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].
ABOUT LAWSON’S DRY HILLS
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].
May 1, 2020
Longstanding colleague and friend of Lawson’s Dry Hills in the UK, Master of Wine Nick Adams had a chance to chat to DJ Mike Graham on Talk Radio yesterday. The pair tasted our Sauvignon Blanc, PINK and Reserve Pinot Noir and had a good chat about all things wine – have a listen!
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
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.
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
- 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.
“Fresh cut grass, zingy refreshing acidity, juicy and fresh, hints of citrus blossom and passionfruit.”
“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.”
Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc 2018 was judged with Marinated Zucchini with Hazelnuts and Goat Ricotta
Presented by chef Marcell Kustos
- 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
- 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
- Mix the ricotta cream with stick mixer until smooth, set aside.
- Press the liquid out of the salted zucchini. Mix with dressing.
- 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.
We could just take the ripe, flavour-filled grapes, press them and put the juice into a stainless steel tank, add some cultured yeast and let it ferment, then bottle it soon after. This would be the ‘norm’ for a chardonnay that is made without oak influence.
But we choose to do it differently because we believe our technique makes a more interesting and more delicious wine.
Our Chardonnay is made from the Mendoza clone grown on our Chaytors Road vineyard, close to the coast at the eastern end of the Wairau Valley. The free-draining soils and moderating influence of the nearby ocean combine to produce concentrated fruit with a fresh acidity.
The grapes are hand-picked and arrive at the winery in the early morning. They are gently crushed and about 85% of the resulting juice is run into a stainless-steel tank. 15% goes into old French oak barrels (you can’t smell or taste any oak influence, the oak is too old for that), to provide added complexity and texture.
But the real trick to this wine is the use of wild yeasts. This means we use yeast that is naturally present on the skins of the grapes, in the vineyard and in the winery, rather than buying an ‘off the shelf’ cultured yeast to inoculate the juice and trigger the alcoholic fermentation. In addition, this technique would usually take place when barrels are used, whereas with this wine we have undertaken a wild ferment in stainless steel.
Finally, rather than rushing the finished wine into bottle, we let it stay in tank (and the old barrels) for a further five months, sitting on the yeast lees. Lees are essentially dead yeast cells that slowly drop to the bottom of the vessel in which the fermentation has taken place. This technique serves to add texture to the wine and a richness of flavour – gentle mealy, creamy, almost toasty and nutty characters than you don’t expect in a wine that has no ‘oak’ influence.
The result is an imminently drinkable, smooth, weighty and textural Chardonnay that is 100% true to its varietal as there is no oak flavour to mask it.
Enticing lemon, beeswax and subtle stonefruit aromas lead to a palate which is dry and balanced with gentle acidity and lovely concentration. Citrus notes are combined with some savoury lees notes and there is a lovely texture to this wine, but without it being overpowering.
Delicious now as it shows the purity of the fruit character with the balance of fresh acidity, but the wine will continue to develop favourably in bottle for two to three years.
Delicious on its own, or to accompany seafood, creamy risottos and pasta dishes, fresh salmon, soft white cheeses and chicken.
Alc 13%, pH 3.3, TA 6.3, RS 0
Brand new wine, PINK Pinot by Marlborough wine producer Lawson’s Dry Hills, has been awarded a silver at the Harper’s Design Awards 2019. The label was designed by Jason Petersen of Gusto Design, Nelson.
Harpers is owned by Agile Media, a respected B2B drinks publishing and events company based in the UK. The company publishes Drinks International, Harpers Wine & Spirit and Drinks Retailing News.
According to Harpers, the look and design of product packaging has never been more important in demonstrating brand values and giving cues to the quality of the liquid inside.
In October a panel of designers and key on and off trade buyers were brought together to assess all the entries and deliver their expert opinion on which products have proven themselves worthy of a medal place and deserve to be category champions 2019.
One of the judge’s commented on PINK, “Unique for wine and works well for rosé as well as price. Simple, unique, effective.”
Commenting on the result, Petersen said, “It was fun and exciting to do something so different within the wine category and good to work with a producer willing to break the mould.”
The full results will be published in Harpers Wine & Spirit and available to view all year round from 13 December 2019 at www.harpers.co.uk.
Lawson’s Dry Hills breaks the mould…
You know the white label (our Estate range) and you know the black one (our Reserve range) but how about silver and pink?
You can only make a first impression once…
At last a Rosé that tastes as good as it looks.
And we think you’ll be impressed. PINK Pinot by Lawson’s Dry Hills
Well-known Marlborough wine producer, Lawson’s Dry Hills has stepped out of the expected and into the unexpected with the launch of PINK Pinot. Created to capture the imagination of those who are flocking to ‘drink pink’, the Lawson’s team see this as a great opportunity to add something dynamic and exciting to the portfolio.
PINK’s label is based on the popular mandala design – the literal meaning of which is ‘circle’ which represents wholeness. A circle also denotes balance and perfection, important characters in great wine. The mandala also symbolises the universe, in a spiritual sense, and in meditation it is said ‘to help transform ordinary minds into enlightened ones’.
PINK is made from 100% Pinot Noir from the company’s Chaytors Road vineyard close to the coast in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley. The first grapes to be picked from the outstanding 2019 harvest, 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 (yes, this wine really is dry!). Winemaker, Marcus Wright says, “We have worked hard in vineyard and winery to craft a wine that is a much fun as the packaging – beautiful on the eye and delicious on the palate”.
Dressed in silver, which is 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.
Available exclusively from EuroVintage, email [email protected] or call 0800 338 766.
Group Marketing Manager, Lawson’s Dry Hills
027 444 8 666
Pamela Wade/ Stuff.co.nz
This is the closest you’ll get to the Hogwarts Express without going to Scotland.
A classic coal-fired steam engine pulling heritage carriages, the Marlborough Flyer is a splendid sight as she puffs along the track between Blenheim and Picton, whistling at level crossings.
Traffic stops beside the road as people tumble out of their cars to take photos and wave – but even better is to be riding on board.