Mount Riley Ramblings

Awards & Accolades Update

Highlights from the 2017 show and review season included - Mount Riley Estate Range: Sauvignon Blanc Silver Air New Zealand Wine Awards & Royal Easter Wine Show Awards, Riesling Trophy & Gold Medal Air New Zealand Wine Awards & Marlborough Wine Show, Pinot Gris Gold Medal Air New Zealand Wine Awards, Rose Gold Medal NZ International Wine Awards & Pinot Noir Gold Medal New World Wine Awards. Mount Riley Limited Release: Sauvignon Blanc & The Pinot Noir both received 90 points from Robert Parker (Wine Advocate). Mount Riley 17 Valley: Sauvignon Blanc 91 points from Robert Parker (Wine Advocate), Chardonnay Gold Medal NZ International Wine Show & 95 Points from Bob Campbell MW, Pinot Noir Gold Medal, Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2018.

Click on the relevant wine in the “our wines” section of our website then expand the “awards” option for full details of the results for each of our current vintage wines.

Harvest Update

Another vintage under the bridge and another extraordinary growing season has kept us all on our toes and imagining what an ‘average’ season may look like. The season started unremarkably enough – cool spring temperatures kept vine growth in check although bunch numbers were pointing to a larger than average crop. The cool temperatures carried through to late spring/early summer and as a result fruit set was on the low side and resultant yields were somewhat moderate. Although cool, we hadn’t seen significant rain since June and we went on to experience the driest spring/summer in 80 years of record keeping in the district. This put our Viticultural team under a fair bit of pressure and they spent countless hours ensuring our vines weren’t going too thirsty. Summer temperatures were very warm and we experienced settled weather right through summer and autumn. Flavour development on the vine was early and at low sugar levels and the benefit of having all our own harvesting equipment was once again a massive asset, as we were able to jump on in and take advantage of the great flavours on offer. The moderate alcohols coupled with ripe flavour profiles means I believe the wines will drink really well, with the trademark freshness we’re renowned for.
Cheers, Matt.

Our fleecy friends

During winter our vineyard managers double as stock managers, grazing sheep in our vineyards rather than mowing to minimise tractor and fuel usage. With the 2015 harvest drawing to a close we've welcomed Kaikoura sheep into our winery vineyard. The sheep are loving the feed that's come on after a bit of rain but winery dog Pipi is not so sure they're welcome after coming off second best in a rumble with an electric fence. Don't worry Pipi bounced back (quite literally!) after doing the rounds of the lunchrooms of a few local businesses to heal her wounded pride. Regardless of Pipi's reservations we feel pretty good about doing our bit for the environment.

The crew

We are excited to welcome Melanie Blackburn as our new Winery Administrator, taking over from Tanya who recently left to pursue her dream career in research.

A belated welcome also to Danielle Taylor, who replaces Vicki as our Sales Administrator in the Auckland office. Vicki will be sorely missed but the calls from the fair shores of Whitianga could not be ignored!!

USA Update

We were thrilled to appoint Skurnik Wines as our New York importer in 2014. Mount Riley has been absent from the US market for a number of years and we’re looking forward to working together with the family owned and operated Skurnik team. The Skurnik’s began importing our Sauvignon Blanc in 2014 and added our Pinot Noir to their portfolio in 2015. The introduction of our Sauvignon Blanc has gone well with the 2014 making it into the Old Ebbit Grill Oyster Riot and receiving 91 points and a gold medal from the San Francisco International Wine Awards.