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Laying the Groundwork for the 2018 Vintage

It seems like just yesterday that the vineyard was covered in lush green vines as far as the eye could see. Now, it lies dormant in the middle of New Zealand's winter. We have however begun one of the most arduous, careful and resultantly most expensive activities that takes place in the vineyard each year. It lays the groundwork for the next vintage's success ... and that activity is pruning! 


Best Roses for the Summer Boating Season

Linda Kissam, FoodandWineTravelChix.com, July 2017

Ahoy Matey’s! The summer boating season is officially underway.  What will you be sipping on those easy breezy nautical moments this year?

Rosé wine and food pairings are a natural for the warm summer months – especially when served aboard a boat. Sail, power, or canoe … all offer a perfect setting for a refreshing glass of Rosé.

Rosé wine has made a stunning comeback in the past few years. And why shouldn’t it? Rosés are seductively fun, drinkable wines that are versatile enough to go with a light deck lunch to a knock-out main salon dinner combo. There are enough styles out there to please everyone.

Many Rosés possess excellent flavor profiles.  The best ones are drier and crisper than one might expect – which allows for a full display of flavors and aromas. But there is a place for a wide range of flavors and style, all of which are explored in this article.  Remember, in the end, if YOU like it, it is a winner.

The aromas and flavor of Rosés are primarily influenced by the particular grape varieties used to produce the wine but also the method of production also plays an important part. To make most Rosé wines, red grapes are lightly crushed and left to macerate with their red skins for a little while (anywhere from a few hours to a few days), after which the juice is strained out from the solid stuff (called “must”) and fermented in tanks. A true Rosé is made from red grapes, not a mix of red and white grapes, although there are Rosés offered that have been blended with white grapes to help “punch up” color and taste or present a new style into the market.

Drinking is believing. The world of Rosé wines is made up of flowers and fruits expressing natural freshness. Don’t expect a Rosé wine to present with the strength and the power of red wines, you’ll be disappointed. Do expect summer in a glass; red flowers and fruits. Think watermelon, roses, red currants, and raspberry. On occasion you may pick up lilac, Jolly-Rodger and bubble gum notes.

Pairing Tips

Which foods pair best with Rosés? Rosés are made for warm summer evenings, patio dining, friends and memories. Serve dishes that fit with that kind of setting and you’re on the right road.

Do not pair Rosé wine with foods that will drown out its delicate flavor. So stay clear of: tomato sauces, red meat dishes, butter, heavy creams, eggs, and overpowering aromatic spices.

Light pasta dishes – like linguine with olive oil, garlic, and mussels – make a wonderful choice for roses. Some stuffed pastas work – like a vegetable-stuffed cannelloni, or a ricotta stuffed ravioli. The trick is that if cheese is used, is should be extremely light, mild and neutral in flavor, almost whipped in texture, or otherwise an easily paired, not-pungent cheese.

Seafood dishes that focus on the minimal preparation to let the seafood flavors shine – lobster tail, lightly grilled crab cakes, and shrimp cocktails will complement a well-structured Rosé.

Summer salads of course are also an excellent option – just steer clear of bitter greens like kale that will quickly smoother your Rosé glass with all the wrong flavors. Instead think of water-filled vegetables and fruit like iceberg lettuce, chard, bok choy, clementines, pomegranate kernels, watermelon slices, apple slices, and strawberries.

Summer foods, like tomato salads, olives, and vegetables right off the grill come to mind.  Rosés love impetuous flavors: salty, a little spicy, summer herbs like basil and oregano, and, of course, garlic.  Prosciutto and melon? Perfect. Toasts with tapenade? Even better. Pork sausages right off the grill are terrific with Rosés, grilled vegetables such as peppers, zucchini and eggplant, seasoned with handfuls of basil and sprinkled with good olive oil.

Lastly cheeses.  Many cheeses can be challenging to wines, usually overwhelming their character, but rosés hold up very well to a number of cheeses, especially those of Spain. Try a tangy and earthy Roncal or Idiazabal, a Zamorano or Majorero sheep’s cheese, and finally try one of the many Cabrales blue cheeses now available in the US.

