Mt. Beautiful


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Editors Pics

Wine Spectator, MaryAnn Worobiec,
January / February, 2018 

"This stunning property with 184 acres of vineyards is located in a remote corner of New Zealand's South Island. North Canterbury might not be a familiar winegrowing region yet, but there's lots of potential, as demonstrated by Mt. Beautiful's distinctive wines. Founder David Teece is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business, and is one of the most widely cited economic and business scholars in the world. He picked this spot in his home country to plant vineyards in part because he wants to tell the new and exciting story of an emerging wine region. His project benefits from the experience of CEO Robert Watkins and viticulturist Fin Grieve.-M.W."

Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir North Canterbury 2015
91 | $28 | 2,780 cases made
Comprising a mix of 13 different Pinot Noir clones, half of them Burgundy clones, this wine reveals its complexity on the finish.

Mt. Beautiful Riesling North Canterbury 2016
90 | $22 | 665 cases made
Shows great intensity, with crisp acidity and fresh citrus flavors. The wine is a blend of grapes from two distinct blocks of the vineyard, higher-elevation sites sheltered by a pine forest.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury 2016
89 | $16 | 12,100 cases made
North Canterbury Sauvignon Blancs are less aggressive than their Marlborough counterparts, showcasing melon flavors and suppler texture. 

Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay North Canterbury 2015
88 | $22 | 1,100 cases made
Notable for its plump, creamy texture, this wine blends grapes that were both tank- and barrel-fermented, finding excellent balance.


Highly Recommended 91Points
Rebecca Gibb MW, Decanter - January 4, 2018 

Mt. Beautiful received a rating of "91 Points and Highly Recommended" for our 2016 Chardonnay in Decanter's New Zealand Chardonnay panel tasting. We found what the reviewers had to say about the tasting particularly interesting, as it relates to the general region where our wines are grown - Canterbury!  

"Nelson and Canterbury were the pick of the regions; elsewhere our panel would like to have seen more of the fruit and less of the winemaking," reports Amy Wislocki

2016 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay   |   91 Points, Highly Recommended 
"Lovely fruit concentration on the nose leads to a lingering palate full of stone fruit and
moreish complexity. Good crispness and it will evolve with time, despite the touch of heat on the finish. Drink 2018-2021 Alc 14.5%"


Stacy Briscoe Bites Blog

Stacy Briscoe, Briscoe Bites - January 8, 2018 (photo: Briscoe Bites) 

SF based food and wine blogger, Stacy Briscoe, included Mt. Beautiful's 2015 Pinot Noir in her post "The Pinot Noir Style Spectrum," and also wrote an informative stand alone review on our 2015 Pinot Noir you can read here! 

"New Zealand’s winemaking history dates back to the colonial days, when the British first settled on the tiny island. But it wasn’t until the 1960s and into the 1970s that New Zealand became a presence on the winemaking map. At this time there was an influx of New Zealanders traveling abroad to Europe, experiencing the wines and vines of that continent, and bringing home with them the knowledge and the passion to put their own “kiwi” twist on the Old World’s drink.

Though the New Zealand wine industry is quite tiny, producing less than 1% of the world’s wine, it is home to 11 different wine regions. And while the country’s “claim to wine fame” may be Sauvignon Blanc (indeed, nearly 70% of New Zealand’s vines are planted to the white grape, totaling about 200,000 tons harvested each year), there are certain regions where other grapes — like Pinot Noir — can claim a small kingdom.

The southern island’s coastal Canterbury/North Canterbury is one such region. Protected by the Southern Alps, rainfall is limited and sunshine is abundant. Though day temperatures can get quite hot, especially in the summers, the cooling breezes from the ocean provide a diurnal shift, allowing for even ripening — even for the picky Pinot grape.

When it comes to soil types, the terrain is quite diverse. Pinot Noir seems to thrive best near the Waipara Valley which combines gravel and limestone clay soils along the hillsides framing the Waipara River. This terroir reduces the vigor of the vines, producing low yields of intense fruit.

About the Wine: The Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from the estate’s southern-most vineyard which, according to the winery, has the highest elevation, allowing for extra warmth and less frost exposure.

All fruit was hand-picked, de-stemmed, and left to cold soak for seven days. Individual blocks were fermented separately with twice daily punch downs. The grapes were then pressed and juices transferred to oak barrels. The wine aged in 100% French oak barrels (25% new), undergoing secondary, malolactic fermentation while in barrel. The wine was racked once and fined with egg whites before bottling. 14% ABV

Flavor Profile: Open this bottle of Mt. Beautiful and breathe in aromas of dank wetness, dark fruits, muddy soils, wet rubber, and bits and pieces of woody herbs — a bit like a forbidden tropical forest. The Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Noir is a dusty light rouge on the pour, settling into the glass just a shade darker — more like a maroon jewel. Initial aromas are of the dank funkiness of an oak barrel cave, along with scents of rosewater perfume, and a delicate acidity. Swirl, and the Pinot Noir opens up to some green herbal notes like eucalyptus, basil and spearmint along with fruit scents of bright fresh cherries.

On the palate, the Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Noir is smooth like butter until about a quarter of the way when embedded spices begin to prickle the tongue. Tannins come forward about a half way through, but stay toward the back, as hazy as staring toward the horizon — creating that line, that backbone, that point of reference, but never disturbing the elements surrounding it.

Dominant flavors are of red cherries, orange blossoms, blood orange, and dull baking spices like nutmeg and, towards the finish, perhaps a bit of white pepper. With its fairly light tannins and amplifying acidity, this light to medium bodied red wine finishes on a lingering note. Indeed there’s a prickle and tickle of spices along the tongue that will have you yearning for another sip.

Food Pairing: I paired the Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Noir with a grilled salmon on top of a persimmon salad. One thing I will note here is that the wine opened up as the evening progressed, revealing fuller, plusher fruits that further hazed that tannic line. A sip of wine at this point was like taking a bit into a cherry bursting with juices — thin skin and all. This means that the silky, oily texture of the salmon filet absolutely complemented this Pinot Noir.

What I liked about the salad portion of this pairing was that the earthy sweetness of the persimmons brought out the funky earth elements in the wine. The salad greens highlighted that little spice kick at the end, in a most enticing way."


Musings By The Glass Seth Buckley

Seth Buckley, Musings By the Glass, January 16, 2018 (photos: Seth Buckley) 

Honolulu based wine blogger, Seth Buckley, who we met at the 2017 Wine Bloggers Conference selected our Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir as his bargain wine of the week. Keep reading to see his suggested pairings and full "musings" including a little history on New Zealand as a winegrowing region. 

Classic Pinot Noir pairings include salmon, duck and mushrooms. A local Hawaiian twist on these classics include furikake salmon, Cantonese roast duck and a sautéed Japanese mushroom medley.

My Musings:
This wine was a beautiful, luminous ruby red color and possessed fruit aromas of cherry, cranberry and blackberry with orange blossom, subtle earth and baking spice. On the palate, the wine wonderfully balanced fruit, earth and mineral elements, with soft tannins that provided structure and a long, lingering finish. An absolutely stunning and tremendously enjoyable wine.

Mt. Beautiful Winery is wonkish heaven. It’s founder, David Teece, is [obviously] an oenophile, but he doubles as a professor of Global Business and Economics at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business and has authored over 30 books. For me, trained in global business law and economics, I have discovered a new vinous exemplar. Hail to the geeks.

Mt. Beautiful also makes it easy to feel good about yourself while sipping your refreshing inebriating beverage. Committed to sustainable farming methods, holistic vineyard management and alternative bottle closure methods (which bottle closure lore I explored in this post), Mt. Beautiful ensures that its practices assist in safeguarding the picturesque landscape famous to New Zealand. The world needs more wineries like Mt. Beautiful (and regions like New Zealand) that wholeheartedly embrace and emphasize the importance of sustainable viticultural practices.

In Honolulu, procure as many bottles as you are physically able to carry from Tamura’s Fine Wine and Liquors.

Aotearoa: The Land of the Long White Cloud

While Côte-d'Or remains the gold standard, one of the most exciting New World regions for Pinot Noir, in my experience, lies on the outskirts of the Antarctic, in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Bibles and grapevines were traveling companions to New Zealand, brought in the suitcases of Anglican missionaries in the early Nineteenth Century. Where there are missionaries, there is wine. Early local wines were a cheap proletarian drink that possessed few ardent admirers. Inebriation sufficient; craft not necessary. The fledgling industry was later disrupted by the Prohibition movement at the end of World War I, when temperance advocates denounced the inexpensive intoxicant as “vile Australian wine” and “Dally plonk,” pejoratively referring to the winemakers’ Croatian descent. Racism, patriotism, and temperance bundled into a short, succinct phrase. Well played, temperance movement.

Fortunately, the industry survived its early challenges, and has matured to become, in my opinion, one of the preeminent value wine regions in the world. With a re-focused strategy on quality rather than quantity, it is no longer difficult to procure well-crafted, high-quality vino in the Southern Hemisphere.

New Zealand, home to the southernmost vineyards in the world, is breathtaking in its natural beauty. Dense tropical and temperate forests, majestic mountain ranges, imposing volcanoes, and a craggy coastline constantly battered by the Pacific Ocean produce endless picturesque landscapes. It is naturally divided into two regions, the North and South Islands, each unique in culture, climate, and winemaking.

