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What is Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand?

Being stewards to the land is paramount to us. One of the ways we ensure we're on track is by adhering to the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand's standards. This is an industry wide certification program led by New Zealand Winegrowers.

The Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme is based on continuous improvement and adherence to recommendations and guidelines issued by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV). Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand ensures members meet international standards for sustainability practices while helping the environment, businesses and local communities to thrive.

The programme was introduced commercially in 1997 and adopted by grape growers across the country’s winegrowing regions. Sustainable winery certification standards were established in 2002 and adopted by New Zealand wineries, closing the circle on the industry’s sustainability commitment.

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand was developed in order to:

  • Provide a 'best practice' model of environmental guidelines for the vineyard and winery.
  • Guarantee better quality control from the vineyard through to the bottle.
  • Assure consumers that products are made with minimal impact on the natural and social environment

Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand provides members with:

  • A framework of efficient and economical viticultural and winemaking practices that encourage environmental stewardship.
  • A continuous improvement pathway, enabling organisations to constantly improve and fine tune their methods.
  • A knowledge transfer platform for keeping up-to-date with new technology, approaches, and application techniques.
  • An external audit structure based on adherence to recommendations and guidelines issued by the OIV (International Organisation of Vine and Wine), with integrity and rigour to exceed market expectations.
  • The opportunity to play a part in preserving New Zealand’s unique environment while operating under an independently audited and well-respected sustainability framework.

Pillars of Sustainability:

New Zealand Winegrowers have identified key sustainability focus areas that span all aspects of grape growing and winemaking. Read about them here.

Watch "Why sustainability is important in New Zealand" produced by the New Zealand Winegrowers.

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"Southern Belles" NZ Listener

"Southern Belles"
NZ Listener, Michael Cooper

"Pinot Noir, Riesling or something else? You could make a fortunate betting with Christchurch wine lovers about which grape variety is most widely grown at Waipara, in North Canterbury. It's Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc is No. 1 in Nelson, too. Together, the South Island's two smallest wine regions have 7% of the national vineyard area but 15% of the country's wineries. A versatile region, Nelson succeeds with several varieties; Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Further South, Riesling and Pinot Noir are clustered at Waipara."

Among a selection of whites, roses and reds, Mt. Beautiful's 2017 Pinot Noir is one of six reds featured in this article receiving the highest rating awarded - 4.5 stars! Here's what Michael Cooper had to say about our '17 vintage:

"This classy red from Cheviot is fragrant and mouthfilling (13% alc/vol) with concentrated, ripe, plummy, gently spicy flavours and a hint of herbs. Savory and complex, it has good ageing potential."

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3 Fab Scores by Christina Pickard of Wine Enthuasiast!

Hot off the press!

Christina Pickard of Wine Enthusiast magazine awards strong scores on these three wines. Make sure to look for the review copy on these wines when its released this July!

90 Mt. Beautiful 2017 Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury 
90 Mt. Beautiful 2018 Rosé North Canterbury 
90 Mt. Beautiful 2017 Pinot Noir North Canterbury 

Shop these wines now: https://mtbeautiful.co.nz/shop

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So Many Great Wines

Kathy Fulshear Lifestyles & Homes, By Denman Moody

"Exceptional Taste And Good Pricetags" 

Our 2016 Mt. Beautiful Riesling was the only wine from New Zealand featured under Denman's short list of Recently Tasted Winning Whites! 

View the article HERE.

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Wine Orbit Reviews: February 2019

Here are a couple reviews by Sam Kim of Wine Orbit on two recently released vintages!

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
94 points, 5 stars
It is gorgeously fruited and expressed on the nose showing dark cherry, spiced plum, floral and almond characters with hints of game and mushroom. The palate is concentrated and refined, displaying lovely fruit purity together with subtle savoury nuances, beautifully framed by polished tannins. Wonderfully composed and styled. At its best: now to 2025. $32.00. www.mtbeautiful.co.nz. Dec 2018.