It is now up to you to learn what goes best with Rosés. Keep in mind that Rosés are enjoyed year around, especially by Mediterranean food enthusiasts. They are at their best when served chilled. However, when too cold they lose their delicate aromas and flavors. If served too warm, the residual sugar in many Rosés produce an unpleasant, cloying sensation and the overt fruitiness of the wine can create the sensation of drinking warm punch.

At a recent tasting aboard my Grand Banks boat, I found the following to be amongst the best Rosé wine picks for the summer boating season – for a variety of reasons.  Each has its own place in my on-board bar.   Enjoy!

Rosé Tasting

Comparing domestic and international sparkling, still, blended, single varietal, lo-cal and can.

Mt Beautiful Rosé 2016. $20. New Zealand: I am a big fan of this winery.  This wine is traditionally made from Pinot Noir juice pressed off after light contact and fermented in barrel and tank. Summer floral notes, a hint of herbaceousness and penetrating red berry aromas on the nose. Dry on the palate with good acidity. Juicy watermelon and pink grapefruit notes make this medium bodied wine a winner. Ranked second in the tasting, but a case could easily be made for first place." 


Arepas with Venezuelan Chicken Salad

By Nicole Ruiz Hudson, Wine Spectator, June 29, 2017

8And20 Arepas062717 1600

"Stuff these simple, satisfying cornmeal cakes with a creamy chicken and apple salad, topped with cheese and avocado, and complemented by a Portuguese white.

Eight ingredients, plus pantry staples. That's all it takes to make an entire meal from scratch. Add in a good bottle of wine for less than $20, and you've got a treat for family or friends. That's the philosophy behind our "8 & $20" feature. We hope it adds pleasure to your table.

I have a soft spot for arepas.

My parents are both Venezuelan, so I grew up eating the cornmeal cakes common in Venezuela and Colombia. They’re a staple consumed at all hours of the day, whether at home, from street vendors, or at restaurants. Basically, they’re used like bread: served simply with a little cheese or butter, used to make sandwiches, or as an accompaniment for a sit-down family meal.

They're also remarkably easy to make. Arepas are made from a precooked white cornmeal called masarepa. (Note: Masarepa is not interchangeable with other types of cornmeal; masarepa is cooked before it is milled, yielding a finer, more flourlike consistency than regular cornmeal, which is milled raw.) And because they're corn-based, arepas are also gluten free.

Masarepa can be a little difficult to find in many parts of the country, but it's easily purchased online (P.A.N. and Goya are common brands). Simply mix it with water and salt to make a quick arepa dough, which can then be deep-fried or cooked on the stove and finished in the oven, as I’ve done here.

A popular Venezuelan sandwich is the reina pepiada, an arepa stuffed with chicken salad and avocado. The sandwich's name is a tribute to a former Miss World from Venezuela, and it loosely translates as “curvy queen.”

Every home or restaurant might have their own take on this chicken salad. My family’s version takes quite a long time to make, which means it’s not all that feasible for a weeknight. For this rendition, I tried to streamline it as much as possible while still retaining the flavor. To start with, I used a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken to keep things easy. If you’re making it from scratch, the traditional version uses poached chicken, but feel free to use any leftover chicken you have on hand.

Other common additions include boiled potatoes, onions, celery, lemon or lime juice, and red peppers—add any of the above and more, as you like. It’s also common to top the sandwiches with queso blanco (literally “white cheese”), or one of several other Venezuelan fresh cheeses. Alternatives include Mexican cotija, queso fresco, or even mozzarella or feta.

The arepas have a dense texture, and the chicken salad is creamy, but it also has a bright piquancy. A fresh white wine with some body seemed in order, so we opted to try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a Portuguese white blend from the Douro.

The Sauvignon Blanc offered plenty of bright citrus and tropical fruit notes, as well as some green pepper; it was juicy and refreshing and made a really solid match, but might have worked even better if the salad had included herbs, green chiles or peppers. The Douro blend had more rounded fruit notes of melon and ripe citrus. It was refreshing too, but also showed more minerality and textural complexity, which ultimately made it the favorite."

Pair with a well-rounded white blend like Casa Ferreirinha Douro White Planalto Reserva 2015 (88 points, $15) from Portugal, or try a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc like Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury 2015 (89, $16).

