Méthode Marlborough Day is an opportunity to celebrate premium New Zealand sparkling wine. Méthode Marlborough invites you to join them on Friday, 31 March to toast the close of their sparkling grape harvest, the first of many considered steps in the production of exceptional méthode traditionnelle wine.
Marlborough’s sparkling wine harvest occurs earlier than that of still wine, with fruit being picked within a specific window of time when acidity levels sit slightly advanced to its brix counterpart. Marlborough is known for its high sunshine hours and cool nights, and it is the combination of this climate and the regions unique terroir that enables the production of quality méthode traditionnelle.
“Méthode Marlborough Day is a celebration of all the hard work, love, and passion of every Méthode Marlborough producer, as well as an opportunity to showcase the excellent quality of Méthode Traditionnelle wines that Marlborough produces” says Patricia Miranda-Taylor, Wither Hills, and winemaker of Daniel Le Brun. ”Marlborough has a unique terroir and perfect growing conditions such as soil, climate, sunlight, and amazing passionate people making Méthode Marlborough wines.”
“Méthode Marlborough comes an assurance of quality,” says Dan Taylor, Export Manager for Tohu Wines. “Our group is dedicated to producing sparkling wines in the traditional method of Champagne but we are crafting our wines right here in heart of New Zealand. The breadth and calibre of sparkling wine our region is capable of producing is impressive.”
Last years’ Méthode Marlborough Day created plenty of buzz. “We were thrilled to see so many sparkling wine lovers raising glasses and popping corks on social media,” says Della Offord of Spy Valley Wines. “There is no better time to support local, especially when there is such an exciting regional collective like Méthode Marlborough.”
As the sparkling grape harvest begins, there is every indication that 2023 will produce exciting méthode traditionnelle wine.
“On first of March, we started harvesting Pinot Noir for Daniel Le Brun – the fruit looks and tastes superb, I feel excited and privileged to be making a great world-class sparkling wine following traditional methods as part of Méthode Marlborough group.” Says Patricia Miranda-Taylor
“Whitehaven picked their chardonnay for bubbles on 2 March. While this is in line with previous season picks, this season has been tracking a little bit slower than normal, so we were surprised to see the fruit ready to go. We were expecting to be picking in a week later!” Says Andrea Craig, Marketing Manager for Whitehaven. “Our Pinot Noir will be picked in around 10 days’ after our chardonnay, as the single vineyard that this fruit comes from tracks a bit later. Fruit is looking great and we are looking forward to a great 2023 harvest.”
Esses Estate is in the southernmost part of Marlborough. “It has been a wetter season then average, resulting in smaller bunches but our open canopies have ensured the development of beautiful, clean berries” says Aaron Skinner, viticultural Manager for Esses Estate “The yield will be slightly lower this year but resulting in high quality grapes. We will pick closer to the end of March and are excited to see how the fruit develops over the coming weeks”.
“Whilst Méthode Marlborough works collaboratively as a collective, when it comes to harvest there is always some healthy competition” says Mel Skinner, Chair of Méthode Marlborough “Nautilus is usually our first member to pick however Saint Clair took great pride this year in getting their grapes in a week early than Nautilus, creating witty banter between the winemakers”
“This years’ harvest was particularly humbling for our harvest teams, and they felt privileged to be to be able to safely get the grapes picked, after the devastation left across north island wine regions” Stated Mel Skinner, Chair of Méthode Marlborough “This year we will be toasting the incredible people involved in the response and recovery of the aftermath of Cyclone Gabrielle”
The Méthode industry in Marlborough is made up of several unsung heroes with one of those being Murray Gibbons. “Murray has been trucking wines and grapes and everything around the valley since probably just about day dot” says Stewart Maclennan, Senior Winemaker at Saint Clair “Murray is an absolute treasure in the industry, I can guarantee that several people at every facility here know and adore Murray. Sadly, he can’t really drive anymore and will be gone and sorely missed from the industry when he sells up.”
“This Méthode Marlborough day we will also be raising a glass to Murray and thanking him for everything he does for the industry” says Mel Skinner.
Méthode Marlborough Day is on track to celebrate a quintessential sparkling harvest. The 12 member wineries will be leading the way by taking a moment out of their busy day of vintage to toast each other and the year ahead. They will share their moments via social media and hope that you will too.
Méthode Marlborough Members:
Esses Estate – Hunter’s Wines – Johanneshof Cellars – LV Wines
Nautilus Estate – No1 Family Estate – Pernod Ricard (Deutz)
Saint Clair Family Estate – Spy Valley Wines – Tohu Wines
Whitehaven Wines – Wither Hills (Daniel Le Brun)
About Méthode Marlborough:
Méthode Marlborough is a collaborative group of wineries committed to producing world class sparkling wine from the vast range available in New Zealand. All Méthode Marlborough wines are made in the traditional method which means the second fermentation is in the bottle, followed by the intricate riddling and disgorging process. This produces the finest and most persistent bead. Additionally, all these wines are aged for a minimum of 18 months before disgorging takes place. This allows complex flavours to develop, balancing fresh and fruit driven character with savoury notes of toast and brioche.
Méthode Marlborough is dedicated to making and promoting wines made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. This trio of varieties is internationally recognised as a benchmark style by sparkling wine producers around the world.
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