Under the canopy at Morton Estate

27th January

In an effort to avoid the January blues Julia decides not to board a plane back to London but instead she takes a shorter hop from Central Otago to Hawkes Bay to meet up with Pete Scott, vineyard manager at Morton Estate.  Although extremely worried that us boys sailing the Vintner ship might be taking on water in her absence, she argues that we’re all about quality and research and …. someone’s got to do it she says.  So, here is Julia’s idea of work in the North Island.  

“Pete has worked for Morton Estates for 10 years and still jumps out of bed at 5am every day to tend to his vines.   I’d feel sorry for him if it wasn’t so beautiful.  The vines span as far as the eye can see with varietals from Pinot Noir to Malbec, Chardonnay to Gewurztraminer, exemplifying the diversity and experience of this estate.  Unlike many contenders in the Kiwi wine game, Morton control the entire winemaking process on their estate from grafting cuttings in their own nursery, right through the whole life of the vine (many now 20 yrs+).  Our vineyard tour showed why the hours are so long – every vine is tended on a daily basis and most of the work is done by hand.  There’s a bit of machinery though to help with the spraying and trimming …

I met with Sharon Goldsworthy, one of Morton Estate’s winemakers who took us through a tasting of all sorts from the private cellar.

Morton have selected the best land for planting their vines split between Marlborough (where our Sauvignon comes from) and Hawkes Bay (where they make our Brut), and the quality and expertise of this estate jumped right out at me as we tasted across their portfolio – They’re excited with what we’re doing with their wines back home in the UK and I’m so proud that we’re stocking them – they’re amazing! Morton Estate Reserve Sec NV Brut, Méthode Traditionelle, White Label Sauvignon Blanc 2009, White Label Pinot Noir 2009.

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