The South Island is a cool, maritime climate that benefits from extended, sunny summer days due to cloud dissipation and the earth’s axial tilt. Obliquity lends a helping hand. The Southern Alps, the tallest mountain range in the Southern Hemisphere, cause a rain shadow effect that shelters the vineyards from the prevailing westerlies generated in the Pacific Ocean. Vineyards find a weathered safe harbor in the east. On the downside, water is scarce and irrigation essential.

Midway along the eastern coast of the South Island is the capital city of Christchurch and the rolling, breezy plains of Canterbury, the home of Mt. Beautiful Winery. Canterbury’s vineyards are planted primarily in shallow, stony alluvial topsoil consisting of sand, limestone, schist and loam, overlaying deep free-draining glacial gravels from Jurassic periods long ago. These soils possess low-to-moderate fertility and absorb heat during the day that is slowly released throughout the chilly nights. Vine roots’ rocky heat regulators. Here the Burgundian varietals of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive, alongside elegant and expressive Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.

In a country where sheep residents outnumber their human counterparts 10 to 1, there is plenty of open range for farming and viniculture. Kiwis have made the most of it. Their wines are brilliant, expressive and unique. At every opportunity, I would unequivocally recommend exploring these wine regions and varietals. You will not be disappointed! And you can confidently commence exploration at Mt. Beautiful Winery ..."


Bigger Than Your Head Wine Blog

Fredric Koeppel, Bigger Than Your Head - January 9, 2018 

Chief Blogger Fredric Koeppel included Mt. Beautiful's 2016 Sauvignon Blanc in his round up
of great bargain wines of 2017. We're pleased to have landed in his "Excellent " category! 


 Logo Restaurant Wine

In Ronn Wiegand's latest Issue #175-177 of Restaurant Wine, he shares five excellent reviews of Mt. Beautiful's wines. 

5 Stars

2016 Sauvignon Blanc (Medium Priced Category)               
A crisp, complex Sauvignon of exceptional quality and value. (Screw cap closure.) It is full bodied and crisp, with elegant pineapple, lemon grass, lime, toast, and guava aromas/flavors, fine balance, and a long, crisp finish. Top value. Aged 9 months in both oak barrels (partly new) and stainless steel tanks. 12,000 cases. 14% [2018-2019] 

2015 Chardonnay (4+ Stars) and 2015 Pinot Gris (5 Stars) – (High Priced Category)
Both wines have screw cap closures, and both are excellent wines. The Chardonnay is crisp, full bodied, finely flavored (white peach, pear, lime, honey, candied lemon, vanilla, oak), balanced, and long on the finish. Aged 9 months in both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. 1,100 cases. 14.5% F The Pinot Gris is exceptional: elegant in flavor, supple in texure, and medium rich; a wine with excellent depth and balance, and a long finish, tasting of apple, lime, lemon grass, pear, guava, and honey. Great value. Fermented in both oak barrels and stainless steel tanks.

5 Stars
2016 Rose (Medium Priced Category)
An exceptional dry rose. Screw cap. Light reddish pink in color. Fragrant and distinct in aroma and flavor (cherry, raspberry, lime, rose petal), it is full bodied, well balanced, and long on the finish. Great value. 100% Pinot Noir. Partly barrel fermented.

5 Stars
2015 Pinot Noir (High Priced Category)
Screw cap. An outstanding Pinot Noir in an elegant, velvety style. It is full bodied, very supple in texture, ripe and complex in flavor (red currant, cherry, white pepper, rose petal, toast), and well balanced, with a very long finish. 7 day cold soak. Aged 10 months in French oak barrels, 25% new..”



TheShout, Cameron Douglas
 - December 5, 2017 

Here's a review on our 2016 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay written by New Zealand based wine writer, Cameron Douglas in The Shout. 


"Attractive and familiar Chardonnay bouquet with a mix of white-fleshed fruits and citrus layered between a mineral and oak core. Youthful, fresh and plush. On the palate – youthful with vibrant ripe acidity showing off the citrus then white peach and minerality. Balanced use of oak adding just a hint of woodiness and decent layer of complexity; lengthy finish and very well made. Best drinking 2018 through 2025."


Bloomberg Logo
Bloomberg Article Blue Apron

Elin McCoy - November 13, 2017 

As consumers get more and more used to expecting top-tier food delivered promptly to their doorsteps, why not wine, too?

The U.S. is now deep in the throes of a food home-delivery mania that goes way beyond a pepperoni pizza arriving at your door in 30 minutes. I’m talking about the billions-of-dollars-a-year meal-kit business as well as the dozens of restaurant takeout apps aiming to appeal to millions of busy, busy people.

What’s been missing—until recently—is wine on demand, delivered with both.

The cooking-kit company pioneering wine is Blue Apron, which added bottles to its mix two years ago, partly because customers asked for it and partly to woo them back when they dropped out. Poor retention was one of the reasons for the company’s lackluster June initial public offering.

Berlin-based Hello Fresh, which has a presence in 10 countries, launched its wine plan in the U.S. in May. It priced its IPO in November.

The Dom Pérignon delivery app.Source: Dom Pérignon
Expect more meal-kit companies to pile on. All-organic Sun Basket says vino offerings are part of its future strategy. Martha Stewart’s meal kit, Martha & Marley Spoon, is cross-promoting with Martha’s new wine website for bottles to go with the $160 complete Thanksgiving feast box. (Preview: the 2015 Pretium malbec from Cahors, made by Georges Vigoureux, in the Thanksgiving pack is terrific.)

Adding wine to your restaurant takeout order, on the other hand, is very much in the early stages, largely because of current alcohol regulations, which vary from state to state.

Are They Any Good?

But let’s start with meal kit wines: How are they?

If you’ve never signed up for a meal-kit system, here’s what you get: a weekly box packed with premeasured and chopped fresh ingredients, recipe cards, and step-by-step instructions for two to three dinners, as well as suggested wine pairings.

So Blue Apron and Hello Fresh were well-primed for the next step—providing actual bottles. Both programs are structured like wine clubs: You receive a box of six wines designed to go with the month’s recipes for a set price.

After tasting selections from both, I’d rate Blue Apron’s house wines as the clear winners. They’re way more sophisticated in taste and packaging.

Made by some of the West Coast’s star winemakers, such as Napa’s Steve Matthiasson and Helen Keplinger (in conjunction with Blue Apron’s own winemaker), exclusively to complement the company’s recipes, they’re bottled in California. Blue Apron holds a winery license, so the bottles can be legally shipped to 32 states, including New York.

Wines offered by home delivery service Hello Fresh.Source: Hello Fresh
I’m also a huge fan of their cute, 500 ml bottles, the equivalent of two-thirds of a standard one—perfect for two when you have reports to review after dinner.

Cost? A reasonable $65.99, including shipping, plus tax, for six bottles, or about $11 each. All come with pairing info and flavor profiles. Labels carry a convenient flavor symbol—a yellow diamond stands for crisp and minerally—that matches the one on appropriate meal recipes.

Of the dozen I sampled, the best were the tangy Mt. Beautiful pinot noir from New Zealand and spicy, fruity Medel pinot noir from Oregon, plus zingy Uvaggio Vermentino, savory, delicious white blends from Matthiasson, Vermillion, and De Sante L’Atelier, and a bright, minerally chardonnay labeled Le P’tit Paysan. (Note: You can also purchase these without buying a meal kit.)

Hello Fresh’s wine model is slightly different; it partners with online bargain retailer Lot 18, which buys from winemakers around the world, bottling the wines at its California winery. A Lot 18 buyer works with the Hello Fresh culinary team, hunting down reds and whites that are highly versatile to match with Hello Fresh recipes.

Monthly cost is $89.00 for six regular 750 ml bottles, about $15 each including shipping.

All those I tasted were pleasant, well-made entry-level wines with two standouts, the rich, lush Lustra Pinot Blanc from Monterey County and easy-to-like Voilà pinot noir.

The next meal-kit wine player will surely be giant Amazon.

As Bloomberg reported, the internet behemoth has already filed a trademark application for prepared food kits, after purchasing Whole Foods Market Inc., with 470 stores in dozens of states and a stellar, sommelier-headed wine program. Among the latest bottles on its shelves is a white made for it by star Italian winery in Piemonte, G.D. Vajra.

Meal Delivery, Plus Vino

But meal-kit companies aren’t the only businesses pushing to get wine pairings to your door. Apps for restaurant takeout are adding wine to go—at least where they can. San Francisco-based, now in 21 cities, is signing up top spots as fast as possible. You can order private-label Greek wines from San Francisco fast-casual spot Souvla, for example, but, sadly, because of New York State liquor regulations that bar restaurants from retailing wine, none of the stellar bottles on the list are at New York’s Charlie Bird. At least not yet.

In fact, getting wine delivered to your home or apartment as fast as possible has become yet another craving of the instant-gratification crowd. After all, you may suddenly need a special bottle while watching Netflix and chilling.

Half a dozen apps promise to bring you wines in less than an hour; in the U.K., Booze-Up claims it will get to you in 15 minutes, but the selections of spirits and wine are pretty ordinary. Minibar lists 387 wines and delivers in 60 minutes or less. Most wines are obvious inexpensive picks, such as Ménage à Trois red, but there are some top labels such as Domaine Drouhin pinot noir from Oregon and Grgich Hills Cabernet from Napa. The Liquor Cabinet delivers only spirits and cocktail makings.

