“Some of the best back-to-back vintages the Hawke’s Bay region has ever seen”, says Church Road’s Chief Winemaker Chris Scott, of the latest releases from the TOM and CR1 Single Vineyard collections.
The Hawke’s Bay award-winning winery, Church Road, proudly releases three new TOM wines and four new CR1 Single Vineyard wines in celebration of 125 years of winemaking on the site where it remains today.
The releases reflect a slight departure from the brand’s traditional approach, with an evolving style present in vineyard practices and the wines’ flavour profiles. Increased crop manipulation, canopy management, small-batch production and earlier harvests have all contributed to the evolution of the TOM and CR1 ranges. These wines represent Chris Scott’s commitment to producing refined and balanced wines.
The 2021 chardonnay is “one of the best we’ve ever made”, says Chris Scott; a result of an early harvest which delivered concentrated wine without being heavy, fat or too rich. The dry harvest period also catered especially to the Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet sauvignon wines, where fruit remained in great condition to be picked at optimal ripeness, producing rich and textural TOM and CR1 wines.
Recent progression in vineyard practices remains true to Church Road’s core values and history. Founded in 1897 and now one of the oldest wineries in New Zealand, Church Road has spent the last 125 years growing an iconic brand that delivers unrelenting drive and commitment to excellence. This year’s releases take another step to celebrate the legacy of Tom McDonald, with the wines released on September 12, his birthday.
Chris Scott comments: “We challenge ourselves to perfect the details behind the art and science of wine-growing and winemaking by investing time, learning, and experimenting as we continue to hone our skill. These wines are a culmination of those efforts; these are the best examples of our Church Road style”.
Only released in exceptional years, TOM is a salute to Hawke’s Bay wine pioneer Tom McDonald and capture the passion for a craft that has been respected and refined for 125 years. The triumvirate of TOM wines include the TOM Chardonnay 2021, TOM Syrah 2020, and TOM Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2019, with each reflecting depth, structure and restrained power; the trademarks of this exceptional range.
From the careful management of the vineyards in the Tuki Tuki Valley, Gimblett Gravels and Bridge Pa Triangle, to the remarkable back-to-back harvests in 2019, 2020 and 2021, TOM is “the very best wine Church Road has to offer,” says Chris Scott.
CR1 Single Vineyard
Church Road 1 is a story of provenance. The single vineyard offering showcases the unique character of the best vineyards from the sub-regions of Hawke’s Bay, including the famed Redstone, Tuki Tuki and Gimblett Gravels sites. Church Road winemakers take a back seat and allow the land to stamp its mark on the wine, so it reveals a true expression of place in every glass, every time.
This year’s releases each have their own personality: Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2020, Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Syrah 2020, Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Merlot 2020, Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2021.
Select harvests from the Gimblett and Redstone Vineyards were unfiltered and matured for approximately 18 months, producing rich and textural red wines. The chardonnay grapes from the Terraces Vineyard were hand harvested, hand sorted and whole bunch pressed, and the dry 2021 vintage created the perfect conditions for a varietal with “incredible concentration without being too rich or heavy,” says Chris Scott.
Church Road TOM Syrah 2020 RRP: $220 NZD
Church Road TOM Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2019 RRP: $220 NZD
Church Road TOM Chardonnay 2021 RRP: $150 NZD
Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon 2020 RRP: $120 NZD
Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Redstone Syrah 2020 RRP: $120 NZD
Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Gimblett Gravels Merlot 2020 RRP: $120 NZD
Church Road 1 Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2021 RRP: $100 NZD
All wines from the TOM and Church Road 1 ranges are available at select retail stores, on-premise, and online at: