Discover Nelson with Neudorf Winery
In the north of New Zealand’s South Island, three mountain ranges tower over Nelson – a young viticultural region quietly producing some of the country’s most exciting wines.
Only a stone’s throw away from the world-famous Marlborough region, Nelson has yet to reach that same level of global recognition. Nevertheless, it has attracted many winemakers over the years who have harnessed the exceptionality of the region’s unique mesoclimate and terroir, to produce complex wines with true Kiwi character. Amongst the berry farms, hop growers, orchards and sheep farms, Nelson has 40 wineries mostly operating on a smaller scale to produce premium wines. No longer just for avid hikers, the region has transformed into an enotourist’s dream destination to discover innovative winemakers and a budding food scene.
Naturally New Zealand, Naturally Beautiful
Across the globe, New Zealand is famed for its jaw-dropping natural beauty, attracting hikers and adventurers from far and wide to explore its rugged terrain and true wilderness. Nelson lies at the foothills of three national parks: Nelson Lakes, Kahurangi and Abel Tasman. Abel Tasman is the country’s smallest, yet most visited national park – and it’s not hard to see why. The crystal-clear streams tumble down mossy valleys to meet turquoise waters framed by golden-sand beaches. Gannets and little blue penguins can be spotted diving off the granite rocks to catch their supper, while fur seals laze on the rocky edges of Tonga Island. Look further out across the ocean and you may even chance a guest appearance from a visiting Orca pod. There are few places in the world which offer such pristine natural beauty.
Seaside Dining in Nelson
Not only ideal for grape growing, the luscious green hills in Nelson have also become home to many farms producing a bounty of produce throughout the seasons. This in addition to the wealth of seafood from surrounding waters, has attracted many restauranteurs to settled in Nelson. Jutting out over the bay, The Boat Shed Cafe prides themselves on a refined season-driven menu, while Hoppsgood & Co offers a modern bistro dinner in their beautiful heritage-listed premises. An evening at either of these establishments is complete with a cocktail at Kismet bar. Wherever you end up dining, don’t leave Nelson without having fish & chips on the beach and one of their famed real-fruit ice creams.
Nelson’s Terroir: New Zealand beauty makes for a winemaker's dream
Small but mighty, the region’s varied landscape offers a generous diversity of mesoclimates where varieties can express unique characteristics. The alluvial soils, warm summer days and cool sea breezes make Nelson the perfect home for aromatic varieties, including Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Shelter from the surrounding mountains provides a rain shadow effect to keep heavy rainfalls at bay, while damaging frosts are also a rare occurrence. Nelson enjoys cool summers with longer daylight hours, courtesy of the cooling effects from The Tasman Sea and its low southern latitude. The growing season extends into dry autumns, allowing the grapes to fully ripen into characterful fruit, perfect for producing complex white wines.
Nelson Winery in the Moutere Hills
In 1978, Neudorf founders Judy and Tim Finn set out on the seemingly daunting mission to transform their Moutere Hills property, home to a 120-year-old stable and small cottage shrouded by native flora, into their new winery. Clearly unfazed, or at least undeterred by the task at hand, they did what they needed to transform the small bottom paddock into their first vineyard. With the help of neighbours, family, friends, and dedicated employees over the years, they have been producing wines of integrity ever since.
Undoubtedly conscious of preserving their beautiful pocket of the planet, Nelson’s winemakers have been proactive in their efforts to become a truly sustainable vineyard. Everything from their packaging, winery waste management and composting, and plant maintenance is carefully considered and constantly adjusted to make the winery as sustainable as possible. Mature vines on the property have become accustomed to dry farming – improving their drought resistance and in turn producing more intensely flavourful fruit which better express the qualities of the terroir. All blocks have attained or are in the process of attaining Biogrow certification, a stringent process and ongoing mission for the estate. Nevertheless, a worthwhile endeavour for the estate, for whom genuinely sustainable farming is more than just a marketing grab, but something that lies at the very heart of Neudorf.
"Ever since day one, it's been about producing great wines... the key is happy vines, happy wines, happy people." - Rosie from Neudorf Winery
This wine was created with the Chardonnay’s versatility in mind; a contemporary Chardonnay grounded by classic techniques. While it holds good body and shape, the refreshing acidity and minerality prevents wine from feeling overblown. It shows aromas of ripe stone fruit of white peach, as well as subtle flavours of oak and toast.
Rosie's Block Moutere Chardonnay
With Tim and Judy’s daughter as the namesake for the block from which this single vineyard Chardonnay is made, there is certainly a lot of love in this wine. Slightly higher in elevation than the Home Block, the wine is contemporary, mineral, concentrated and complex. There is a gentle use of oak which frames the wine, with notes of stone fruit and a hint of lemon curd. A perfect wine to enjoy with food on a long summery afternoon.
Tom’s Pinot Noir
Tom’s Block is Organically Certified BioGrow 5438. The single vineyard Pinot Noir boast what has become known as “Moutereness;” a true expression of the land where it is grown. Subtle notes of forest floor, wild mushroom and warming spices complement the silky tannins which are interwoven with notes of black cherry, raspberry and black doris plum. A refrained use of oak beautifully frames the wine, leading to a long and luxurious finish.