Far better to turn to a luxury wine company. In partnership with delivery company Thirstie, Dom Pérignon launched one-hour delivery of rare vintages in New York and Miami this summer, and just last week it expanded to San Francisco and Palo Alto. If you’re craving the 2006 DP or the 1998 P2, just go on your phone, get out your credit card, make a few clicks, and set out some glasses.

Now if only it offered caviar to go, too.


Wine Weirdos Logo

Wine WeirdosOctober 30, 2017 

Mike Landucci of Wine Weirdos and Allison Levine of PLease the Palate review our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling in this 60 second video! 


Wine And Wonder

Polish Food

Wine & Wonder,
Robin Shreeves - October 22, 2017 

I spent last weekend laughing my ass off with three wonderful friends - Cheri, Lisa and Dina. I met them at summer camp when I was in high school, more than just a couple of years ago at this point. Now, we get together at least once a year to eat good food, drink good wine, enjoy the outdoors, and play card games that leave us in tears of laughter till late at night.

My friends all grew up in the Poconos where a large Polish population lives. Dishes like homemade pierogies and haluski were common in their homes (but definitely in mine). They decided to put these foods on the menu for one of our weekend meals. And I decided to do what I do best in these situations. I brought the wine.

Research led me to choosing Sauvignon Blanc, based on a recommendation from DeliPair. Put a link to a recipe in the website's search bar, and it suggests a wine based on the ingredients. The website suggested a Sauv Blanc from either Chile or New Zealand to complement the cabbage, butter, and spices in the food.

I had a bottle of Mt. Beautiful 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand sitting on my wine rack so I added that to the other wines I chose to take for the weekend, and off I went.

Lisa was mid-dumpling making when I arrived, and the kitchen smelled like a delicious time was about to be had. The dumplings were added to butter-sauteed cabbage for the haluski. She also made panache - potatoes and cheese spread between two thin layers of dough, baked in the oven and then spread with butter while still hot. Cheri brought homemade pierogies - more cheese, potatoes, and butter. Jalapeno cheddar kielbasa rounded out the dinner.

So what we had - besides a whole lot of yum - was something very rich, very buttery, and very fatty. Enter a crisp, lemony, acidic Sauvignon Blanc to cut through the heaviness and balance it all out. The pairing worked.

The Mt. Beautiful 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is bright with the aroma of grass, flowers and stone, with minerality, lemon, and some melon on the palate and a mouth-watering acidity. Depending on where you purchase it, this bottle falls into the $15-$18 range.

The winery, which is located in the Canterbury region on the South Island - where a lot of wonderful Sauvignon Blanc comes from - has a commitment to sustainability that I really appreciate.

Sustainable farming methods are a core value behind Mt. Beautiful's success; the vineyards and winery are certified-sustainable. In the vineyard, the team uses minimal input—they tread very carefully, using things like motorbikes to pull the mowers and harvesting by hand. Lush ground cover acts as host plants for parasitic wasps that naturally keep pests under control. Flowers and other plants attract beneficial insects in and around the grapevine rows. Additionally, after these helpful plants have flowered and served their purpose, their organic matter adds nutrients to the soil.


Capital Gazette Logo

Tom Marquardt And Patrick Darr

Capital Gazette, Wine, Etc ...
 Patrick Darr and Tom Marquardt 

October 18, 2017 

Please to be featured in this article! 

"There was a time when Halloween was for kids. Now it's also for adults who want to be kids. With many kids thankfully long gone from the nest and thus unable to witness the debauchery, adults don absurd costumes and party. When else can fear and death be so celebrated?

We've been to our share of Halloween parties and frankly they scare us. All these otherwise normal people dressed in expensive goblin garb or outfitted with bed sheets and face paint is enough to make us duck under the covers. But, after a few drinks, even the guy with the bloody axe seems to be hilarious.

If you are attending one of these feral soirees, why not complete the package with a scary wine? ... 

We recently tasted two current wines from Mt. Beautiful Winery from the North Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand. The Mt. Beautiful Rose 2016 ($15) is made from 100 percent pinot noir grapes and exhibits a luscious mouth filling cherry, strawberry, and watermelon nose and flavors.

We also enjoyed the Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 2015 ($26) that displayed bright cherry and cranberry elements with just a hint of elegant oak. A great package! Both of these wines are worthy of consideration."


The Times Tribune Dave Falcheck

The Times-Tribune, 
Dave Falcheck

Even as the weather cools and the air gets a bite to it, we don’t need to abandon white wines just yet.

Now is the time to reach for heavier, richer and spicier white wines as the leaves start to drop.

White grapes that originate in Rhône — such as the trinity of marsanne, roussanne and viognier — tend to make richer wines whose texture comes from the grape rather than oak aging.

Blindfold 2015 California White Wine offers a kitchen-sink blend of fall-ready grapes — chardonnay, roussanne, viognier, grenache blanc, marsanne and chenin blanc — and offers a viscous mouthful of baked apple and spice with a round texture and ripe finish. The wine shows a bit of creaminess and sweet oak from aging. $32.

A perennial favorite of mine is Priest Ranch Grenache Blanc. Made from a grape that is a mutation of the red grenache, Priest Ranch Napa Valley 2016 Grenache Blanc is a complete package with smells of starfruit, a rich texture and tropical notes. Yet, it manages to pull off a clean finish that crackles like dried leaves. Sadly, there are only a few of these left in the Pennsylvania system in an older vintage. $12. 1/2

I tried going back to Rhône for a deal but came up empty-handed. Cave de Tain Première Note Marsanne is dry and unfocused, with elementary tree fruit character and acidic finish for an anonymous, dry white wine. $12.

You would do better with another selection, such as a blend or Côte du Rhône Villages Blanc to try these grapes at the source.

Fall is the best time to enjoy a style of wine I usually avoid: oaky chardonnay. Substitute your pumpkin spice with oak spice in a wine such as Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury 2015 Chardonnay, which is fermented and aged in oak but in way that doesn’t result in a woody wine. The fruit in this New Zealand wine is so loaded with apple and nectarine character that it stands up to the buttery notes and oak spice. It almost tastes like a mulled wine. Even when it is cold, it tastes warm. $15.

Other suggestions for fall favorites include the off-dry Vouvray, made with fall-friendly grape chenin blanc. German wines that lean sweeter, such as riesling or sylvaner, are great this time of year by themselves.

DAVID FALCHEK, executive director of the American Wine Society, reviews wines each week. Link to article here. 


North Winds Wine Travel Blog Image

North Winds Wine Travel, Hilarie Larson

"New Zealand wine shines in the shade of Mount Beautiful"

​New Zealand is the epitome of ‘New World’ wine; innovative, eager, fresh and adventurous. Blazing new trails is nothing new in the world’s most southerly wine region.

The famous Southern Alps provide a much needed rain shadow for the vineyards of Mount Beautiful Winery in North Canterbury, New Zealand. photo courtesy of New Zealand Winegrowers

​‘Noble grapes’ (vitis vinefera) made their first appearance almost 100 years ago, in 1819, thanks to Church of England missionary Rev. Samuel Marsden, who planted vines on the North Island. The first wines, however, were created by James Busby, known as the ‘Father of Australian Wines’, thanks to his importation of vine cuttings from France and Spain. When he was posted to New Zealand in 1833, he brought a selection of the vines and produced his first vintage in 1836.

For decades, New Zealand’s most prevalent variety was an American grape, Isabella, that produced mostly sweet and fortified wines for local consumption. By the 1960’s and 70’s, vineyards began to expand to cooler regions and these obscure varieties were replaced with higher quality vinifera. One of the biggest influences occurred in the 1980’s, thanks to a young, government viticulturist by the name of Dr. Richard Smart. His bold, new ideas centered around ‘canopy management’ (the canopy being the leaves of the vine) and how it could be utilized to balance the growth of the plant and control yields. These ‘modern’ techniques are now commonly implemented around the wine-world.

Vineyard site selection became more important and many growers were drawn to the Southern Island with its cooler climate. New Zealand wines began to rise in quality and quantity, making export, especially of their trademark Sauvignon Blanc, a reality.

New Zealand, the world's most southerly wine grown region, hosts award winning vineyards on both the north and south islands. 

​Today, vines are planted in 9 growing regions on both the North and South Islands. While officially in a temperate climate zone, the entire region is subject to huge maritime influences. The oceans moderate the temperatures, but also bring moisture, humidity and winds like the strong, westerly ‘Roaring 40’s’.

For this reason, the majority of the vineyards on the South Islands are planted on the gentle, undulating, western slopes of the Southern Alps, a chain of 18 high mountain peaks that form the ‘spine’ of the island. The mountains shield the vines from extreme winds, giving the area a long, dry growing season with plentiful sun.

The region of Canterbury/North Canterbury has been acclaimed by Decanter Magazine, as‘ the center of the finest Pinot Noir in the Southern hemisphere.’ yet it is still unknown by many wine lovers. Thanks to Mt. Beautiful Winery, that is all about to change.

