• Lawson’s Dry Hills wins at the 2021 Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards

    Lawson’s Dry Hills was awarded winner of the wine industry category at the 2021 Cawthron Marlborough Environment Awards, announced in Blenheim on Friday night.

    In February, Lawson’s Dry Hills became a Toitu carbon zero certified organisation making the company the only New Zealand wine producer to be certified with both ISO14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO14064 (carbon zero).

    The Awards judges praised Lawson’s Dry Hills for their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. Awards Coordinator and Judge, Bev Doole said, “These internationally recognised certifications reflect the culture at Lawson’s to improve and innovate across a wide range of areas, including recyclable and biodegradable packaging, generating solar power and storing water off the winery roof.”

    Commenting on the award, General Manager and shareholder, Sion Barnsley, said, “We are delighted to receive such great, local acknowledgement for our sustainability achievements.” He continues, “It’s been a strong effort by all of our team, led by our genuine desire to continuously improve our environmental standing.”

    The company continues to promote its sustainability credentials through the launch of new brand, Inviniti, for both local and export markets, highlighting that all wines from Lawson’s Dry Hills are 100% certified sustainable.

    For further information, please contact General Manager, Sion Barnsley [email protected] or Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson [email protected] phone: 03 578 7674

  • Lawson’s Dry Hills achieves carbon zero certification

    Respected Marlborough wine producer, Lawson’s Dry Hills, has this week achieved carbon zero status having met the requirements of ISO14064 and received accreditation from Toitu.

    ISO 14064 specifies the principles and requirements for quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals. It includes requirements for the design, development, management, reporting and verification of an organisation’s GHG inventory.

    Lawson’s Dry Hills first certification under this global standards organisation, the ISO14001 environmental management system, was met in 2011. This latest achievement of carbon zero was a natural progression for the company, whose sustainability story started back in the 2000’s.

    General Manager and shareholder, Sion Barnsley comments, “We have always considered sustainability in our decision-making across the business and to attain carbon zero status is an achievement we are very proud of.” He continues, “Our small team have strongly supported our vision and everyone has contributed to this important milestone.”

    Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson added, “We know how important sustainability is becoming for those making purchasing decisions, so we’re delighted that our environmental credentials add further value to those enjoying our wines.”
    The 2021 harvest is underway, the 30th vintage for Lawson’s Dry Hills and one that will be celebrated along with their new carbon zero status.

    Lawson’s Dry Hills is the only New Zealand wine producer to be certified with both ISO14001 and ISO14064.

    For further information, please contact General Manager, Sion Barnsley [email protected] or Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson [email protected] phone: 03 578 7674

    Toitu Certificate

  • Another trophy for our Gewürztraminer

    We’re delighted to have yet another trophy for our Gewürztraminer – this time the Winestate Wine of the Year Awards 2020. You can order this wine here! Here’s a list of all the winning wines.

    Medianet. logo

    Online Press Release Distribution

    22 Dec 2020 8:05 PM AEST

    Australia & New Zealand Winestate Awards: Our ‘Wine of The Year’ for 2020

    The Overall Winner of Winestate’s Wine of the Year for 2020 is The Musician, by Majella Wines, Coonawarra, a Cabernet Shiraz 2018, with a RRP of $19.00 …an incredible result to achieve this prestigious award against wines priced over $200!

    Family-owned business Majella Wines grows all its grapes on the property surrounding the winery, situated on the eastern edge of the famous Coonawarra “red strip”.
    Each year Winestate evaluates around 10,000 wines in 16 categories from all regions in Australia and New Zealand using an audited and independent judging process.
    “As a finalist from over 10,000 wines judged this year, where less than 5% of wines entered reached the finalist stage, and with the toughest peer reviewed blind judging in Australia or NZ, a Winestate Medal is truly deserved,” said Winestate Publisher Peter Simic.

    “To be the overall winner the wine has to be head and shoulders above its peers in that category compared with the winning wines in all other categories. In this case the The Musician by Majella, Coonawarra, Cabernet Shiraz 2018 stood above all others”.
    “This year was a challenge to maintain our complex judging process when many other wine shows could not continue with the trauma of the pandemic.”
    The audited award system used during the year sees varied judges used with panels made up of Master of Wine and peer Winemakers with experience in blind tasting events.

    Special Awards
    Australian Winemaker of the Year Trophy 2020 – Shane Harris, of Wines by Geoff Hardy. For the third time in 8 years; (Awarded to the winemaker who produces the largest number of high-ranking wines over the year).