Click here for this recipe!


Excellent Reviews on These New Releases!

The Tasting Panel, June 2017

We're ecstatic over these new reviews we just received by Anthony Dias-Blue of The Tasting Panel and Blues Reviews! 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - 92 Points 
“Deep ruby color; smooth, lush texture; dense, ripe black cherry with flesh, spice and oak notes; juicy and deep, long and balanced.”

2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc - 91 Points 
“Smooth and lush with crisp and lively acidity; rich and dense, ripe and long.” 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay - 90 Points 
“Bright, clean and juicy with silky texture and good depth; long, smooth and toasty; racy and dense; fresh and lively” 

2016 Mt. Beautiful Rose - 89 Points 
“Light ruby color; fruity and floral with red berry flavors; crisp with racy minerals and bright acidity; extra dry.”

Shop these wines here.


2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc - A Top Ten Wine For Summer!

Dan Dunn (@TheImbiber), Gayot, June 2017

We can't think of a better way to start off summer than our new release 2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvinon Blanc being chosen as one of Gayot contributor Dan Dunn's Top 10 Wines of Summer!

"The Best Wines for Summer Sipping 

The quest to unearth the best summer wines began and ended at one of America's premiere epicurean events — the 35th Anniversary Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, where hundreds upon hundreds of the world's finest winemakers converged to showcase their wares. And while selecting just ten great bottles of wine was a near impossible task, as the great T.S. Eliot once said, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." This one goes to ten. Enjoy! 

Typically, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is known for its pungent odors and grassy, tart palate. Ah, but Mt. Beautiful, in the heart of North Canterbury, on the South Island of New Zealand, produces anything but typical Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. The nose is pure flower garden, and the predominant flavor is tropical fruit. It's no pushover, mind you, but the acidity has been tamped down in favor of a rounder, creamier mid-palate experience."


2 Double Golds - "Best Pinot Noir" and "Best of Nation!" 2017 SF Int'l Wine Competition

SF Int'l Wine Competition, July 2017 

The results are in from this year's SF Int'l Wine Competition and we couldn't be happier. Our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir was singled out as "Best Pinot Noir" receiving a Double Gold Medal and 98 Points, and our just-released 2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc was awarded a Double Gold Medal and 95 Points. In addition, out of 77 New Zealand wineries that entered this year's competition, Mt. Beautiful Winery was chosen as "Best of Nation." 


Wine Spectator - 2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - 91 Points!

By MaryAnn Worobiec, Wine Spectator, June 8, 2017

Loving this review of our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir by Wine Spectator's Senior Editor, MaryAnn Worobiec. 

91 Points 

“Bright and juicy, with supple, creamy tannins and a core of raspberry and cherry flavors. Details of spice, blood orange and cedar linger on the finish. Drink now through 2027. M.W.”


Mt. Beautiful - N. Canterbury, New Zealand

Lyn LM Archer

By L.M. Archer, The Hedonistic Taster - BinNotes - redthread, June 5, 2017

"For those of you unfamiliar with Mt. Beautiful, the story centers around a man, a country, and a quest.

In 2003, world-renown economist and avid outdoorsman David Teece and his wife Leigh set about locating a region where no vineyards yet existed in his native country of New Zealand. His goal: Make world-class wine where no wine had ever been made.

With the  the help of geologist and friend Ron Sutherland, Teece eventually honed in on North Canterbury, an area on the South Island between the Southern Alps and Kaikoura. At first glance, the region’s unrelenting nor’westers, sweltering summers, minimal rainfall, frost-prone winters, and rugged morphology didn’t appear conducive to farming grapes.

But the land’s twenty-three different soil types, including ‘Phoebe,’ a well-draining glacial till/loess/volcanic ash concoction, combined with a myriad of microclimates, proved an alluring gamble. Teece and his wife purchased a total of 184.32 acres, christening the virgin vineyard Mt. Beautiful.

Determined to grow cultivars different from its neighbors in nearby Marlborough, Mt. Beautiful boasts over thirty different clonal selections, each varying in flavor, color, berry size, ripening, phenolics, tannins, susceptibility to disease, and ability to withstand drought and frost, among other characteristics."