David Teece, owner and founder of Mount Beautiful Winery, spent years searching for the perfect expression of New Zealand's many unique terroirs. photo courtesy of

​In the early 2000s, New Zealand native and renowned economic scholar David Teece, went in search of an ‘off the radar’, unique spot where he could start a vineyard and return to his family farming roots. In true, pioneering spirit, he finally located four farms in North Canterbury. The land was a mix of soft slopes and steep hills, with gullies and flats and a myriad of soil types. The farms lay in the shadow of Mount Beautiful.

Vines, an array of 30 different clones matched to the individual terroir, were planted in 2003 through 2005. Sauvignon Blanc is the most prolific and planted in the cooler, northern blocks, while Pinot Gris enjoys the warmer, north facing hills of silt and clay. The first variety to be bottled was Riesling, also planted in the higher elevations and sheltered by neighboring pine forests. Chardonnay joined the portfolio in 2013, but it’s the Pinot Noir, nestled in the warmer, southern sections, that really embody what Mt Beautiful is all about..

At a recent event, I had a chance to sample some of the latest vintages and enjoy a few perfect food pairings.

2016 Mt Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
Not your typical ‘grassy, kiwi’ New Zealand take, but a more sophisticated and elegant, Bordeaux style. A small portion was barrel fermented, lending a nice balance between soft mango and ripe, tropical nuances and the slightly zesty kumquat notes on the finish. The pairing was a blueberry, nectarine and cream cheese galette, which accentuated the fruit character of the wine.

2015 Mt Beautiful Pinot Gris
Classic stone fruit aromas of peach and pear met with fresh cut hay and white florals that lingered through to the surprisingly full finish. Seeded whole-wheat crackers topped with chèvre and apricot preserves were a pitch perfect pairing.

2015 Mt Beautiful Pinot Noir
More Old World than New, with raspberry and dark strawberry notes, tinged with fresh thyme, fresh forest floor and light toast notes. Very easy to drink as an ‘apéro’ wine but food friendly, too. Paired nicely with Sweet Peppers stuffed with a herbed cream cheese.


 Wine Enthusiast Magazine Logo

2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
92 points, Editor's Choice - Christina Pickard, Wine Enthusiast

"This Pinot, from the cool climes of the unsung region of North Canterbury, is downright sultry. This shows a dense nose of blue fruit, cherry, chocolate, baking spice and violets, while the palate slinks with tart cherry and earth, hugged by elegant, fine grained tannins and a long, chocolatey finish. Drink now–2022. Mt. Beautiful USA. Editors’ Choice. —C.P." 

View Wine Enthusiast's December 2017 Buying Guide here


Napa Valley Register

Please The Palate Allison Levine

Napa Valley Register and Please the Palate, Allison Levine

"I was sitting in an outdoor patio in Healdsburg on a classically beautiful early afternoon. The sun was shining, a nice breeze was blowing and I ordered oysters. With the briny, delicate oysters, a natural pairing is a crisp, acidic sauvignon blanc.

Although I was in Sonoma, I found myself sipping a sauvignon blanc from Mt. Beautiful from North Canterbury in New Zealand. While it is not uncommon to find New Zealand wines throughout the U.S., there is a connection between Mt. Beautiful in New Zealand and California.

David Teece, founder of Mt. Beautiful, is a New Zealand native who lives in Berkeley, California. Raised in Lower Moutere along the Tasman Bay on the South Island of New Zealand, Teece’s father started a trucking company that transported items from outlying farms to the cities. His father also purchased a fallow quarter-acre lot next to their home, which Teece and his brother cultivated crops.

Growing up in the outdoors and working with nature are normal activities in New Zealand. But Teece left to study economics and geology at University of Canterbury. He pursued a career in academics and today is the Tusher Professor in Global Business at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, as well as the director of the Tusher Center for Intellectual Capital. Writing more than 30 books and 200 scholarly papers and co-editor of the Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management, Teece is considered one of the world’s most cited scholars in business and economics.

Settled and living in Berkeley, Teece’s love for the outdoors and enjoyment of risky endeavors led him to look for a location in New Zealand to plant grapes. Consulting with his friend Ron Sutherland, a geologist and vineyard consultant, Teece wanted to grow grapes in New Zealand where no one had done it before. Sutherland explored the northern part of the South Island, which includes the Marlborough and Waipara regions. Ultimately, he found a place that no one had yet planted, North Canterbury.

Canterbury is a region in the middle of the South Island with Christchurch as the main city. Famous as a location used in filming “The Lord of the Rings,” vineyards were first established on the Canterbury Plains in 1978. Waipara Valley in Northern Canterbury, 40 minutes north of Christchurch, was first planted in the 1980s. Mt. Beautiful is even farther north of Waipara, on the northern tip of the North Canterbury wine region, approximately an hour and a half north of Christchurch.

Ron Sutherland had located an awesome site that consisted of four farms and Teece purchased the property in 2003. This area of North Canterbury had not been planted to grapes yet but he and Teece saw something special. They named the wines Mt. Beautiful after the series of mountains of the same name that are along the coastal range to the east.

The vineyard sits below the mountains that protect it from the winds from the Pacific Ocean. It has a cool maritime climate with hot summers with Nor West winds and cooler winters. The property is home to a variety of microclimates with 23 different soil profiles, including silt loam, clay, mudstone and alluvia gravel. With these characteristics, Teece achieves his goal to produce distinctive wines.

Today, there are approximately 180 acres planted to vines and Mt. Beautiful produces riesling (planted in 2005), sauvignon blanc (planted in 2004-2006), pinot gris (planted 2005-2006), chardonnay (planted 2006-2011), rosé of pinot noire and pinot noir (planted 2004-2013).

— Mt. Beautiful 2015 Riesling, North Canterbury – Riesling was the first wine that Mt. Beautiful produced and it is a gorgeous wine. On the nose, there are aromas of grapefruit, stone fruit and white flowers, as well as a flinty note. And on the palate, the wine has citrus, apple and mineral notes with bright acidity. There is a bit of residual sugar in this wine and yet the acidity balances it out. This is a perfect wine to pair with a spicy dish.

— Mt. Beautiful 2016 Sauvignon Blanc, North Canterbury – Not all New Zealand sauvignon blanc tastes like a green grass herb garden and this is one of those. A small portion of the juice is fermented in new and used barrels and is aged on the lees for nine months. The resulting wine showcases tropical flavors and floral aromatics and is bright and crisp with a creamy mid-palate. This wine is a beautiful match for shellfish, especially oysters.

— Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Gris, North Canterbury – The pinot gris is a blend of some grapes picked early for good acidity and some grapes picked later for concentration. The resulting wine has intense floral, tropical fruit and pear aromas and intense acidity and minerality on the finish. The wine has a lovely mouthfeel and can be enjoyed with grilled salmon or chicken.

Mt. Beautiful 2015 Chardonnay, North Canterbury – A well-balanced wine, this chardonnay is picked in three batches according to ripeness. Part of the juice is barrel fermented which goes through partial malolactic fermentation and part is fermented in stainless steel and then the wine is aged for nine months on the lees. The resulting wine has aromas of stone fruits and apple that continue onto the palate. There is also a hint of roasted almonds and brioche on the palate, as well as a touch of flintiness. The creamy texture with elegant acidity make this a wine to also enjoy with salmon and chicken.

— Mt. Beautiful 2016 Rosé, North Canterbury – The rose is made from pinot noir that was pressed off after a short period of skin contact and then fermented. A bright pink color, the wine has notes of red berries and on the palate is crisp and fresh with notes of grapefruit, bright acidity and minerality.

— Mt. Beautiful 2015 Pinot Noir, North Canterbury – On the nose, the pinot noir has classic notes of raspberry, cherry, red currant and violet. On the palate, it is a smooth wine with notes of black cherry and white pepper. The pinot noir is a medium-bodied wine with intense acidity that makes it ideal to enjoy with salmon, lamb, duck or pork."


 Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional's Magazine,  Bob Barnes

"Mt. Beautiful Wines from New Zealand

Appreciation for New Zealand wine continues to increase, and for good
reason, as the region’s maritime climate provides vineyards with extended
sunshine hours and cool night sea breezes provide a long, slow ripening period
resulting in flavor growth. A worthy example is the wines of Mt. Beautiful, a North
Canterbury winery located on the South Island of New Zealand. 100% estate
grown and certified sustainable, production is focused on Sauvignon Blanc
and Pinot Noir but also smaller quantities of Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay
and Rose are produced.

The Sauvignon Blanc pushes the boundaries of the typical New Zealand flavor
profile, highlighting tropical flavors, toning down the grassiness with a crisp
finish with bright minerality.

The Pinot Gris combines stone fruit, apples, juicy ripe pears, and a touch of
floral honey with a persistent finish.
The Chardonnay features aromatics of ripe apple, stone fruits, and nectarines,
and has a creamy texture that makes it easy to drink, with underlying notes of
buttered brioche.

Unlike some Rieslings, Mt. Beautiful’s is not overly sweet, and has dry flavors of
honeysuckle, lime and wintersweet flower and finishes with a lingering acidity.
The Pinot Noir, the personal favorite of owner David Teece, begins with
fragrances of black cherries and violets followed by a palate of ripe bramble
fruit and subtle tannins.

The traditionally made Rosé is produced from Pinot Noir juice that was pressed
off after a period of light contact and fermented in barrel and tank. The 2016
vintage boasts floral notes and intense sweet red berry aromas, and a creamy
and dry palate with hints of watermelon and pink grapefruit."


