Italy where it is known as Pinot Grigio. The home for our Pinot Gris is our Awatere River Vineyard in the upper Awatere Valley in Marlborough. This elevated cool site produces excellent Pinot Gris & while in terms of style it bears more resemblance to Alsace than Italy, in reality it has developed its own unique ‘Marlborough’ style.
The second of our series of aromatic wines that we introduced was Gruner Veltiner, with the first vintage being 2011. This variety has its origins in Austria and can produce wonderfully complex wines. Most similar to Sauvignon Blanc, but with more restrained & savoury fruit flavours, this variety is particularly suited to Marlborough and results in wines that have a lovely chalky acidity. Don’t be afraid if you can’t pronounce the name – just call it ‘groovey jet liner’.
Finally in 2014 we made our first Albarino – a variety that is Spanish in origin. This is a fruity fragrant variety that while quite challenging to grow in Marlborough, produces a delightful refreshing wine that is perfect for spring and we will be releasing the 2018 in November (you may need to get in quick as it usually sell out). The last 2 vintages have won gold medals & trophies galore so we hope the new 2018 will do just as well. If I were a betting man I would be putting my money on Albarino as the next big thing.
Both the Albarino & Gruner Veltliner are grown on our Renwick Vineyard in the middle of the Wairau Valley in Marlborough. While I am sure you will have tried Pinot Gris, I would encourage you to try these two ‘new’ varieties. In fact a the trio makes a wonderful set to compare & contrast.