    New Zealand Winemaker of the Year Trophy 2020 – Chris Scott, of Church Road.  For the third time in 7 years; (Awarded to the winemaker who produces the largest number of high-ranking wines over the year).
    Australian Wine of the Year 2020: The Musician by Majella, Coonawarra, Cabernet Shiraz 2018, RRP $19.00
    New Zealand Wine of the Year 2020: Vidal, Legacy, Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2019, RRP $60.00
    Harvey Norman Best Value Wine of the Year 2020 – Under $20; Dee Vine Estate, The Drover, Pinot Grigio 2020, RRP $5.99

    Official Results: Winestate ‘Wine of the Year’ Awards 2020
    These are the winners of a final taste-off between the Top 5 wines in each class. Shown with RRP $ values. Note: To view the full list – please view the magazine online here: https://online.pubhtml5.com/dzeu/vejm/#p=71

    Wine Of The Year – OVERALL WINNER
    The Musician by Majella Wines, Coonawarra, Cabernet Shiraz 2018, $19.00

    The Orora Glass Trophy – Sparkling Wine Of The Year
    Hollydene Estate, Mornington Peninsula, Sparkling Blanc de Blancs, 2008 $69.00

    The Millesime Bio Trophy – Alternative White wine Of The Year
    Lawson’s Dry Hills, Marlborough, Gewurztraminer 2018 $26.00

    The DAI Print Trophy – Sauvignon Blanc Of The Year
    Invivo, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc 2020 $22.00

    The Henson Lloyd Trophy – Grenache of the Year
    Cat Amongst The Pigeons, Fat Cat, Barossa Valley, Grenache 2019 $29.00

    The Northline Freight Trophy – Merlot  of the Year
    Rymill Coonawarra MC2, Coonawarra Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc 2019 $20.00

    The Hamburg Sud Trophy – Cabernet Sauvignon of the Year
    The Musician by Majella, Coonawarra Cabernet Shiraz 2018 $19.00

    The WINEWORKS Trophy – Shiraz of the Year
    Mount Avoca, Estate Organic, Pyrenees Shiraz 2019 $30.00

    The William Angliss trophy – Sweet White of the Year
    De Bortoli, Deen De Bortoli, Riverina Botrytis Semillon 2017 $17.45

    The DW Fox Tucker Lawyers Trophy – Fortified of the Year
    Saddler’s Creek, Rutherglen VIC & Riverina NSW Muscat NV $36.00

    The Cordon Bleu Trophy – Riesling of the Year
    Boston Bay Wines, Eyre Peninsula, Riesling 2019 $24.00

    The Luigi Bormiolo Trophy – Semillon of the Year
    Coolangatta Estate, Shoalhaven Coast, Semillon 2009  $60.00

    The Classic Oak Trophy – Chardonnay of the Year
    Vidal, Legacy, Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay 2019 $60.00

    The Interpack Trophy – Pinot Noir of the Year
    Coal Pit, Tiwha, Central Otago, Pinot Noir 2018 $57.00 NZ

    The Kewco Trophy – Pinot Gris/Grigio Of The Year
    Loveblock (BioGro NZ), Marlborough, Pinot Gris 2019 $21.99  NZ

    The National Wine Centre Trophy – Rose Of The Year
    Mapleton Vineyards, Tasmania, Pinot Noir Rosé 2020 $30.00

    The SMEG Trophy – Alternative Red Of The Year
    Mount Avoca Estate (ACO), Pyrenees, Lagrein 2018 $37.95

    Media Interviews or Winner Information:
    Interviews on wine judging: Peter Simic, 0414 695 232
    Media Assistance: Mike O’Reilly, 0414 882 505

    Background: Winestate is a powerful independent voice for the Australian winemaker and the industry. It is Australasia’s most respected magazine authority on Australian and New Zealand wines, the industry and wine tourism. Each year Winestate evaluates over 10,000 wines from Australia and New Zealand with judging panels of industry winemaker peers, Master of Wine individuals and industry experts.
    Entries are judged and then re-judged for this event to ensure consistency. Judging Stars: Wine judging is an inexact art, not a science – even at the highest levels of proficiency. Accordingly, Winestate uses the star rating system, which reflects a range, rather than a specific point score.