 Bigger Than Your Head Wine Blog

Bigger Than Your Head, Fredric Koeppel

A passel of sauvignon blanc wines today, most from California, but one from New York, a pair from Chile and one from New Zealand are included. With three exceptions, these are from vintage 2016. Prices range from about $14 to $50, and a number of real bargains can be found. As is typical with the Weekend Wine Notes, I eschew most technical, historical, geological/geographical and personnel data for the sake of quick and incisive reviews, ripped, as it were, from the pages of my notebooks and designed to pique your interest and stimulate the palate. Enjoy! And always consume in moderation.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 2016, North Canterbury, New Zealand. 14.1% alc. Pale gold; lime zest and green bean, grapefruit and pea-shoot, gooseberry and roasted fennel, with penetrating notes of iodine and seashell; a pert, tart and sassy sauvignon blanc that tickles the palate with an herbal edge and bright acidity; a bracing, saline finish. Rich with nuance and not exaggerated. Excellent. About $16, a Great Bargain.



Food Wine Travel Chix, Linda Milks

Exploring wines from around the world is always a delight, and on a pleasant Sunday afternoon the Wine Review Council sat down to see what the North Canterbury region on the South Island of New Zealand had to offer. Mt. Beautiful Winery lies at the foot of its namesake, Mt. Beautiful, part of the coastal range to the east that protects the vineyards from ocean winds. (By the way, a bit of trivia is that about 90% of New Zealand wines have screw caps.)

Wine Review Council
Each member of our wine council brings a pairing for one of the wines we sample. Often we find different pairings work just as well if not better than the one we chose. Three of the wines stood out to us which will be what I want to share with you.

Our favorite wine of the afternoon was the Pinot Gris ($18.99). Pinot Gris isn’t a favorite varietal of mine, but this one was delicious. The first thing I noticed was the floral fragrance of jasmine. A sip fills your palate with a lush roundness of ripe pears, apples, and stone fruit. One of the things I liked the most was the long finish with a minerality to it. Our group paired it with Nut & Fruit Crisps topped with Chevre and Apricot Compote. This was a perfect pairing that complemented the stone fruit and creaminess of the wine.

Our second choice was the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99). This wine is composed of clones from California and a fourth of the clones are from Bordeaux. The Bordeaux clones lift up the flavor and lessen the cut grass typical of Sauvignon Blanc. Again, our noses picked up floral aromatics with flavors of tropical fruits like melon, guava, and honeydew. The Sauvignon Blanc is creamy on the mid-palate and has a crispness at the end. We noticed more grassiness as the wine opened up. The Sauvignon Blanc was paired with a Nectarine and Blueberry Cream Galette, another good pairing that complemented the fruit and creaminess of this good wine.

The third wine that we enjoyed was the 2015 Pinot Noir ($24.99). Pinot Noir is one of my favorite varietals, so I was excited to try one from this New Zealand region. Violets and blackberries greet your nose. My palate picked up cherry and blackberries as well as earth. I find in Pinot Noir the terroir (composed of climate, soil, and terrain) is one of the most telling and interesting aspects of the varietal, and this one had its own special earthiness. Our group paired a crostini topped with bacon, fig jam, and cream cheese. Another delicious pairing.

Wine Line Up: 
Once I have had the opportunity to taste some unusual and delicious wines, I want more information about the wines. To learn more about the winery and its history as well as more of their wines, go to Mt. Beautiful’s website at

To find these wines online for purchase in the United States, I went to

Happy drinking of some beautiful wines from down under


Vegas Seven Logo

Drink This of Vegas Seven, Bob Barnes

A Few Sips From the Beverage Program at Robert Irvine’s Public House

Last May, celebrity chef Robert Irvine drew attention to his announcement of plans for a dining concept at the Tropicana when he rappelled 22 stories down the side of the resort. Now, a year later, the Food Network TV star and host of the syndicated talk show The Robert Irvine Show opens his first Las Vegas restaurant, Robert Irvine’s Public House, on July 27.

The 275-seat space, situated on the northern side of Tropicana’s casino floor, offers a varied beverage program. As the eatery’s motto is “There is no greater happiness than a full pint and a full plate,” it should come as no surprise that beer is a star, with 32 taps and 30 cans and bottles offered. The selection includes brews that are not the usual suspects on the Strip, such as Prairie BOMB Imperial Stout, Evil Twin Old Fashioned Lemonade IPA, Unibroue La Fin du Monde and Mikkeller Beer Geek Dessert. Local beers are not left out, with the likes of Able Baker Brewing IPA and Chris Kael Impale’d Ale, as well as Tenaya Creek 702 Pale Ale, Hauling Oats Oatmeal Stout and Bonanza Brown Ale.

More than a dozen signature cocktails are available, and as Patrón is Irvine’s spirit of choice, you’ll likely be enjoying El Karma—Patrón Reposado, Mixwell Mojave Grapefruit Soda, lime wedges, grapefruit peel and chili aleppo salt. The restaurant also has a namesake cocktail, the P.H.T. (Public House Tonic), a concoction with Plymouth Gin, Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic, a cucumber strip, lemon and lime wheels and fresh mint. Irvine emphasizes that all of the libations are made with fresh fruit and vegetables. Several cocktails use beet or carrot vodka from Boardroom Spirits—“a line of vodkas, gin, Scotch and bourbon—and we’ll be using all of them,” he says. Irvine is a partner in the company.

Oenophiles have options of red, white and sparkling, with an emphasis on California and Pacific Northwest wineries, along with selections from Italy, New Zealand and France. Brand highlights include Eroica Riesling, Whispering Angel Rosé, Argyle Pinot Noir, Stags’ Leap Artemis Cabernet and Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.

“We have something for everyone and a lot of drinks you won’t find anywhere else,” Irvine says. “I want people to get out of their comfort zones and try something different. And you’ll be able to enjoy a good drink and a good meal and not have to spend your mortgage.”

Read the entire article here.


 Bigger Than Your Head Wine Blog

Bigger Than Your Head, Frederic Koeppel, July 2017

"No kissy-face little princess of complacency, here’s a pinot gris from New Zealand that will make you take it and yourself seriously. It’s also quite delicious. The Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris 2015, North Canterbury, fermented and aged in a combination of old oak barrels and stainless steel tanks, producing a pale pale gold wine that deftly balances an appealing almost lush, talc-like texture with the litheness and fleet crispness of bright acidity.

Aromas of heather and hay, roasted lemon and lemon balm, lime peel and grapefruit get a big assist from burgeoning notes of damp flint and limestone, with an ineffable wafting of lilac and graphite. On the palate, structure is the main event, fashioned along the lines of bracing salinity and seashell-chalk-limestone minerality; while squaring your shoulders for that admittedly supple onslaught — and this is a shatteringly dry wine — enjoy the tasty and attractive flavors of fresh apples and spiced pears, all aimed toward a finish of cloves, steel and grapefruit rind.

The slight tension between texture and structure keeps the wine lively and exciting. 14.5 percent alcohol. Drink through 2019 to ’21 with grilled fish, seafood risotto or, a favorite at our house, cod stew with leeks, potatoes and chorizo. Production was 1,450 cases. Excellent. About $19."


 Sf Wine Competition Logo  SF International Wine CompetitionSF International Wine Competition Double Gold Medal Winner

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." 


Foodandwinetravelchix (1)

Linda Kissam,, July 2017

Roses For Summer Boating Season

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."


Gayot Logo 400X209

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."


Tasting Panel

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.


Wine Spectator Magazine Logo
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!


Wine Spectator Magazine Logo
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.”


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.


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

The Celebrity Cafe Angela Corry

Editor-in-Chief of 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 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. 


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"


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.”


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.


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



Our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc was featured as one of ten "Top Drops" in Restaurant and Cafe, a publication deadicated to sharing food industry news in New Zealand.

Top Drops Mt Beautiful SB 2015 Mar 17


Meet Tiffany Tonnerre

Meet Tiffany Tonnerre, our Western US Sales Manager!

Effective March 27, 2017, Tonnerre will manage and increase Mt. Beautiful’s expansive growth throughout the Western United States.

Tonnerre possesses over 20 years’ combined experience in the food and beverage industry. Most recently she was the Northern California Key Accounts Manager for Henry Wine Group.

Prior roles in the wine industry include serving as the Northwest Regional Manager for Champagne Laurent-Perrier for over 10 years, as well serving as a Fine Wine Key Account Specialist with Southern Wine & Spirits.

“We are very excited to welcome Tiffany to the Mt. Beautiful team,” says Robert Watkins, CEO of Mt Beautiful, Teece Family Vineyards and Farms.

“Given our exponential growth this past year, I look forward to Tiffany’s contributions managing and enriching our distributor relationships throughout the Western United States.

Tiffany is a well-respected professional in the industry and possesses a breadth of sales experience at many levels that will serve Mt. Beautiful well in the market place.

Contact Tiffany Tonnerre directly at


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."


Restaurant Wine Logo

Restaurant Wine, February 2017

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc

4 stars!

"Screw cap. Round and delicately flavored, this is fine Sauvignon at the price. It is full bodied, crisp, and long on the finish, tasting of pear, grapefruit, guava, pineapple, herbs, and fig. Excellent value. Unwooded. 9,600 cases. 14.5% [2017-2018]"

- Ronn Wiegand



TheShout, January 2017

Our 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines were just reviewed in New Zealand based TheShout magazine by Cameron Douglas MS. 

