• This is Chardonnay – but not as you know it

    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

    Click here for more information and tasting notes

  • Silver for PINK in 2019 Harpers Design Awards

    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.

    For further information, contact Lawson’s Dry Hills Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson [email protected] 03 578 7674 or Jason Petersen www.gustodesign.com

    Harpers Design Awards 2019 logo

  • PINK Pinot

    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

    #pinkbyldh

    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.

    Contact information
    Belinda Jackson
    Group Marketing Manager, Lawson’s Dry Hills
    027 444 8 666
    [email protected]

  • World Famous in New Zealand: Blenheim’s Marlborough Flyer

    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.

    Click to read more

  • Lawson’s Dry Hills at the Auckland Food Show!

    One of the best events in New Zealand for keen foodies is the Auckland Food Show. Being held 25-28 July at the Auckland Show Grounds, this is a mecca for all things edible as well as kitchen equipment and a celebrity stage for the likes of Annabel Langbein, Simon Gault and Josh Emmet.

    This year you can enjoy our wines too! Come and visit us on stand D25 for a taste of Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and have a sneak preview of our new Rosé, PINK! Special show prices!

    More about the show

  • Sauvignon Blanc Day 2019

    We’re a savvy bunch and never more so than on Sauvignon Blanc Day!

    Join us on May 3 to sample seven of the best, including our Estate wine, four vintages of our Reserve, the Champion Sauvignon Blanc of the 2018 New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards and our 100% wild, barrel-fermented Tekau.

    Plus, for every six bottles of any wines purchased at our cellar door that day, you’ll receive an exclusive, designer tea-towel.

    Lawson’s Dry Hills, Alabama Road, Blenheim – the closest cellar door to Blenheim’s town centre!

    Open 10am – 4.30pm daily.

  • Two trophies at the 2018 New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards

    Media release for immediate publication

    24 October 2018

    Champion Sauvignon Blanc and Champion Gewurztraminer for Marlborough’s Lawson’s Dry Hills at the New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards

    Lawson’s Dry Hills has been awarded two trophies at the 2018 New Zealand Wine of the Year Awards

    The company’s Awatere Valley, single vineyard wine, Blind River Sauvignon Blanc 2018 won the Antipodes Water Company Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy while the Lawson’s Dry Hills Gewürztraminer 2016 received the Riedel New Zealand Champion Gewürztraminer trophy.

    Commenting on the results, Chief Winemaker, Marcus Wright said, “It’s great to receive the Gewurztraminer trophy – that’s three years in a row and we’re delighted, but to be recognised for one of our Sauvignon Blancs is very exciting.” He continues, “The Blind River vineyard is a very special site and superbly looked after by our Viticulturist, Mark Ludemann and his team.”

    The Lawson’s Dry Hills team are no strangers to awards, receiving eight gold medals in the last two weeks from New Zealand-based shows. Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson comments, “Awards are great recognition of the wines we love to make. Five out of the six grape varieties we produce have been awarded gold medals this month which is great for us and for our distribution partners around the world.”

    From humble, yet pioneering beginnings 25 years ago, the small team at Lawson’s Dry Hills continue to explore what they can do differently, do better. From grape to glass the company has ownership of every part of the process and believes this total control is an important part of making top quality wine.

    For more information please email [email protected] or call 03 578 7674.

  • Well done Rylee!

    Pleased to bring you this article from Stuff.co.nz about our wonderful Rylee:

    Marlborough lab technician and cellar hand Rylee Funk is the first person to graduate with a national qualification designed to upskill workers in the Kiwi wine industry. 24-year-old Funk worked at Lawson’s Dry Hills in Blenheim and recently completed the New Zealand Certificate in Cellar Operations Level 3, a qualification designed by Competenz to form a career pathway for cellar staff. Originally from Canada, Funk was travelling New Zealand when she landed a temporary job at Lawson’s during the harvest. A few harvests later with some travel in between, she took up a permanent position in the winery.

    How did you decide to get into the wine industry?
    I worked my first harvest at Lawson’s Dry Hills in 2015 then I came back 2016 and never left! So it was all bit accidental – I never thought I’d end up in the wine industry!

