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Winter Wine Selections

  • by Mikela Dennison

Cold as it may be, winter is a lovely time of year to take some quiet moments to enjoy time indoors, snuggled up with a good book and a nice glass of wine, or to slow cook meats and hearty vegetables and sit down to a cheery table with friends and family. 

Winter - Takurua

According to Te Ara, the Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, in traditional Maori culture, winter was associated with the star Sirius or Takurua – another word for winter. People would say, ‘Takurua hūpē nui’ (winter, when your nose runs). 

Importantly, Winter or Takurua, also marks the start of Matariki (the Maori New Year). We love this explanation from Ngāti Rārua Ᾱtiawa Iwi Trust about the importance of the winter skies for understanding the upcoming growing season: 

"If the stars were bright it showed a warm, favourable season for planting, which ensures a good harvest. If the stars were unclear or close together, then it was a negative tohu (sign). The time for planting would depend on whether the stars were unclear and close together, or bright and clear, with the good tohu of bright stars meaning that planting would happen earlier." 

Hōtoke and Makariri were also two traditional words for winter (from June to August), and for cold. 

Our Winemaker's Picks for Winter

Our Chief Winemaker Sam Bennett has a few thoughts to share on his winter wine selections for the season:

“We’re expecting some pretty chilly nights this winter, so having some nice wines to look forward to is a great way to welcome in the colder temperatures. I like to plan easy to prepare, soul-warming meals for these months, especially meats and stews that you can make the night before or slow cook throughout the day and come home to a house filled with delicious warming smells when you get home after work.

"My top protein and produce picks for winter include lean venison cuts, fragrant locally farmed lamb, lots of rich stews, anything with mushrooms, and of course – a great selection of hearty red wines, and full-bodied Chardonnays, to enjoy with it all.”

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Montford Estate 2020 Chardonnay

Wine review site Wine Orbit said it best when they reviewed our newly released Montford Estate 2020 Chardonnay; “Gorgeously composed and immediately appealing, the bouquet shows apricot, backed fig, nougat and roasted nut aromas with a hint of flinty overtone.

"It's succulent and flavoursome on the palate displaying lovely rounded mouthfeel backed by juicy acidity, finishing long and creamy.”

te Pa 2019 Reserve Collection ‘Taylor River’ Pinot Noir (Pre-release preview)

Our winemaker Sam describes our new vintage Reserve Collection Taylor River Pinot Noir as a serious wine, commanding attention and delivering an incredibly ripe, concentrated flavour profile.

Despite the fruit being harvested over two years ago, the wine itself spent extended periods of time in French oak barrel to age and develop (around 11 months in barrel) before being bottled mid-last year, so this wine is still young, with ageing potential of up to 10 years, so it’s a great wine to match with food.

Montford Estate 2019 Hawke’s Bay ‘Manny’ (Unreleased, limited edition)

Named after the grandfather, and the first-born son, of te Pa’s owner and founder Haysley MacDonald, the ‘Manny’ is a big, bold, Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux style red blend, that we think you’re going to love.

The grandfather James ‘Manny’ MacDonald II had 21 children (officially), and was a man of great character, so we wanted the wine to do his name justice. The wine, hailing from one of our trusted growers in the sunny Hawke's Bay, is a blend of Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet-Franc, Merlot and a small portion of tempranillo. Please email us if you would like to arrange a case of this special, currently unreleased wine. 

In the meantime: Check out our 2017 Merlot-Cabernet (available now) if you like a big, bold, red wines for winter. 

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We hope you will enjoy these specially selected wines and we would love to know what you think of them if you purchase anything from our winter selection. 

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