91 Points

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay
Fine bouquet of sweet, ripe stone fruit and apple all dipping in newish oak with vanilla and wood aromas, some mineral and wild flowers and a touch of wild honey add depth and complexity. On the palate – juicy, fresh, ripe, warm and dry; flavours of citrus before stone fruit, noticeable wood spice with mild tannins, medium acidity and a fairly lengthy finish; decent complexity and desirable flavours. Serve cool to serve; drink now and through 2022.

91 Points

2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
Very fruity, ripe and varietal bouquet with dark cherry and raspberry fruits, plum and wild red florals, mineral and toasty wood tones. Very youthful and tense on the nose, but with complexity leading to high expectations on the palate. Mineral, plums, dark cherry and wild berry fruit flavours, dry and spicy with toasty wood tones; medium+ tannin impact with velvet to course silk textures; youthful, tense and lengthy. A wine requiring cellar time and some peace and quiet to find harmony – which it will. Decant for service, best drinking from 2018 through 2026.


 Rodeo Uncorked Houston Livestock And Rodeo (1)

Rodeo Uncorked! - Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, November 2016

Mt. Beautiful Winery was awarded four silver medals on the following wines at its 2017 wine competition, Rodeo Uncorked!

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc - $15.99 /  bottle - Purchase
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris - $18.99 / bottle - Purchase
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - $25.99 / bottle - Purchase
2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling - $21.99 /  bottle - Purchase

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris - 92 Points!

  Wine Review Online

Wine Review Online, Michael Apstein, November 2016

"New Zealand has made such a name for itself with Sauvignon Blanc that one tends to forget it makes other excellent wines, such as this Pinot Gris.  This beautifully framed Pinot Gris conveys ripe, but not over ripe, stone fruit flavors offset by a hint of pear skin-like bitterness.  It has the perfect weight in the mouth -- not ethereal, nor heavy.  It’s a beautiful wine with invigorating balancing acidity that complements sushi, spiced Asian fare, or a simple roast chicken."

18.99 / bottle   |    227.88 / case




MiNDFOOD, Jai Breitnauer, September 2016

We're excited to be "one of six cellars you can't drive past" in this beautifully written article about wineries in the Waipara Valley.

"With their incredible views, delicious local food and world-class wines, Waipara Valley is definitely the place to pull over.

Mt Beautiful vineyard is run by David and Leigh Teece, who established it in 2004. They have 80 hectares of vines including pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and riesling. Surrounding the sustainable vineyard is the Teece family beef and lamb farms with a tasting room in Cheviot."

Click here to read the whole article.


Shoutout Cameron Douglas (1)

Hospitality Magazine, Cameron Douglas MS, September 2016

Click the image above to read Cameron Douglas's article "Aren't All Rieslings Sweet?" featuringa review on Mt. Beautiful's 2015 Riesling he scored with 92 points!

92 Points!

“Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Riesling 2015: Mineral, dry stone, citrus and apple combinations, rose and apple blossom fragrances, a bouquet. Dry, crisp, loaded with texture and flavour, ripe fruits, mineral, a hint of honeysuckle and baked fruits, a light leesy texture adding length and finish.”

21.99 / bottle   |    263.88 / case



Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee
, Mike Dunne, August 2016

Here's a clip from a recent post in the Sacramento Bee featuring our 2015 Riesling paired with this cool and refreshing summertime favorite!

"Tomatoes and Wine, a Delectable Combination

Gazpacho: The first obligation of gazpacho is to be cool and refreshing, and that standard also applies to any wine poured alongside. The Mt. Beautiful 2015 North Canterbury Riesling ($22) has the energy and spine to dance gracefully with any relatively delicate take on gazpacho."

21.99 / bottle   |    263.88 / case




, August 2016

Out of 172 New Zealand pinots tasted, only seven rated higher. Mt. Beautiful's 2014 Pinot Noir received an average of 92 points and is Highly Recommended!

"Alongside bright cherry notes, there is a compelling core of minerality that sits effortlessly on the palate. Pure, evocative pinot character that is enticing and rich. Floral and earthy finish."

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88  / case



Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas MS, July 2016

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

90 Points

"Light, crisp, fresh and varietal with aromas of sweet cranberry, red plum and red cherry, a light mineral layer adds depth and complexity. On the palate – juicy red fruit flavours, light to medium silky tannins and plenty of acidity, a layer on tension in the structure adds both texture and poise. Cherry and light red plum with some raspberry notes, moderate sweet oak and fairly lengthy finish. Balanced and well made."

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88  / case



Detroit News Logo

The Detroit News
, Sandra Silfven, July 2016

Your Wednesday Wine; Mt. Beautiful from NZ

“MT. BEAUTIFUL is an actual mountain on the South Island of New Zealand and the name of a winery that makes beautiful wines — including a Sauvignon Blanc that does not exhibit the usual green, herbal character that is trademark for this country, but juicy tropical fruit and citrus. The Riesling has all the delicacy and finesse of the Mosel.

Mt. Beautiful is in North Canterbury, a region along the central-eastern part of the South Island, bordering the coast. The wines are grown inland from the ocean and are protected from the harsh winds by Mt. Beautiful. The winery was founded by New Zealand native and scholar-entrepreneur Dr. David J. Teece who spent two years with wife Leigh searching for an undiscovered area of his homeland to grow grapes. The grapes are certified sustainably grown and only estate grapes are used for the wines. From the labels to the nectar in the bottles, these wines live up to the name of the winery. The Mt. Beautiful script on the label is from the actual handwriting of proprietor Dr. David Teece’s deceased father, Allan Teece. The tasting room is in the town of Cheviot.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury New Zealand 2015, $15.99: The back Riesling-Bottle-Shot-Transparent[1]label says it all: “We have set a new precedent for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.” You will find this one is not so tart, grassy and herbal as the signature Marlborough style. It has lovely tropical fruit and a subtle creaminess on the midpalate. It has white floral tones with intense melon, mandarin orange, green apple and just a touch of herbs in the finish. It’s crisp and dry, fruity, packed with layers of flavor. It’s a very different style for New Zealand, and I love it.

Mt. Beautiful Riesling North Canterbury New Zealand 2015, $21.99: This delightful creation does a dance on the palate with its bright tones of pink grapefruit and honeysuckle blossoms, its sumptuous juicy texture and minerality that races through everything. Close your eyes and you swear it came from a steep hillside along the Mosel. It’s made from two distinct blocks in the vineyard. Riesling is the first wine Mt. Beautiful made for release to the public."

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
15.99 / bottle   |  191.88 / case

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling
21.99 / bottle  |  263.88 / case



Bigger Than Your Head, Fredric Koeppel, July 2016

Wine of the Day, No. 155

“Last night, LL made a fabulous stir-fry with shrimp, snow-peas, red bell pepper and jalapeno. She made a broth from the shrimp shells and a bunch of vegetables and also gently heated canola oil in a small pan with chopped garlic and ginger and some red pepper flakes. Then she marinated the shrimp in that oil. After the stir-frying, she used the broth to thicken the sauce. The result was deep and wonderful flavors and textures. Of course we wanted a white wine, something that would balance the hint of spicy heat emanating from the red pepper flakes and jalapeno, so I opened a bottle of the Mt. Beautiful Riesling 2015, from New Zealand’s North Canterbury region. Made all in stainless steel, this riesling exudes freshness and immediate appeal, while just a suggestion of off-dryness in the entry provided an appropriate foil for the spiciness of the dish. The color is very pale gold; lovely aromas of pears and green apples are touched with notes of lychee, peach and jasmine, cloves and white pepper, and a few minutes in the glass bring in hints of tangerine, lime peel and roasted lemon, all of these elements perfectly integrated. The segue onto the palate is seamless, and from mid-course back through the finish the wine feels bone-dry, animated by chiming acidity and scintillating limestone minerality. A wine with the word “beautiful” in the name better live up to its billing; this one, golden and glittering, certainly does. 11.5 percent alcohol. Production was 1,100 cases. Drink now through 2019 to ’20. Excellent. About $22.”

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

21.99 / bottle   |   263.88 / case



Wines Of Canterbury

We have great news!

Wines of Canterbury has announced its results for the 2016 Canterbury Wine Awards, and Mt. Beautiful's Pinot Noir is a Silver Medal winner! This event, now well established and in its fifth year saw a record number of wineries enter their wines for judging along with a record number of medals awarded.

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

"... sophisticated fragrances of black cherries and violets, ... ripe bramble fruit and subtle tannins." - Winemaker, Sam Weaver

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88 / case



Grape Radio Logo
GrapeRadio - Wine Talk Show, 2016

"2016 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Southern Charm: the Pinots of New Zealand

This seminar from the 2016 World of Pinot Noir features the winemakers from five New Zealand estates discussing the topography, geography, and growing conditions in some of the different regions of New Zealand – Waipara Valley, Central Otago, North Canterbury, and Marlborough.

Listen to Sara Schneider of Sunset Magazine as she monitors this fascinating seminar, featuring the Pinots of Greystone (known as Grey’s Peak in the U.S.), Maori Point, Mt. Beautiful, Mt. Difficulty and Villa Maria. Mt. Beautiful!"