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris
94 points, 4.5 stars
A lovely elegant rendition; the delicately fragrant bouquet shows white flesh stone fruit, fresh pear, blossom and spice aromas, followed by a finely textured palate that is pristine and flowing. The wine is restrained yet flavoursome with attractive fruit flavours, backed by refreshing acidity. At its best: now to 2021. $24.00. www.mtbeautiful.co.nz. Dec 2018.

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Unfiltered NZ: Interview with Mt. Beautiful's Founder David J. Teece

David Teece is a professor at the Walter A. Haas School of Business, and Thomas W. Tusher Chair in Global Business and the founder of Mt. Beautiful which encompasses Mt. Beautiful Winery, Teece Family Vineyards, Teece Family Farms, the Mt. Beautiful Cafe & Wine Tasting Room, the Manuka Bay Holiday House and in the U.S. the Mt. Beautiful USA wine import company. 

H is also the Co-Founder, Chairman and Principal Executive Officer at Berkeley Research Group, which he co-founded in 2010.

Click HERE to link to the full interview with Jake Millar: "The elite scholar-entrepreneur; competitive advantages at the intersection of academia and business"

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New Zealand Pinot Noir Wines to Seek Out

In this article, our 2016 Pinot Noir was selected by Associate Editor of Decanter, Tina Gellie, and featured alongside 12 other New Zealand Pinots Noirs. Ours is the only Pinot Noir from North Canterbury, rated 92 points with only one other rated higher (93 points).

New Zealand Pinot Noir Wines to Seek Out
Decanter, Tina Gellie, February 2019

"Decanter's Tina Gellie picks your next New Zealand Pinots to try... Pinot Noir grows at its best in cooler climates – think Burgundy and Champagne – which is why it fares well in New Zealand, especially in regions such as Marlborough and Central Otago. New Zealand has developed a reputation for the quality of its Pinot Noir in recent years, and they can offer great value for money compared to the old world competition, typically offering a fragrant aroma with flavours of cherry, raspberry and brambles. The following wines showcase some top picks for drinking in 2019 and beyond, from the full-bodied, rich expressions of Central Otago to the weighty concentration of Martinborough and the balanced elegance of Marlborough.

2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 
Cracking value here, with vibrant cherry and strawberry characters on a full-bodied, creamy palate, alongside pinpoint balance of acidity and alcohol. It's firm and fresh, with gentle oak spicing and supple tannins from 10 months in new and used barrels.
Drinking Window 2019 - 2022."

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Meet Simon, Mt. Beautiful New Zealand's new GM!

Mt. Beautiful New Zealand welcomes its new General Manager Simon Jones who will oversee the operations of Teece Family Vineyards and Farms as well as Mt. Beautiful New Zealand (encompassing the Mt. Beautiful Winery, Mt. Beautiful Two Rivers Café and Wine Tasting Room and Manuka Bay holiday house). 
Simon’s extensive background in executive management in the restaurant, farm, wine and hospitality industries make him a solid choice for the all-new General Manager role that reports directly to the CEO. “We are excited to have Simon on board to fill this all new position on the Mt. Beautiful team,” says Robert Watkins, CEO of Mt. Beautiful, Teece Family Vineyards and Farms. “His managerial experience and ability to effectively lead our farm, restaurant, winery, vineyard and hospitality teams make him a perfect fit.”

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Twelve Great Wines to Start the Year