    © Medianet, 2020

  • The Cellar Door: New Zealand – S05E04

    Back in November we were approached by Melbourne’s Channel 31 who were going to be filming New Zealand wine producers for their series ‘The Cellar Door’. We checked it out and thought it was a great opportunity! It went to air in Australia and New Zealand in June and July. In case you missed it – you can watch it here. It stars Winemaker – Marcus, GM – Sion and Group Marketing Manager – Belinda. Hope you enjoy watching and learning a little bit about us!


  • LDH back in the USA

    Lawson’s Dry Hills, one of New Zealand’s most historic wineries, is proud to announce their return to the American market. The Marlborough winery is a leading producer of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and other aromatic varieties and is globally recognized as one of the region’s premier estates.

    Sion Barnsley, the winery’s general manager, was excited about the announcement. “Our wines represent Marlborough’s most recognized varieties made in a classic and affordable style. We can’t wait for our wines to be on the shelves and tables of America’s wine enthusiasts.”

    The wines of Lawson’s Dry Hills were first exported to the United States in the early 2000’s and found immediate commercial success. “We are not new to the market,” observed Barnsley.

    “The wines of Lawson’s Dry Hills found immediate success when we first exported our wines years ago and we know that will happen again now that we are back.” Barnsley declared that “Our first task is to re-establish the close relationships we shared with the trade, press and, most importantly, the consumers across the country who enthusiastically supported our wines in the past.”

    The first container of wines has just arrived from New Zealand and are now available for sale directly to accounts in California. “The American market is very important to us,” noted Belinda Jackson, the winery sales and marketing manager. “By selling our wines directly, we will be able to provide high quality service and quickly respond to the individual needs of each account.” Plans for distribution in other states are underway.

    Among the wines that just landed are the 2019 Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $18.99) which was declared to be “one of the region’s best” by noted New Zealand wine expert Michael Cooper. Also just arrived is the winery’s latest pinot noir from 2018 (SRP $24.99) that is certain to find a home on wine lists.

    For more information about the winery and any sales or marketing questions, please contact Belinda Jackson at [email protected].


    Lawson’s Dry Hills Estate began when Ross and Barbara Lawson planted their home vineyard in 1982. Those first grapes were quickly snapped up by local wineries which prompted the Lawsons to start their own winery ten years later. Today, the winery draws fruit from across the region, including from 125 of their own estate vineyards. Their wines have achieved international recognition at wine shows across the globe while satisfying wine critics who appreciate wines of intense character at a fair price.

    The winery currently produces sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir as well as a series of aromatic white wines made from Alsatian varietals. Small amounts of reserve wines are also made when conditions permit as well as “The Pioneer”, a series of small-lot wines sold mainly through the winery cellar door.

    Among the wines imported is their gewürztraminer, a wine that has achieved a cult-like following among wine enthusiasts. Joe Czerwinski of the Wine Advocate has “been a long-time admirer of this winery’s Gewurztraminer”.

    Lawson’s Dry Hills is a founding member of the Family of XII, a consortium of family-owned wineries dedicated to the promotion of New Zealand wines by developing long-term relationships through education and promotion of the collective’s artisanal philosophies. For more information on the family of XII, contact [email protected].

  • Michael Cooper’s Buyer’s Guide 2020

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Gewürztraminer
    One of the country’s most impressive Gewürztraminers. Grown in the Home Block and nearby Woodward Vineyard, at the foot of the Wither Hills, it is typically harvested at about 24 brix and mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks; a key part of the blend (about 15 per cent) is given ‘the full treatment’, with a high-solids, indigenous yeast ferment in seasoned French oak barriques, malolactic fermentation and lees-stirring. The youthful 2018 vintage (4½ stars) is perfumed and weighty, with vibrant pear, lychee and spice flavours, gentle sweetness (6.7 grams/litre of residual sugar), and excellent delicacy, harmony and length. Best drinking 2021+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Gris
    Still very youthful, the pale straw 2019 vintage (5 stars) is a basically dry style (4.8 grams/litre of residual sugar). Fresh and full-bodied, it has strong, ripe, peachy, slightly spicy flavours, a touch of complexity and a well-rounded finish. Best drinking mid-2020+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Ranu
    For the distinctive 2017 vintage (4½ stars), Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewürztraminer were co-fermented (Ranu means ‘to mix’) with indigenous yeasts in old oak barrels. Fragrant, citrusy and spicy, it’s a mouthfilling, concentrated wine, finely textured, with a sliver of sweetness (5.8 grams/litre of residual sugar), fresh acidity and impressive complexity and harmony. Well worth cellaring