Hint: the segment on Mt. Beautiful starts at 32:30 minutes.



LA Intl Wine Competition
Los Angeles Int'l Wine Competition, 2016

"For 77 years, the Los Angeles International Wine Competition has showcased the finest domestic and international vintages through a wine-tasting event that is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious in the United States. An esteemed panel of judges use a blind-tasting method, maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism that has remained the competition’s foundation for 77 years."

We are pleased to share Mt. Beautiful Winery's results from the 2016 Los Angeles Wine Competition:

Gold Medal, 91 Points - Best In Class
2014 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

Silver Medal
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris



Sf Wine Competition Logo

SF Wine Competition, 2016

"The largest and most influential international wine competition in America, the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) has been setting the standard for professional wine judging since its debut in 1980. Now in its 36th year, the SFIWC maintains the highest level of integrity with a blind-tasting system performed by a highly experienced panel of internationally acclaimed wine experts.

A SFIWC medal has been established as a reliable indication of wine excellence, and wines recognized as medal-worthy by our judges are universally understood to be among the very best."

We are pleased to announce that our 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir received a Silver Medal in the Pinot Noir class of this year's 2016 San Francisco International Wine Competition!

25.99 /  bottle    |    311.88 /  case



Raymond Chan Logo
By Raymond Chan, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, June 2016

Necoiants New Zealand Fine Wine Tour 2016

"One of the highlights on the vinous calendar is the annual Negociants New Zealand Fine Wine Tour. Primarily targetting the hospitality and wine trade, Negociants have in recent years opened the tasting to the public. The tour features the New Zealand and Australian wineries from the portfolio, and the proprietors and winemakers pour and discuss their wines. This year, there were 20 New Zealand exhibitors, and 6 Australians on show, and thus well over 100 wines to taste. The exhibitors feature some very high profile names, as well as some lesser known, but the quality of the wines offered is extremely high. In addition to having the wines to taste, the tour runs masterclasses which focus on selected varieties or styles. It’s a very valuable event to attend. This year, the tour was held in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch.

2015 Mt Beautiful Riesling, North Canterbury, New Zealand
Riesling has probably been the variety with the most potential for Mt Beautiful, and this 2015 is arguably the best yet, fulfilling the promise. Bright, pale straw-yellow with slight lemon hues. This has lovely lime, sherbet and honeysuckle aromas, along with beautiful (no pun intended) exotic florals, the backbone being fresh citrus fruits. Off-dry to taste, the palate is crisp, zesty and tight, pure and clean with linearity and purpose. There’s a fine balance between the refine phenolic libe and acidity, the fruit still tightly bound. This is focussed and intense. It will develop well."

21.99 /  bottle    |      263.88 /  case



By Food and Wine, July 2016

Food And Wine Logo
Recipe by Kay Chun, Photo Credit: Con Poulos

Food And Wine Magazine Pairing Mt Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc

"Corn-and-Zucchini Orzo Salad with Goat Cheese

F&W's Kay Chun takes pasta salad to a new level with sweet grilled corn, zucchini and a creamy lime dressing spiked with chile powder. She uses fresh cilantro to add brightness and then tops the whole salad with tangy slivers of fresh goat cheese.

Total Time: 45 minutes  |  Servings: 4

How to make this recipe

  1. Light a grill or heat a grill pan. In a large bowl, toss the corn and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat until charred and crisp-tender, about 10 minutes for the zucchini and 15 minutes for the corn. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool. Cut 
the kernels off the corncobs and coarsely chop the zucchini. Transfer to a large bowl.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the orzo until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool. Drain well and spread the orzo out on a baking sheet; pat dry with paper towels

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the lime juice, shallot, chile powder and 1/2 cup of the cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Add the orzo, corn, zucchini and the remaining chopped cilantro and mix well. Transfer to a platter. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the frozen goat cheese all over the top and serve."

Suggested pairing: Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc

15.99 /  bottle    |     191.88 /  case



By Scoop Independent News Education, May 2016

Scoop Logo

"Historic telescope will return stargazing to city

The University of Canterbury (UC) Foundation charity aims to bring back a piece of Christchurch’s astronomical heritage by restoring the Townsend Teece Telescope to the city centre.

For 114 years, the telescope was available for public stargazing on clearFriday nights, and introduced people of all ages to the wonders of the night sky and the science of astronomy. Since its installation in the University’s Observatory Tower in 1896, the telescope was maintained and operated for public viewing by what is now the University of Canterbury’s Department of Physics and Astronomy as part of its commitment to science outreach in the community.

The Observatory Tower was damaged in the 4 September 2010 Christchurch earthquake and collapsed in the 22 February 2011 earthquake. The telescope was badly damaged in the collapse, but, miraculously, the lens was found intact.

The University of Canterbury Astronomy Department is holding an exhibition of the Townsend Teece Telescope pieces, including a look into the upcoming restoration project. This is on display to the public in the gallery space on the ground floor of the Matariki building at UC’s Ilam campus until 6 July.

The Townsend Telescope, donated to the then Canterbury College by James Townsend in 1891, is a historic 6-inch refractor constructed by the renowned English telescope-making firm Thomas Cooke & Sons of York & London in 1864.

A generous donation by UC alumnus Professor David Teece, his wife Leigh Teece and their family, will allow the restoration of this historic telescope. Renamed the Townsend Teece Telescope, the restored telescope will be returned to a rebuilt Observatory Tower in its heritage central city home in the Christchurch Arts Centre, enabling the people of Christchurch and visitors to enjoy stargazing through this beautiful and historic telescope once again.

Professor and Mrs Teece will be coming to New Zealand from their home in California to visit the exhibition in June.

This exhibition showcases the story of the telescope: its famous craftsman telescope maker, to its original Christchurch owner who observed the transit of Venus and searched in vain for the planet Vulcan, to its donation to Canterbury College and its use as a public outreach and engagement tool in its heritage central city site.

Associate Professor Karen Pollard, Director of the University of Canterbury’s Mt John Observatory says that astronomy allows us to think about our place in the universe and is particularly fascinating for children.

“The telescope is a very useful vehicle for introducing science to children and getting them interested in asking questions about how the world (and the universe) works. This is the reason that the Townsend Observatory was so useful as an outreach tool for the Department of Physics and Astronomy – it was very accessible and was a way of bringing astronomy and science to children and the wider public.’

Sarah Bouckoms was the last Townsend Observer to use the telescope before the earthquakes brought the tower tumbling down.

“I loved teaching the children about the stars, and watching the wonder on their faces as they realised they’d seen the real thing, not pretend stars painted onto the end of it. It was fun watching fathers telling their children about Granddad taking them to use the telescope when they were their age,” she says.

Chris Whitty was the site manager at the Arts Centre at the time of the earthquakes and remembers using the telescope as a young boy.

“Having worked at the Arts Centre for 23 years, I was absolutely gutted when the Observatory Tower collapsed, burying the telescope. Thankfully there were no major injuries as the Tower was covered in scaffolding for repairs, and we had been inside the Tower exactly a day earlier. It took a week to sift through the 35 tonnes of rubble to find the remains of the telescope,” Whitty says.

“Finding the telescope lens intact was a miracle and means that it can be reconstructed. With the salvaged stones from the rubble, we can also rebuild the tower, bringing Townsend’s legacy back to life. I’m looking forward to showing it to my own boys.”

The Townsend Teece Telescope will be restored over the next three years by Graeme Kershaw, Senior Technician in the UC Physics and Astronomy Department.

“The Cooke refractor is the epitome of the popular perception of what a telescope looks like,” he says.

“Built of brass, cast iron and bronze, it looks like a telescope, one that you look up into in direct line of sight with the object you are viewing, as if you are seeing the object with your naked eye. Some of the people who have used this telescope literally shed a tear when they saw images of the wreckage for the first time. For those people the Townsend has become a part of their lives, a part of their history.”


By Christopher Null, DrinkHacker, May 2016

Drinkhacker Logo
2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling |  North Canterbury, New Zealand

"Crisp and aromatic, with light notes of pineapple to give this wine a bit of a New World spin. The finish is loaded with acid and comes across as a bit peachy, with a solid and sophisticated balance between the two. A-"

21.99 /  bottle    |    263.88  /  case



By Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel, Beverage Dynamics, May 2016

"Out of 58 Chardonnays tasted, only four rated higher!"

2014 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay  |  North Cantebury, New Zealand
95 Points and 5 Stars!

“This will draw attention to the lovely Chardonnays produced in New Zealand that haven’t received accolades they deserve. From certifed-sustainable vineyards, this is a rather New
World/Old World style. It has nuances of wildflowers, mineral and under-ripe fruit on the nose. These nuances continue on the palate, but then fruit flavors become lush and mouth
filling. The fnish is long and lively with racy sweet/tart acidity and a hint of lemon/grapefruit. Pair this with pork or fowl with a fruit glaze, or enjoy it as an aperitif.”

21.99 /  bottle    |    263.88 /  case



By Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee, May 2016

Mike Dunne On Wine (1)

"Embrace Criterion and Mt. Beautiful Wines"

"Few people who jump into the wine business must feel the pressure to succeed as keenly as David and Leigh Teece. He, after all, is the Tusher Professor in Global Business at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, while she is founder and chair of World Mentor, a Web-based mentoring program for educational institutions, companies and so forth.