Bigger Than Your Head, Fredric Koeppel

"Actually, the title of this post is a misnomer. What I offer today, in the first Weekend Wine Notes of 2019, are 10 wines that rate Excellent and two that rate Exceptional, the latter both pinot noirs from different regions of California. Also included in this diverse roster are a Gewurztraminer 2012 from Alsace; a chardonnay from Sonoma Coast; two sauvignon blancs, one from New Zealand, the other from Tuscany; a monumental cabernet/shiraz blend from Australia’s McLaren Vale region as well as an equally monumental 100 percent shiraz from Padthaway; two wines from Costières de Nîmes in the Southern Rhone Valley, one white, one red; a Spätlese Riesling from Rheingau, in Germany; and a stylish merlot from Walla Walla, Washington. As usual in these Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew the technical, historical and geographical data that I dote on for the sake of quick and incisive reviews ripped, as it were, from the pages of my scribblings and designed to pique your interest and whet your palate. Enjoy! In moderation, of course.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2017, North Canterbury, New Zealand. NA% alc. Very pale straw-gold color; lime peel and grapefruit, celery seed and leaf, hint of caraway; lavish with roasted lemon, quince and ginger; very dry, with the pent energy of vibrant acidity and crystalline limestone; real presence and personality; altogether fresh, clean and scintillating. Excellent. About $16, representing Great Value."

View the article HERE.

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95 Points, Best Buy, Gold Medal - 2017 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

The Real Reviews, Bob Campbell MW

2017 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

95 Points, Gold Medal – “Top Ranked”

“Very attractive and accessible riesling with appealing floral, citrus, lime zest and subtle chalky mineral flavours. The wine is technically dry, but has just enough sweetness to react with deliciously fruity acidity giving a very pleasing tension.”

Ranked #13/63 Rieslings tasted

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Our New Pinot Noir Vineyard Development

In 2018 we had the opportunity to purchase an additional parcel of farmland, connecting our existing farm and vineyard properties in Spotswood. 

This new acquisition is being converted to a Pinot Noir vineyard featuring 300 rows, 30,000 vines and covering six hectares (14.8  acres). 

On average it can take up to three years to produce grapes worthy of harvesting and producing wine with. This estimate is based on a number of factors including how well the vine is tended to, soil types, sunlight, pruning techniques, etc.

 New Pinot Noir Vineyard Development Post Installation web

The photo above shows new posts being placed by machine. 

Photos: Garrick Guy, Vineyard Manager  

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Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

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2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé
17 / 20 Points, 4 Stars 
Bright, light copper-orange colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is softly full with densely packed aromas of savoury quince fruit with subtle strawberry notes, hints of yellow stonefruits and soft nutty and mineral elements, unfolding red florals. Dry to taste and fullish bodied, the palate has fulsome flavours of savoury quince and strawberries with stonefruit and floral detail. The mouthfeel is robust and vigorous with some phenolic textures lending presence. The fruit is underlined by light, background, thirst-quenching acidity and the wine carries to a light flavoured finish of quince and florals. This is a fulsome and vigorous dry rosé with quince, strawberry, stonefruit and floral flavours on a textural palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 65% Pinot Noir given 12 hours skin contact and 35% hand-picked Pinot Gris, also given time on skins, the two varieties co-fermented in stainless-steel with 15% in seasoned French oak to 14.5% alc. and <3 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged on lees. 17.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.50

2017 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay 
17/20 Points, 4 Stars 
Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and slender in presentation, possessing a taut and finely concentrated core of fresh citrus fruit with yellow stonefruits, with a subtle layering of nutty oak and hints of lemon-curd MLF detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated and taut heart with bright and lively citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with nutty oak, and hints of creamy barrel-ferment melded with MLF. The mouthfeel is refreshing and sleek, and flows along a fine line with brisk acidity enlivening the fruitiness. The wine carries to an elegant, slender, but lingering finish. This is an elegantly taut, refreshing Chardonnay with lively citrus fruit along with nutty oak notes and hints of creaminess on a sleek palate. Serve with seafood dishes over the next 3+ years. Clone 95 and 2/23 fruit, hand-picked, WBP and fermented in equal portions in stainless-steel and new and seasoned oak to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on less, the barrel portion undergoing MLF. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $26.90

