Gisborne winery makes top five
With Gisborne aiming to cement itself as ‘The Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’, this is a great start, they say. Picture by Paul Rickard
GISBORNE’S Wrights Reserve Chardonnay has been crowned among the Top Five Chardonnay in New Zealand by Cuisine magazine, a David and Goliath feat, they say.In its annual tasting, more than 166 wines from around New Zealand were tasted.
The judges awarded 10 five-stars, 11 4.5-stars and 23 four-stars.
The five-star rating defines outstanding quality and Wrights’ chardonnay was awarded Top Five in New Zealand.
“We are pretty stoked, ecstatic and overjoyed with this accolade,” Geoff and Nicola Wright said.
Over the last three years the Wrights label has changed focus.
“In 2014 we decided we wanted to be recognised as New Zealands premium chardonnay producer. We have one of the best chardonnay blocks in Gisborne from the Ormond Valley Appellation, which has consistently shown it produces premium chardonnays,” Mr Wright said.
“Our wine is barrel-aged for nine months in new oak, a special selection of oak that we have fine-tuned over the years.”
Produced under their own label
The Wrights now only produce chardonnay under the Wrights label.
This month they signed on with SANZ Global as its new national distributor for the Wrights range.
“Our chardonnay is produced from Mendoza grapes, harvested at 25 brix, low yields with outstanding quality of grapes. It is all hand-harvested and crafted.”
Geoff Wright said the Ormond Valley Appellation is unique in climate, with its cool valley temperatures at night retaining the acidity in the fruit, and hot day time temperatures producing expressive, intense flavours.
Because the vineyard is also certified organic, this is a great result for organics.
“The wine-growing techniques employed are better for the environment, better for our employees and better for our customers.”
To be ranked top five, for a small boutique winery, is a massive achievement, he said.
“Much like David facing Goliath.”
With Gisborne aiming to cement ‘‘The Chardonnay Capital of New Zealand’’ title, this is a great start, he said.
“New Zealand is on notice that it is not just the marketing machine, we are the capital of chardonnay. With the few wineries in Gisborne, for a Gisborne winery to feature in these awards is even more reason to celebrate.”
Wrights Vineyards and Winery is featured on NZ Rural Delivery on August 19. They were filmed during the harvest and vintage (2017 harvest).
Wrights continue to strive for excellence in their vineyards, this year importing a new under-vine mower from Italy to ensure the vineyards are managed organically and without herbicides.
“This brand will be the first of its type to come to New Zealand. We are planning to showcase the equipment to other growers, helping to promote more sustainable farming to other growers.”