• Carbon Zero Recertified

    Lawson’s Dry Hills is currently the only New Zealand wine producer to hold both ISO14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO14064 (carbon zero) accreditations.

    A Toitū carbon zero certified organisation has measured, managed, and mitigated the operational emissions of its organisation, including business travel, electricity, vehicles and offices, in accordance with ISO 14064 1 and the GHG Protocol. Our commitment to being a carbon zero company is not a one-off, but an ongoing programme. Each year we will be audited to ensure we meet the requirements to retain our certification – an independent verification of our achievements to measure, reduce and offset our carbon emissions. We are therefore pleased to have successfully completed our second year of Toitū carbonzero certification in December 2021, having achieved the annual audit requirements.

    In addition to our Toitū carbonzero certification, we are fully certified under the ISO14001 Environmental System (ISO14001:2015).

    The internationally recognised ISO Environmental Management Systems Standard 14001 standardises a process to effectively control and continuously improve an organisation’s environmental performance. This enables efficient identification and control of the environmental impact of business activities, services and products, as well as provide a systematised ability to benchmark and achieve environmental objectives.

  • The Max

    Release of The Max:

    A collaboration between Lawson’s Dry Hills and
    highly respected New Zealand artist, Max Gimblett

    Limited production of just 300, hand-numbered bottles of each wine

    The Max is a remarkable new development from respected Marlborough wine producer, Lawson’s Dry Hills. Born from provenance combined with both tradition and innovation, these limited release wines offer an intense expression of all the necessary elements required to make outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The label is the incredible work of esteemed New Zealand contemporary painter and calligrapher, Max Gimblett. His strikingly bold, powerful brushwork, balance, depth and choice of colours hinting at the power and complexities of both the art and the wine. When talking about the collaboration, Max said, “These fine wines lift us up into ecstasy and speak to us of the heights. We are so proud of them and of being members of their family.”

    Born in New Zealand, Gimblett has been primarily based in New York since 1972 and continues to exhibit regularly in both locations.  The mix of cultures and aesthetics evident in his work convey various associations and meanings connected to the oval, rectangle, tondo, keystone, and the quatrefoil, for which he is most recognised.

    In New Zealand, Gimblett has a prominent profile and his works are held in the collections of all major public institutions. He became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to Art in 2015 and in 2017, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The University of Waikato for his contribution as an artist, scholar, teacher and philanthropist.

    These wines have been destined for some time. They are made from grapes grown on our revered Waihopai and Wairau Valley vineyards and crafted following traditional Burgundian methods. The Max is the culmination of more than 30 years of knowledge and experience embracing the art, nature and science of winemaking.

    The wines are being launched at an exclusive event at the Gow Langsford Gallery in Auckland, on 22 July.

    For further information, please email [email protected]

  • Notes on the 2021 vintage

    Notes on the 2021 vintage from the desk of Lawson’s Dry Hills chief winemaker, Marcus (with assistant winemaker, Bec)

    2021 characterised by low yields and high quality

    Low yields were caused by several factors starting with a warm winter which led to early budburst. This meant that flowering was early and was negatively affected by lower-than-average temperatures. Plus a frost at the end of September also caused some damage and this badly affected our 40-year-old Gewurztraminer.

    The remainder of the season was just about perfect with long sunshine hours, warm temperatures (but not extreme) and low rainfall, which when combined with lower crops, has produced very high-quality wines.

    It was a near perfect year for Sauvignon Blanc with loads of passionfruit characters balanced by gentle herbal notes, delicate acidity and lovely fruit weight. Classic Marlborough at its best (just devastating that yields were so down).

    Our earliest pick date ever for Chardonnay! This fruit was absolutely perfect with lovely, concentrated flavours. Another great year for this variety – be sure to look out for some stunning wines down the track!

    Pinot Noir yields were down over 40% but the resulting wines have lovely depth and concentration. We were cautious not to over-extract the grapes treating them very gently through the vinification process. This will be a terrific year resulting in ripe, supple, flavoursome wines. Just not enough!

    Sadly, due to the frost on the 30th of September, there will be no Gewurztraminer from the 2021 harvest. This is a real shame but we do have plenty from previous vintages though, so don’t despair!

    With the great weather, we were able to leave the Pinot Gris on the vine for enhanced flavour development. The resulting wines are ripe with a luscious, weighty mouthfeel, balanced acidity and plenty of flavour.

    Sauvignon Blanc: Quality up but volume down by 25%

    Pinot Noir: Volume down in excess of 40% but excellent Quality

    Chardonnay: A real standout

    Perfect Pinot Gris

  • 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

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