2017 Mt. Beautiful Riesling 
17.5 / 20 Points, 4 Stars 
Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with very good depth of penetrating aromas of lime fruit entwined with notes of honeysuckle and toast. The nose exudes a mineral freshness. Medium in sweetness and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft and gentle flavours of lime fruit with hints of lemon, melded harmoniously with some honeysuckle and toast, unfolding lifted white florals. The flavours are delicate and integrated, with the sweetness adding to the fruit richness. The wine flows along a light, tight line of fruit extract, with taut, soft acidity indicating low pH, and the wine carries softly to a light, nuanced finish. This is a delicately flavoured, harmoniously integrated medium Riesling with lime, lemon, honey and white floral flavours on a soft-textured, taut palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4+ years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 11.24% alc. and 21 g/L RS, TA 9.45 g/L and pH 2.74. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $28.00

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
17.5/20 Points, 4 Stars 
Moderately deep red colour with ruby hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and somewhat restrained in expression, showing light aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with delicate nuances of fresh herbs, red florals and nutty oak. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has medium-deep flavours of red cherry and berry fruit along with subtle notes of fresh herbs, some light, nutty oak, unfolding lifted red florals. The fruit forms a soft-textured core with light, grainy tannins lending presence to the mouthfeel, the acidity integrated and balanced. The wine carries softly to a gentle finish of red fruits and florals. This is an elegantly fruited Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit with herbs, oak and floral notes on a soft, grainy-textured palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Predominantly clones 667 and 777 with up to 11 other clones employed, the fruit hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $32.00

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10 Years of Mt. Beautiful Vintages

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Authored by Rebecca Farrell-Gomez, the Gourmez, December 14, 2018 

Read this post on Becca's website here. 

"Did you say vertical tasting?

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Mt. Beautiful wine, pinot gris, vertical tastingThat’s an irresistible invitation for wine bloggers. We love to compare and contrast different vintages from the same winery, to ponder the sometimes subtle, sometimes great, differences between them. Make it five vertical tastings in an evening, at a restaurant I’ve never tried before and from a wine region with which I’m barely familiar, and my participation is a foregone conclusion. Obligatory disclaimer: As media, this experience was entirely free to me at the invitation of Mt. Beautiful Winery.

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Kicking things off with a glass of rosé in Sens’ garden.

Mt. Beautiful Winery’s 10th Vintage Anniversary was the reason for the vertical tastings. Owned by the Teece family of North Canterbury, New Zealand, the farms and other properties that make up Mt. Beautiful are based right below the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains.

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Mt Beautiful’s first wine was released to the public in 2008. They currently make seven types: four white wines and pinot noir, from which they also make a barrel select wine and a rosé. Minus the rosé, we had a full vertical of each available to us. That’s a lot of wine, folks! Thirty-eight different vintage­­–varietal combinations, in fact. Which was way too many for me to attempt in an evening. Even spitting, that curiosity would kill this cat. Instead, I homed in on four from each grape, for a grand total of twenty wines. And that was still plenty! Luckily, we had a great selection of palate-cleansing appetizers from our host restaurant, Sens.

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That hummus was plenty tasty, as was the pimento cheese, but the true standout was a bright green dip bursting with so much spring pea flavor that I pondered if peas could be harvested fresh in September. Maybe it was fava bean? Regardless, once properly carbed up, I proceeded with the tasting.

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New Zealand is most known for its sauvignon blanc, and Mt. Beautiful’s lineup did not disappoint in terms of strong perfume and tropical flavors. The 2009 and 2015 vintages ranked highest for me. In particular, the 2009 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc had such a strong floral showing, I feared a spider web might drop from between dripping blossoms. In the glass, that intensity was very balanced and placed a strong call for oysters.

The 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc offered white blossom perfume. Its acidity tasted unique, like a mixture of ginger and lemongrass. Pears, leaves, butter, and flowers abounded. Pepper came out with food.

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The chardonnays had light bodies and notes of lemon across the board, with buttery backbones restrained by tropical notes such as kiwi and kalamansi. The 2014 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay pleased me most, with notes of sautéed green and gala apples, rosy with their skins on. It’d taste great with charcuterie or salted wasabi peas.

Did someone mention charcuterie? I’ve never seen such a high tower of it in my life as the one piled behind these luscious hunks of cheese.