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Riesling
    The youthful 2018 vintage (4 stars) is a single-vineyard, Waihopai Valley wine. Worth cellaring, it is medium-bodied, with strong, citrusy, slightly spicy flavours, and an off-dry (7 grams/litre of residual sugar), crisp finish

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
    One of the region’s best, widely available Sauvignon Blancs, this stylish wine is vibrant, intense and finely structured. The grapes are grown at several sites, mostly in the Southern Valleys, and to add a subtle extra dimension, part of the blend (7 per cent in 2019) is fermented with indigenous yeasts in old French oak barrels. The wine typically has strong impact in its youth, but also has a proven ability to age, acquiring toasty, minerally complexities. Light lemon/green, the punchy 2019 vintage (4 stars) is freshly aromatic, with strong, very youthful tropical-fruit and herbaceous flavours, showing a distinct touch of complexity, and a dry (2.9 grams/litre of residual sugar), appetisingly crisp finish. Best drinking mid-2020+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Pink Pinot
    The 2019 vintage (4½ stars) is a characterful Marlborough rosé, brimful of flavour. Bright pink, it has generous strawberry and watermelon flavours, slightly spicy notes, and excellent vigour and length, with a dry (2.9 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay
    Estate-grown in the Chaytors Road Vineyard, near the coast in the Wairau Valley, the 2018 vintage (4½ stars) was fermented with indigenous yeasts in French oak barriques (25 per cent new). Already enjoyable, it has a fragrant, smoky bouquet, leading into a mouthfilling, sweet-fruited wine with concentrated, youthful, peachy, citrusy flavours, toasty notes adding complexity, and good cellaring potential. Best drinking 2021+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Pinot Gris
    The finely textured 2018 vintage (4½ stars) was mostly estate-grown in the Waihopai Valley and 10 per cent of the blend was fermented with indigenous yeasts in old French oak casks. Pale straw, it is mouthfilling, with concentrated, ripe peach, pear and spice flavours, showing a distinct touch of complexity, and a smooth, dryish (5 grams/litre of residual sugar) finish. Best drinking mid-2020+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Pinot Noir
    Still very youthful, the great-value 2017 vintage (5 stars) was grown at two sites in the Waihopai Valley and matured in French oak barriques (25 per cent new). Deep ruby, it is mouthfilling, concentrated and fruit-packed, with deep, plummy, spicy flavours, a firm underlay of tannin and the structure to mature well. Best drinking 2021+. The 2015 vintage (4½ stars), retasted in 2019, is also a very good buy. Deep ruby, with a fragrant, complex bouquet, it is full-bodied, with generous, ripe plum/spice flavours, finely balanced tannins and a long life ahead

    Lawson’s Dry Hills Reserve Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
    The 2019 vintage (4½ stars), grown in the Waihopai, Awatere and Wairau valleys, was made with some use of indigenous yeasts and barrel fermentation. Light lemon/green, it is a vigorous young wine, mouthfilling, with strong, freshly herbaceous flavours, oak complexity, and a dry (1.8 grams/litre of residual sugar), crisp finish. Best drinking mid-2020+

    Lawson’s Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough Gewürztraminer
    The stunning 2016 vintage (5 stars) is a weighty (14.5 per cent alcohol), fleshy, Alsace-style wine, estate-grown in the Home Block and barrel-fermented with indigenous yeasts. From 35-year-old vines ‘with trunks as thick as thighs’, it is a bright, light yellow/green, powerful wine, jam-packed with peachy, spicy flavours, gently sweet (18 grams/litre of residual sugar), finely poised and lasting. Well worth discovering

    Lawson’s Dry Hills The Pioneer Marlborough Pinot Gris
    The 2016 vintage (4 stars) is a single-vineyard wine, grown in the Waihopai Valley, hand-picked and fermented with indigenous yeasts in old French oak barriques. It’s a fleshy, full-bodied wine, with a gentle splash of sweetness (14 grams/litre of residual sugar), strong flavours of pears, peaches and spices, and very good complexity and richness

  • PINK Pinot by Lawson’s Dry Hills presented with another packaging design award

    We have received another award for the packaging design of our new Rosé, PINK Pinot!

    Winning the ‘Guala Closures Award for the Best Presented Bottle’ at the 2020 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, follows the silver medal awarded at the UK’s Harper’s Design Awards 2019 in October.

