Kaimira and Brightside Wines of Nelson


Kaimira and Brightside Wines are situated just outside the village of Brightwater in the Nelson province at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. The winery and associated 26 hectares of vineyards are owned by Ian Miller and June Hamilton.  Their aim is to make high quality and affordable wines having the lightest possible environmental footprint.

The name Kaimira means “flour mill” and was chosen because of a historical link between the site of the first winery and the naming of the nearby town of Brightwater. The first Kaimira vineyard was planted in 1997 and the original winery was opened in time for the 1999 vintage. The first winery building was a converted kiwi fruit packing shed and, whilst fully functional, it had a definite rural touch and was once described by a well known wine writer as a “barn door” operation.

By 2006 the winery had reached maximum capacity and planning began for a purpose designed replacement building. After close to two years working through the RMA requirements and erecting and fitting out the winery it was finally opened in December 2007. Today approximately 30% of their wine is made under the premium Kaimira Estate brand which includes limited releases of speciality varietals and styles with the balance is used for their popular Brightside brand.

Kaimira Estate is a certified member of NZ Sustainable Winegrowers, (and were recently awarded the trophy for Sustainable Business of The Year in the Central/Southern region), Carbon Zero Certified, and from June 2012 all their  vineyards have  full organic certification, so very Planet Earth friendly.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to taste and review a selection from both the Brightside and Kaimira ranges thanks to June. I reviewed these over a week or so, one bottle at a time taking the time to focus on each wine. All the wines are incredibly well made wines and really good value for money too. Here are my thoughts on each wine!

Brightside Riesling 2008
Lemon gold in the glass with citrus, lemon-lime in the nose, lovely fresh clean acidity with lemons, limes and green apples on the palate nice balance between acid and the 12.7 grams of residual sugar fills the palate with long juicy fruity finish that remains for a while. 12.9% $16.00

Brightside Pinot Gris 2009
Light pale onion skin in the glass, floral citrus nose with some pear and stonefruit.  An off dry with sweetness balanced with nice acidity and texture from aging on lees,  drying spicy, warming finish 13.7% $16.50

Brightside Pinot Noir 2010
Medium strawberry red in the glass with a ripe berry, subtle oak & faint earthy notes in the nose hints , a lighter style Pinot but some nice berry fruit, soft tannins but some green acid still apparent, needs a little time to be at it’s best me thinks but drinking nicely now. 13.6% $18.00

Kaimira Estate Brightwater Riesling 2009
Now this is great value – Bright yellow gold in the glass, floral , citrus with a little kero, honey & beeswax in the nose, vibrant green apple & lemon / tart citrus acidity on the palate, off dry with 7.6 grams RS, a mineral backbone, moreish  long finish. 13% $20.00

Kaimira Estate Brightwater Pinot Gris 2009
Lovely bright lemon / gold in appearance, aromatic fresh pears apples & butterscotch in the nose, moderately viscous with finely textured & weighty mouth feel, grapefruit pith and stone fruit with a lush ginger-spice finish. 14% $21.00

Kaimira Estate Vintner’s Selection Pinot Noir 2009
This was bright and vibrant raspberry red in the glass, berries and plum with some floral & savoury notes in the nose, more red and dark berry fruit & cherries on a lovely textured palate with spicy oak & silky smooth tannins finishing nicely across the palate. 13.5% $30.00

To find our more about Kaimira Estate and their wines and to purchase online visit their Website like their Facebook Page or follow them on Twitter.