Méthode Marlborough Day – 25 March 2022
Méthode Marlborough Day is an opportunity to celebrate premium New Zealand sparkling wine. Méthode Marlborough invites you to join them on Friday, 25 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.
“Having our fruit tucked up safely in the winery is more than enough reason to celebrate,” says Méthode Marlborough chair Dan Taylor. “But this year it seems even more important to recognise the efforts of our 12 member wineries. The current climate is not sympathetic to industries reliant of overseas workers so it all the more impressive that, three harvests in, our members remain committed to producing such labour intensive wines.”
Last years inaugural Méthode Marlborough Day created plenty of buzz, in person and on-line. “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. “Hopefully it has secured the last Friday of March in everyones event calendar as a day to enjoy finely tuned Méthode Marlborough.” A significant number of restaurants and retailers supported the day with by the glass specials and in store tastings also. “There is no better time to support local,” says Della. “Especially when there is such an exciting regional collective like Méthode Marlborough.”
“With your purchase of Méthode Marlborough comes an assurance of quality,” says Dan. “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.”
As the sparkling grape harvest begins, there is every indication that 2022 will produce exciting méthode traditionnelle wine. “The milder ripening season has allowed for great natural acid retention and the development of finer, elegant flavours.” says Saint Clair Family Estate’s viticulturist Jarrah Prior. A week prior to commencing their first pick (on March 2nd), senior red winemaker Kyle Thompson said their Pinot Noir had a very even fruit set. “The flavour is just starting to creep in as the brix rise to our optimum level, and the acids are holding perfectly.”
Nautilus Estate winemaker and general manager Clive Jones says, “It is always special when we get the first grapes of the vintage safely in the winery. And today’s hand picked Pinot Noir (24th Feb) was delicious.”
Over in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, Louis Vavasour of LV Wines says that vintage 2022 is shaping up to be exceptional for their méthode as it will be the inaugural vintage that they source fruit from their Basin Vineyard. “This site was earmarked by my father back in 1984 and it has been my personal project to design and develop the vineyard over the past 15 years,” says Louis. Close density planted, the vineyard is home to a mix of clones ideal for the production of premium sparkling wine. “We picked the first Pinot Meunier grapes on the 1st of March and it showed some classic fruit-forward characteristics of rich red fruits and pomegranate with a good acidy that will help add some mid-palate to our wine.”
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:
No1 Family Estate
Pernod Ricard (Deutz)
Saint Clair Family Estate
Spy Valley 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.
Facebook & Instagram – @methodemarlborough