... read the entire post here.


"Sweet Treats and Grown Up Fun!"

By Angela Corry, The Celebrity Cafe, May 5, 2017

The Celebrity Cafe Angela Corry

Editor-in-Chief of TheCelebrityCafe Facebook added Mt. Beautiful wines on its short list of "sweet treats and grown up fun" for Mother's Day!

July 2016 Flavor Characteristics 45

"This New Zealand winery offers 100% estate grown, certified sustainable wines including Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. My favorite is the Sauvignon Blanc, which pairs floral aromatics and tropical flavours such as guava and melon-like fruit, which creates a freshness on the palate that ends with a crisp finish."


Wine Time Recommends Our '15 Riesling and '15 Sauvignon Blanc

Wine Time Header

Blogger of Wine Time, David Dickson, included a couple of Mt. Beautiful wines in his The Tasting Room section of his site. We like what he has to say! 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling 
Ripe with off-dry flavors of honeysuckle, lime, and wintersweet flower. The citrus notes meld together with crisp, minerality, and a complex ripe apple character. It finishes with a beautiful, lingering acidity. 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
This Sauvignon Blanc pushes the boundaries of the typical New Zealand flavor profile with lots of decadent tropical flavors and less grassiness and a creamy mid-palate all the way through to a crisp finish with bright minerality. 


Great Reviews By Christopher Null of Drinkhacker

Drinkhacker, Christopher Null

We're excited about these recent wine reviews by Christopher Null included in his "Tasting Report; Wines of New Zealand." 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling      A 
"really fresh, surprisingly pretty with light florals, honey, and spice"

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir     B 
"chewy, some flab; lightly spicy"

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay     B 
"classic new world whie, modest oak and vanilla notes"


1st Vintage of Rose Receives 94 Point / 4 Star Review

Gourmet Traveller Wine

Reviewed by Bob Campbell MW

94 Points, 4 stars 

2016 Mt. Beautiful Rose
Pinot noir rosé from juice pressed off to barrel and tank after a small amount of skin contact. Quite intense and appealing wine with charming strawberry and watermelon flavours leading to a gently spicy finish. Lovely purity and an ethereal texture.” 


Check What Planet Grape Wine Review Says About Our Wines!

Grape Goddess Catherine Fallis Logo

91 Points 

2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 
Vividly fruity, lightly herby, spicy and fresh with notes of lime zest, peach, mango, pineapple rind, spring pea and thai red chile skin.

92 Points 

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

Fresh, delicate, supple and shy with notes of strawberry, cherry, pink and yellow rose, moss, mushroom and cedar. Long raspberry rose finish.


Silver Medal Awarded at Texsom Int'l Wine Awards

Texsom International Wine Awards Logo

The 2017 Awards represented the breadth of the wine world with entries from 25 states and 25 countries totaling nearly 3,200 entries. The entries were blind-tasted and judges by 67 internationally renowned industry influencers from 10 countries. Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from $2.99 to $770. Vintages spanned 75 years with the oldest being 1941. The diversity of the Awards provides an array of choice for all beverage enthusiasts.

Our 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir was the only Pinot Noir from the North Canterbury region and out of 18 total Pinots entered from all of New Zealand, only four rated higher. 

Needless to say we are quite proud of our Silver Medal! 

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - $24.99 - Purchase


Palate Press Awards 2015 Riesling 90 Points!

Palate Press Wine Magazine Logo

Palate Press, February 2017, Becky Sue Epstein

What We’re Drinking – 2015 Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Riesling


"Delightfully easy to drink yet balanced. I don’t want to get too labored with the description of this full-flavored, minerally, off-dry Riesling wine. So I’ll just say that the citrus notes range from orange to grapefruit with tinges of honey, flowing from aroma to palate to finish. We enjoyed it with appetizers of crabmeat in puff pastry."


Be a Good Bugger!

Our local community of Cheviot has come together to develop this campaign to support local businesses that are hurting after the closure of State Highway 1 North of Kaikoura. 

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Name of the licence holder: Dionysus Ventures Limited
Licence number: 57/OFF/411/2023
Licence expiry date: 27 February 2025
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