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Sorry, just palate cleansing again before moving on to the vertical of pinot gris. Admittedly, pinot gris is a wine grape varietal that has yet to grow on me. It lacks personality, and beyond knowing it’s a great seafood pairing for its lack of showboating, pinot gris rarely impresses me. But both the oldest and newest vintages of Mt. Beautiful’s had plenty to showboat about, especially the 2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris, which smelled of sand dollar discoveries and butter. Mild acidity brought more butter into the glass, and I was intrigued by notes of budding green leaves. Try it with lobster.

The 2011 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris had more vibrancy than most of its kin. A violet and lilac nose led to a tasty tropical cornucopia of lychee, kiwi, pineapple, horseradish, and Santa Claus melon. It gave me that tingly feeling of stepping inside a warm house after a day spent in the cold.

I tried the vertical of riesling last among the white wine offerings. There was too much petrol in the nose for me on a few bottles, though a petrol nose is a common riesling characteristic, so that may not be a problem for you. Nor did it stop me from enjoying the middle vintages of this wine. The 2011 Mt. Beautiful Riesling was a balanced, extra juicy wine with banana, kiwi, lemon cream acidity, and pressed apples. And the 2012 Mt. Beautiful Riesling drank like a key lime cupcake eats, with extra edible glitter. It’s quite yellow in the glass, and that petrol nose gave way to a nice sugar-to-acid balance.

At last, time for red. Which also meant time to try those lamb burgers!

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Made with New Zealand lamb, of course. Lamb sliders are becoming ubiquitous on Bay Area menus, but these were substantial, probably just smaller versions of Sens’ full-size lamb burger. With oozing manchego and layers of flavor from tomato jam, truly seeded buns, and tzatziki, they were quite dense and well worth trying.

As were Mt. Beautiful’s pinot noirs!

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The older vintages were intense in flavor with memorable notes of foods like sarsaparilla, Caribbean pepper pot stews, and the sweet-sour of Filipino cooking. But I preferred the newer vintages of this grape for their freshness, particular the 2015s. That includes Mt. Beautiful’s first barrel select: the 2015 Mt. Beautiful 10 Barrels.

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You could entertain yourself for the evening contemplating its mysteries. Lots of earthy leaf notes made me think of oak trees and the peeled bark of softer woods. The fruit is just-ripe cherries with white strawberries and twigs.

The 2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir was just as good. It displayed the requisite strawberry and pepper notes of pinot noir with smoothness. Vanilla, cardamom, and the pull of bamboo tannins also made appearances.

As did the great Wilfred Wong, chief storyteller at Wine.com, a legend among us Bay Area wine bloggers.

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It’s been forever since I saw Wilfred, and it was great to get the chance to catch up with him and the many other wine media folks I ran into, however briefly, as we rushed from wine vintage to wine vintage, determined to sip and savor as much as we could. I’m pretty content with my selection of 20, and I’d be interested in seeing how Mt. Beautiful’s current releases hold up in another 10 years from now. Turns out I’m ideally situated for just that scenario—Mt. Beautiful’s founders are based right here in the Bay Area. David Teece is the Tusher Professor of Global Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founder of the globally influential Berkeley Research Group, LLC. His wife, Leigh, is a native Californian, successful venture capitalist and financier, and CEO and founder of World Mentor, an educational nonprofit that teaches innovative thinking skills to high school students.

Northern California and North Canterbury are closer connected than I knew! Cheers to that.

This vertical tasting took place 17 September 2018.

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2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé - The Real Reviews

The Real Review Logo Bob Campbell MW

2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé
91 Points, 3 Stars, Silver Medal

“Orange-tinted, flavoursome rosé with cherry, raspberry, anise and spice flavours. Weighty wine with good mouth-feel and an impressively lengthy finish. Bone-dry but not austere. Good food wine. 20 NOV 2018”
Ranked 15 of 56 Rose’s he’s tasted in New Zealand.

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Name of the license holder: Dionysus Ventures Limited
License number: 57/OFF/411/2019
License expiry date: 27th day of February 2022
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