    What is your favourite aspect of working in a winery?
    Tank cleaning and bottling. Just kidding. Tasting and harvest.

    What motivated you to go after the qualification? What is the value of it to you?
    Seemed a pretty easy option to learn on the job and turned out to really further my knowledge particularly around H&S and compliance.

    Do you have a favourite wine or a wine pairing?
    Burleigh Pork Belly Pie with the Lawson’s Pioneer Gewurztraminer! Or a good Chardonnay.

    What was the most difficult part of the studies?
    As a Canadian learning about New Zealand’s wine history, it was all new to me!

    Will you continue studying cellar operations, or are you aiming for a winemaker role?
    I’m certainly thinking about Level 4 but I’m also looking at other study options.

  • Lawson’s Dry Hills serves up top wines in Dish Magazine

    Well-known for their aromatics, Marlborough wine producer Lawson’s Dry Hills has two wines in the top six of the latest Dish Magazine tasting, including the top spot. Taking first place with the Pioneer Gewurztraminer 2016 and sixth with the estate Gewurztraminer 2016, this is further proof of the company’s ability to in produce outstanding quality wines.

    Chief Winemaker, Marcus Wright, delighted with the acknowledgment said, “Gewürztraminer may not be a big seller, but it’s been our calling card for many years”. He puts it success down to the vineyard, “With vines that are over 35 years old and grown on clay soils, you certainly see intensity of aroma and flavour, but also texture.” He explains, “These wines feel weighty in your mouth, almost viscous, they leave an incredible impression.”

    As if to reinforce this point, Dish Magazine’s Yvonne Lorkin described the Pioneer Gewürztraminer: “I love how focused, flavoursome, concentrated and multi-layered this gewürztraminer is,” while Jo Burzynska agreed saying, “It’s big, rich and generous – just what good gewürz should be.” Third judge, Cameron Douglas MS commented, “So well-made, I could drink this all day.”

    Lawson’s Dry Hills are offering trade and media an opportunity to taste a ten-year vertical of Gewurztraminer at their up-coming tasting being held in Auckland on 9th October.

    Click to read Dish Tasting Panel

    For further information, please contact Lawson’s Dry Hills Group Marketing Manager, Belinda Jackson [email protected] or by phone 027 4448 666.

  • Marlborough wine – protecting and promoting the real deal

    A new initiative has been launched to safeguard Marlborough’s wine reputation and Lawson’s Dry Hills is among the first to jump on board.

    The protection of ‘brand Marlborough’ has been under discussion for some years but with the proliferation of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc labels over recent times, a group of key industry people led by Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point Vineyards, have been spurred into action.

    Under the name Appellation Marlborough Wine (AMW), the aim of the initiative is to protect the integrity, authenticity and brand value of wines produced in Marlborough. The initial focus is on Sauvignon Blanc only.

    To communicate this to the market, an Appellation Marlborough Wine mark has been developed for use on packaging and collateral (appertaining to the relevant wines only). To use it, producers must sign a licence agreement comprised of the following standards and quality parameters, declaring each wine submitted is:

    • Made only from 100% Marlborough-grown grapes
    • Made only from grapes grown in vineyards which are certified as part of a recognised sustainable viticultural program.
    • Made only from grapes grown at an appropriate cropping level* (each year the Licensor will notify the Licensee of the cropping level which will be expressed as tonnes of grapes per net producing hectare and be pertinent to each separate vineyard parcel).
    • Bottled in New Zealand.

    The majority of the process will be based on the honesty and integrity of members and on the correctness of certifications they are required to submit. Members agreed that underpinning these arrangements, there needs to be a system for inspections and audit.

    *If grapes used to produce the certified wine do not comply with the Licensor’s desired cropping level, then the Licensee may submit the wine with any necessary supporting evidence to the Licensor’s wine tasting panel which at its absolute discretion may permit that wine to become certified. The tasting panel shall be entirely set by the licensor and the decision of that panel shall be final and binding.

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