Butterworth Family Acquires Julicher Vineyard


Brad & Warren Butterworth acquire Julicher Vineyard from Wim Julicher: With twenty-five years of cultivating, nurturing and picking up more than their fair share of gold medals, the foundations of one of New Zealand’s most mature vineyards are set, ready for the next custodians to take the helm.

Butterworth Estate Logo

New owners Brad and Warren Butterworth jumped at the chance to build on Wim Julicher’s (and his patient partner, Sue Darling’s) success. “We loved the wine so much we bought the vineyard” jokes Brad, however, he’s deadly serious. Brad & Warren aspire to see their Te Muna Estate recognised as one of the very best producers in the region.

While the Butterworth Family is world famous for their sailing achievements, their viticultural heritage dates back to the founding days of the New Zealand wine industry.  Romeo Bragato described the family’s wine production as ‘equal, and very likely superior, to any wine imported into the country’ at the time. The original 1890’s vineyard property is still in the family today.

“While my sailing career has taken me around the world, we’re very focused on investing in New Zealand.” says owner Brad Butterworth “We run several businesses together and wine has always been a great passion we share, blending the two has been more than a 5-year process of finding the right site” adds cousin and co-owner Warren Butterworth.

“Not much has changed at the business end” says Warren.  Veteran local viticulturalist and vineyard manager, Kyra Day is continuing her great work refining the vineyard and overseeing the new plantings.  Martin Bell, multi-awarded Biotechnologist by trade runs the entire winemaking programme on site.

“We’re in such an exciting phase in the vineyard, the vines are just hitting their potential at 15-20 years of age, the resulting wines are going to be very special in the years to come” says Kyra Day.

As well as acquiring a neighbouring property on Te Muna Rd to expand plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the new owners have invested in a brand refresh putting their names to new wines to come from Julicher Vineyard.

“We have a lot of respect for Wim & Sue and wanted to evolve things but make sure they were always part of the story” says Brad Butterworth.

The iconic Julicher ‘J’ now forms a J-Knot, the strongest knot you can tie.  A fitting homage to Wim.  Julicher Vineyard will remain a mark of quality and adorn the wines of that site. 

As well as the Butterworth Estate Collection of wines, the Martinborough producer will also partner with local growers to produce a regional series called ‘Layline by Butterworth’. 

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Butterworth Estate’s first two wines have sailed past the critics, both 2020 Regatta Rosé & 2020 Butterworth Dry Riesling have impressed:

Regatta Rosé
The Wine Writer, Angie Atkinson 4½/5  Stars

“Rosé season is upon us and this one is lovely! Vivid orchard pink in colour with delicious aromas of sour cherry and apple blossom, cranberry, and watermelon. A dry wine with a soft, rounded texture, with red apple, berry, and ripe citrus notes on the palate. The wine finishes with bright acidity and a juicy lemon finish”

Regatta Rosé
Sam Kim: The Wine Orbit- 94 points 5 stars 

“It’s restrained and elegantly expressed, showing ripe strawberry, lemon peel, floral and subtle spice characters on the nose. The palate delivers excellent weight and flow, together with refined mouthfeel and bright acidity, finishing gorgeously long and appealing. At its best: now to 2023”

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Butterworth Dry Riesling
94 Points – Excellent – Camdouglasms.com

Immediate recognisable bouquet of fresh green apple and white blossom, lime-flower and mandarin peel. Fragrant and enticing. on the palate – crisp, fruity, refreshing and dry. The acidity not only adds crispness and palate appeal, but carries the flavours of apple and citrus through the palate with precision and style. Dry and lengthy finish. Well made, young and primary. Best drinking from 2022 through 2030+.

Butterworth Dry Riesling
Martinborough Star: Wine of the month

“The plantings and production of Riesling remain relatively rare in New Zealand, including Martinborough where this delicious dry version comes from. It’s a specialty of the Julicher Vineyard (now Butterworth Estate) on Te Muna Road in Martinborough and rocks a zesty lime and lemongrass vibe, making it an ideal drink chilled on a summer afternoon – and also tasty with fresh seafood and Thai green curry flavours, thanks to its crisp citrusy flavours.”

Butterworth Dry Riesling
The Wine Writer, Angie Atkinson – 5 Stars

“This wine is next level delicious. Sweet Meyer lemon, fresh lime juice, honey suckle and white blossom aromas with lifted green apple notes. A beautifully balanced palate with citrus and apple notes and fresh vibrant acidity finishing with a grapefruit sherbet fizz. An aperitif style wine, perfect for any time of day.”

Butterworth Dry Riesling
Sam Kim: Wine Orbit- 95 points, 5 stars

“A stunning rendition of the variety; the elegantly lifted bouquet shows Gala apple, apricot, lime sorbet and white floral aromas, leading to an impressively concentrated palate that’s brilliantly focused and lingering. The wine offers splendid fruit purity backed by lacy texture and vibrant acidity, finishing persistent and mouth-watering. At its best: 2022 to 2032”

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Find out more at : https://butterworthestate.com/

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