Nautilus Estate Harvest Programme

Over the past few years, both in our own vineyards and with the support of our growers, Nautilus Estate has continued to expand and develop its vineyards with 2006 seeing the introduction of the Nautilus VSP pruning system – a world first.

Ongoing research into the best combination of the preference of different clones for different sites continues to improve the fruit characters and aroma intensity of our fruit. For example, we now have over twenty-four hectares of Pinot Noir planted in vineyards throughout the Marlborough region, in a variety of clones including AM10/5, the Pommard clones 5 and 6 and the Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777.

Read More >

Peaks of Celebrity

New Zealand pinot noir is joining the fame game with vineyards being name-dropped in the most glamorous of circles.

There is a compelling association between Hollywood and the meteoric ascent in popularity of wines from New Zealand, now juxtaposed as a chic destination for the eco-conscious avant-garde.

New Zealand born actor Sam Neill, with his exemplary Central Otago vineyards and auteurist pinot noir Two Paddocks is spreading his wine liberally among Hollywood friends, as well a luring the cognoscenti to Queenstown, the picturesque epicentre of viticulture in the far- South Island.

Read More >

Not too late for Tuscany
The Idyllic Villa Picelle, Azienda Agricole Fontodi

A hankering for the flavors of Chianti has Curtis Marsh planning a trip. In the meantime, he makes do in Wellington Street.

The best laid plans. Everything was set for the archetypal autumn holiday in Italy, two weeks in the heart of Tuscany luxuriating in the 18th-century Villa Pecille, in an idyllic vineyard panorama on the Chianti Azienda (estate) Fontodi, just south of the medieval village Panzano, halfway between Florence and Sienna.

Read More >

A tale of two regions
Highbank Vineyard Terra Rossa soil, Australia

The best cabernet sauvignons from Australia and France are arguably of equal quality, but one has ended up on supermarket shelves, the other in the best of wine cellars.

The wine regions of Coonawarra in South Australia and Bordeaux, France have a great deal in common, sharing similar climate and geology (terroir), varietal composition, and even comparable quality during Coonawarra’s epoch. Yet, today, they are poles apart, with Bordeaux surging ahead in prosperity, superiority and finesse in its wines.

Read More >

Coonawarra gone wrong
Highbank Coonawarra Sunset, Australia

Modern farming techniques and big business are sapping the Australian region’s potential, but there is hope, writes Curtis Marsh.

In comparing the similarities of climate and geology (terroir) shared by Australia’s Coonawarra region and Bordeaux in France, there was a period when Coonawarra genuinely challenged the world’s most renowned wine region for quality. However, the Bordelaise have fought back against the new world competition and are clearly reigning at the premium level.

Read More >

Metamorphosis Of Piedmont
Gaja Barbaresco, Italy

The Rapidly-Evolving Expression Nebbiolo

Curtis marsh reports on modern-day Barolo and Barbaresco where a progressive balance of contemporary and traditional techniques have transformed an otherwise unyielding style of red.

Like many of the Old World wine regions, there was an inherited resistance to change in Piedmont, with the old guard Barolo and Barbaresco winemakers obstinately adhering to time-honoured traditions and techniques. Indeed, Barolo was seemingly cemented in time with little variance from the winemaking methods introduced in the early 1800s by French oenologist Louis Oudert.

Read More >

In Tuscan “heaven”
Andrea Costanti of Conti Costanti

Discovering a special vineyard during a recent trip to Italy still has an excited Curtis Marsh salivating.

Having just returned from Tuscany, the current issue of Wine Spectator caught my immediate attention. Its front cover – emblazoned with the words “Brunello di Montalcino, best wines, restaurants, hotels” – had an evocative picture of the medieval hill-top village that brought back a spontaneous flood of experiences and gastronomic elation.

Read More >

First Among Equals

Great wines are hopefully always enigmatic and there are some real gems to be discovered among the 2006 German Rieslings.

While there is a preoccupation with debating the merits of dry or sweet Rieslings, the international consumer has predominantly maintained an orthodox view of German Riesling with a preference for the richer lateharvest styles, particularly the exceptional and unique qualities of Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Read More >

Tuscan Reveries
Chianti Vineyard, Italy

Away from the legions of tourists and frantic pace of florence, Curtis Marsh discovers the tranquillity of the medieval village of Panzano. Located in the heart of Chianti Classico, it‘s the perfect base for vineyard touring and gastronomic indulgence all year round.

Visitors to Tuscany typically fall in love with the region. Instantly. It is easy to fall under the enchantment of the idyllic Tuscan countryside, with vineyards and olive groves, sylvan hills and sinuous valleys dotted with picturesque medieval villages. The latter typically comes complete with ancient castles, villas, church or monastery, all steeped in feudal history while exemplifying the splendour of the Italian Renaissance.

Read More >