    The label was designed by Jason Pettersen of Gusto Design, to give a more innovative edge to the Lawson’s Dry Hills brand. Commenting, Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson explains, “This is very innovative for us, we did it so we could attract new customers to the brand whilst also giving some reassurance as it is  ‘by Lawson’s Dry Hills’”. She continues, “Looks are important and never more so than in the Rosé category. Trying to create something instaworthy and relevant to today’s wine lovers while continuing to promote the Lawson’s Dry Hills brand was an exciting project and we’re enjoying the results!”

    Made from 100% Pinot Noir, the juice was briefly left in contact with the skins before being pressed to stainless steel for a cool ferment with specially imported yeasts from southern France. The result is a deliciously fresh, highly aromatic and succulent wine with summer berry fruit flavours, juicy mid-palate and a crisp, dry finish.

    Based on the popular mandala design and dressed in silver, said to restore balance and pink for compassion and glamour, this exciting new wine should be enjoyed with great friends, delicious eats and inspiring conversation.

    Click here for more information and tasting notes

  • Latest awards and reviews for Lawson’s Dry Hills – March 2020

    We’ve received some great awards and reviews recently. While our focus is on making wines that we like to enjoy and share, it’s great to receive these independent quality endorsements. Here is a summary:


    Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2020

    • Gold – Chardonnay 2019
    • Gold – Pinot Gris 2019

    Sydney International Wine Competition 2020

    • Blue Gold – Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    • Blue Gold – Sauvignon Blanc 2019

    International Wine Challenge 2019, London

    • Gold – Tekau 2017

    New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards 2019

    All silver medals

    • Gewürztraminer 2017
    • Pinot Gris 2019
    • Reserve Pinot Gris 2018
    • Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    • Lawson’s Dry Hills Pink 2019
    • Blind River Tekau 2017
    • The Pioneer Gewürztraminer 2016

    Six Nations Wine Challenge 2019

    • Double Gold – The Pioneer Gewurztraminer 2016 (sold out)

    Marlborough Wine Show 2019

    • Gold – Reserve Pinot Noir 2017
    • Silver – Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    • Silver – Riesling 2017
    • Silver – Pink 2019

    New Zealand International 2019

    • Gold – Sauvignon Blanc 2018
    • Gold – Mount Vernon Sauvignon Blanc 2019
    • Gold – Riesling 2017
    • Silver – Gewürztraminer 2017
    • Silver – Pink 2019
    • Silver – Reserve Pinot Noir 2017



    Winestate Magazine Best of Varietal Tasting

    • 5 stars – Tekau 2017

    Winestate Magazine Best of Best Value Wines

    • 5 stars – Sauvignon Blanc 2019


    Design Awards


    • Guala Closures Award for the Best Presented Bottle’ at the 2020 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards
    • Silver medal awarded at the UK’s Harper’s Design Awards 2019 in October.
  • Blue Gold Medal for our Sauvignon Blanc 2019

    “Fresh cut grass, zingy refreshing acidity, juicy and fresh, hints of citrus blossom and passionfruit.”

    Stuart James Halliday, Fifth Term Panellist 2020 Competition

    “Bright clean fresh green apple fruit. A delicate bright fresh fruit nose showing hints of citrus and green apple. Lovely balanced acid with a slight gooseberry lift on the finish. Wine balances out well with this dish as brightness comes through.”

    Brent Marris, Fourteenth Term Panellist 2020 Competition


    Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018 was judged with Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Goat Ricotta

    Presented by chef Marcell Kustos

    LDH Sauvignon Blanc 2019


    • 6 zucchini, thinly sliced (thinnest on the mandolin) and salted (½ zucchini/person)
    • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, roasted at 180C with salt and olive oil for 20 min
    • ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, roasted at 180C for 6 min, roughly chopped


    • 6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
    • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated, fried
    • ¾ tsp. sugar
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ lemon
    • Salt if needed

    Ricotta cream:

    • 250g fresh ricotta (in tube, not the crumbly one you bought for the trial)
    • 50g fresh goats cheese
    • 1 sprig dill, finely chopped
    • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
    • ½ tsp salt


    1. Mix the ricotta cream with stick mixer until smooth, set aside.
    2. Press the liquid out of the salted zucchini. Mix with dressing.
    3. Smear ricotta cream on plate, add roasted tomatoes and zucchini on top and finish with hazelnut and a drizzle of flesh olive oil. Note: The pairing is based on the sour-salty interplay of the dish and the crisp acidity in the SB wines. Make sure both salt and acidity of the dish are in check.


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