This month we head down to Martinborough in the Wairarapa wine region, to visit Kai and Marion at Schubert Wines, a small well established vineyard producing an outstanding range of wines that are now world renowned. Kai and Marion have always aspired to craft wines of uncompromising quality that would stand alongside the finest in the world, which they have most certainly achieved.
Kai Schubert and Marion Deimling are graduates of the esteemed Viticulture and Oenology University of Geisenheim, Germany. Both Kai and Marion were born and raised in Germany. Kai had the experience of working for the acclaimed winemaker Erni Loosen of Dr. Loosen Estate in Bernkastel. Marion grew up amongst vines around Lake Constance and worked at wineries in the Baden region, the southernmost wine region of Germany.
Kai and Marion had always dreamed of establishing their own vineyard. They traveled the world in pursuit of Pinot Noir and the intention of producing wines of uncompromising quality. A world search for the perfect conditions, which included Europe, North and South America and Australia, brought the young winemakers to Martinborough, New Zealand. Here in the picturesque Wairarapa they found what they were looking for. The unique blend of topography, ancient geology and climate in Martinborough captivated them both.
The “cool-climate” in the Wairarapa Valley is very similar to Europe’s cooler wine growing regions with an additional advantage: the long dry autumns! Precipitation is shielded by the Rimutaka and Tararua Mountains, creating an unique micro climate. Martinborough and its sub-region East Taratahi are the driest regions of New Zealand’s North Island. The soils are formed by old river sediments; ideal conditions for Pinot Noir. The strong winds and harsh climate causes low yields and keeps the grapes dry and healthy. The berries are very small with thick skins, which has a positive effect on the depth of flavours.
The boutique vineyards of the region produced premier richly flavoured, savoury, yet perfumed Pinot Noirs that were already gaining worldwide recognition at the time. In 1998 Kai and Marion purchased a small established vineyard in Martinborough as well as 40 hectares of bare land in the East Taratahi sub-region. Here they planted the variety of their dreams – Pinot Noir as well as some other varieties, all of which gained organic certification in 2013.
Respect and care of the Terroir plays the most significant role for the production of their premium quality wines. They concentrate on an ecologically, environmentally friendly and organic vineyard management. Healthy vines need less protection hence environmental impacts are reduced to a minimum. Only perfect grapes of the highest quality can make outstanding wine!
By European standards a fairly young vineyard, these vines have shown promise since the beginning. They have created an outstanding range of wines that are now world renowned. Kai and Marion have always aspired to craft wines of uncompromising quality that would stand alongside the finest in the world. As a result Schubert Wines have been quick to capture the attention of connoisseurs and critics alike for their alluring wines of outstanding character, complexity, balance and grace.
Schubert Wines obtained full organic certification with BioGro New Zealand in 2013.
They are dedicated to an ecological, environmentally friendly and organic approach, whilst also minimizing chemical and technological intervention in our vinification process. By crafting our wines using traditional, gentle winemaking procedures and only the best quality handpicked grapes, they respect the integrity of the fruit and the land it grows on.
As a certified organic vineyard they do not use synthetic chemical fertilisers, pesticides or herbicides. This allows them to reduce the environmental impact to a minimum, while at the same time nurturing healthy soils and waterways, maintaining biodiversity through protecting insects and helpful microorganisms, and ensuring their grapes are a true expression of their terroir and the beautiful natural environment of the Wairarapa.
Schubert Wine have two main vineyards – The ‘Home Block’ Vineyard in Martinborough – almost 2 hectares on free draining soils with Terenikau Silt Loam over old river gravels were planted with various clones of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay and Müller-Thurgau. The vineyard was originally planted in 1989. Some vines still are ungrafted on their own roots.
Marion’s Vineyard is located north of Martinborough on a terrace of East Taratahi on Dakins Road. 12.5 hectares on free draining soils with Alluvial Loam over old river gravels were planted mostly in 1999 and 2000. 80% of the vineyard holds red varieties, predominantly Pinot Noir. Currently we grow 8 different clones of Pinot Noir, including the prominent Dijon clones. A Small block of Syrah is planted next to the rocky edge towards the Ruamahanga River. White varieties are mainly Sauvignon Blanc but also a little Pinot Gris is grown here.
Schubert Wines produces a range of well known grape varieties including, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay then some not so well known varieties, Con Brio, Tribianco and Dolce.
To purchase wine online visit: https://shop.schubert.co.nz/ Current releases at date of publication are:
- Kai Pinot Noir 2016
- Block B Pinot Noir 2021
- Marion’s Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021
- Syrah 2020
- Con Brio 2018
- Chardonnay 2022
- Tribianco 2022
- Rose 2022
- Dolce 2022
Schubert Wines are found and recognized for excellence around the world. They are currently available in 40 export markets and found on the wine lists of some of the best Restaurants in the world such as
- The French Laundry and Spago in California
- Tetsuya’s in Sydney
- Fasano in Sao Paulo
- Pujol in Mexico City
- Chez Ino in Tokyo
- The Dorchester Hotel in London
- Restaurant Pinot Noir in Moscow and the Queue
- de Cheval in Montréal
- Central Restaurante in Peru
- Robuchon in Macau
- The Four Seasons Hotel in Beijing.
SCHUBERT WINES – is the exclusive importer of The Gabriel Glass© to New Zealand. Often the choice of a suitable glass is more difficult than the choice of the right wine. What is more important to the connoisseur? A cupboard full of glasses or a cellar full of wine? René Gabriel, a renowned wine writer from Switzerland has designed the ultimate multi purpose glass where every little detail counts.
The Gabriel Glass© is ideal for every style of wine. Form follows function: The broader base of the bowl of the glass — a precise 95 millimeters — and the conical shape at the top of the glass— allows for the “nose” of a wine, its top, middle and a base notes, to emerge in the glass. The glass acts as a gentle decanter. The shape is designed for the maximum enjoyment of every varietal and style of wine served in the glass.
Visit: https://www.schubert.co.nz/wines/gabriel-glass/ to purchase these excellent glasses.
SCHUBERT AND FRIENDS
Schubert also imports wines from two premium producers in Germany: Keller and Julian Haart, both very well respected producers of premium wines – Visit https://www.schubertandfriends.co.nz/ to find out more.
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Since the beginning of 2023 a Featured Winery of the Month campaign was launched where a selected NZ wine producer is featured on the website blog for a month. Visit the homepage to see this month’s Featured Winery. Interested wineries may inquire about being featured and I will work with them on producing a feature article with images and links to promote their business & wines.
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