Their investment in the wine trade, not surprisingly, looks to be working out quite favorably, for both themselves and for wine consumers. In just a decade, their brand, Mt. Beautiful, has become an especially exciting label, particularly for aromatic white wines like sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and riesling.

In 2004, the Teeces ventured into his native New Zealand – she’s a native Californian – to start planting grapes in the North Canterbury region along the South Island’s northeast reaches. They made their first wines off the 2007 harvest and ever since have been cultivating a devoted clientele both in New Zealand and the United States.

Their current releases include these notably satisfying wines:

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc ($16): The 2014 growing year was progressing splendidly right up to harvest, but then rain complicated the outlook for the vintage. By being selective in their picking and then clever in their winemaking, the vineyard and cellar crews of Mt. Beautiful salvaged a sauvignon blanc without blemishes. It’s actually a quite vibrant interpretation of New Zealand’s best-known varietal wine – pungent and floral in smell, ripe with grapefruit and lime on the palate, intriguing in its suggestions of watermelon and jasmine, and nervy with acidity in its refreshing finish.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2015 North Canterbury Riesling ($22): I first wrote of a Mt. Beautiful riesling nearly four years ago, when the 2009 version caught my attention for its floral aroma, willowy grace, and vivid suggestions of apricot, apple and lime. This release is cut from the same cloth, though a little riper, with more texture and more grapefruit, especially in the energy of its acidity.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Pinot Gris ($19): Grapes for this wine were picked in two sweeps through the vineyard, the earlier harvest intending to capture and retain the variety’s floral aromatics and high-toned acidity, the later one to get grapes that would yield more ripe-fruit flavors and more body. The method worked, resulting in an unusually well-proportioned pinot gris that gives off suggestions of fully ripe pears in flavor but also finishing with the snap of a crisp apple.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Pinot Noir ($26): “Elegance” is a word best reserved for the finest of wines. This has it, even if the bottle is finished with a screw cap, not a cork. Get over it. The wine is brilliantly colored, vivid with cherry and strawberry fruit, and just tannic enough to reinforce its backbone. Its complexity lies in understatement more than bravado."

(Click here to read the article)



By Scoop Independent News Education, April 2016

Scoop Logo

"Generous alumnus helps UC Music and Classics move to Arts Centre

The University of Canterbury has received a substantial donation to support the relocation of Music Performance and Classics programmes, along with the James Logie Memorial Collection of classical antiquities, to the Arts Centre in central Christchurch.

The old Chemistry building near the corner of Hereford Street and Rolleston Avenue is currently being transformed into a purpose-built space over four floors for the University of Canterbury (UC).

UC alumnus Professor David Teece and his wife, Leigh Teece, donated funds to support the refurbishment of the old Chemistry Building, part of which will house the James Logie Memorial Collection of classical antiquities.

A portion of the funds will be held in an endowment for the conservation of the Collection’s antiquities as well as the purchase of further pieces.

In recognition of the Teece family’s generous donation, UC Vice-Chancellor Dr Rod Carr has confirmed the University will name the museum in their honour.

“The museum that houses the James Logie Memorial Collection of classical antiquities will be officially named the Teece Museum of Classical Antiquities at the University of Canterbury,” Dr Carr says.

Based in Berkeley, California, Prof Teece studied economics at what is now the Arts Centre site when it was the University’s campus and he recognises the historic link between UC and central Christchurch.

“We are pleased to share in the University’s strong future and to help restore a treasured part of Christchurch. We especially look forward to seeing vibrant student life return to the central city’s artistic heart when Music Performance and Classics programmes return to the Arts Centre,” Prof Teece says.

“We are thrilled that soon more people will be able to view and appreciate the University’s James Logie Collection of Greek and Roman artefacts when it is on display at the UC Museum in the Arts Centre.”

The move to the Arts Centre also means there will be greater performance opportunities for UC Music students. As well as dedicated spaces for public recitals, larger concerts may be held in the nearby Great Hall.

Dr Carr explains that locating the University’s Music Performance and Classics programmes at the Arts Centre will lead to more effective engagement with Christchurch’s wider arts community.

“In particular, the Classics and Music departments will have an ideal environment for greater collaboration with the Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum, galleries, music centres, theatres, and other key parts of the Christchurch cultural and educational community.”

UC will start teaching Music Performance and Classics programmes at the Arts Centre in 2017.

The Teeces have also agreed to fund the restoration of the Townsend Telescope at the same site."

One of the "Coolest Wine Labels of 2016!"

By Katie Kelly Bell, Forbes, April 2016
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

Forbes contributor, Katie Kelly Bell selected our 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir as having one of the coolest wine labels in 2016! Keeping reading to learn what makes all of Mt. Beautiful's wine labels unique.

"The label features an original font created from the handwriting of Allan Teece, long deceased father of owner David Teece. When Allan served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in WWII, he wrote letters home to his family. These letters inspired the label and ultimately a whole new font." - Katie Kelly Bell

Wines To Enjoy Now

By Denman Moody, Houston Lifestyles & Homes

Houston Homes Lifestyles

"Reds and whites to please the palate, and restaurant recommendations

Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris North Canterbury (New Zealand) 2014
'The opulent palate combines stone fruit, apples, juicy ripe pears, and a touch of floral honey…' What else do you need to know? Stunning new find!"

18.99 /  bottle    |    227.88 /  case


Blogger Grapefriend LOVES our New Zealand Pinot Gris

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"Packed with pear, white peach and yellow apple, the explosion of fruit just seems to scream spring and bloom time.  Pretty much any you get from Oregon (the king of Pinot Gris making, in my opinion) will be good so you can just look for ones from the Wilamette Valley.  But, New Zealand makes some really nice ones as well, like this very pretty Mt. Beautiful (2014 Pinot Gris)"

Mt. Beautiful 2015 Riesling scores a 94 and 5 stars!!

Sam Kim Wine Orbit RI15

Washington Top News - Wine of the Week: The best of samples

WTOP 031116 PG14

National Drink Wine Day: Marketers think we need a reason to drink wine

Mother Nature Network

Robin Shreeves Mother Nature Network

Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris, New Zealand. My absolute favorite flower scent is jasmine. and when I open a wine that sends wisps of jasmine out of a wine glass, I inhale more deeply. The scent of this white wine was welcoming to me, and the crisp flavors of pear, apple, honey and some lemony-citrus were perfect last unusually warm December when I first tasted this wine. This is a wine you want to start drinking now to hurry spring along. It's about $20 retail.

Mt. Beautiful's wines are certified sustainable and created in the up-and-coming North Canterbury appellation of New Zealand. The vineyards that were first planted in 2003 and the newly built winery are a "long-term project that focuses on the adoption of sustainable practices to preserve the landscape for generations to come."


New Zealand: Truculent Trout and Winsome Wines

Frederick Thurber


By Frederick Thurber | Published: February 16, 2016

New Zealand occupies a magical green place in my imagination, and I like to think I am there when sipping their wines.  There is a lot to like about New Zealand; I am especially interested in the rural, rustic environment of this other land down-under (I also appreciate the lack of venomous spiders, dodgy snakes, and saltwater crocs).  A friend of mine who fishes for New Zealand’s gigantic, truculent trout claims that the fish grow so large because of the rich, aquatic life in the Kiwi streams, which he attributes to the low pesticide use in this country.  I don’t know about that, but in general New Zealand seems much more careful with their environment than we are.  One example is the Mt Beautiful winery; they are certified sustainable.

The aptly-named Mt Beautiful Winery is one of my favorite wineries in New Zealand.   This winery is owned by David and Leigh Teece.  David Teece is a native Kiwi, a renowned professor of economics at Berkeley, and a highly-successful entrepreneur.  Mr Teece is also a promoter of US/New Zealand relations and the export of New Zealand goods to the US; in Mt Beautiful wines he has found a winery that has a definite niche here in the States.

While airfare to New Zealand is not in my budget at this time, the Mt. Beautiful wines definitely are.  They strike the right balance between quality and price.  Below are descriptions of two Mt Beautiful wines I recently tried.

2014 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  $16.  I found this wine to have the classic grapefruit / spruce / grassy flavor that I have come to expect in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  However the grassy spruce scent was tamed quite a bit making this wine much more quaffable than so many of the other Kiwi versions of this grape such as Cloudy Bay (which I cannot drink).  There is just enough spruce to wake up the palate without being over powering.   Interestingly enough, I found this wine to be even better on day two after opening.   Right now I would consider this my top choice in this price range to pair with seafood.   Sure, you could spend $50 for an Arkenstone or Herb Lamb flagship Sauvignon Blanc, but I doubt you could do better than Mt Beautiful in the $16 range.

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris. $19.  This wine caught me by surprise.  New Zealand is famous for its Sauvignon Blanc, so I was not expecting its Pinot Gris to be so good.  This wine featured delicious floral/fruit scents and right now is my favorite wine from New Zealand.  Interestingly it also had a bit of spritz; I am not sure if this was intentional or not, but it worked.  I tried this wine on some local wine professionals (while we watched the Super Bowl!), and they were intrigued, both for its flavor and exotic origin. Like all truly great wines, this wine was still wonderful on day two after opening.  This is an outstanding wine that deserves more recognition.

While we are on the topic of exports from New Zealand, you should be on the lookout for New Zealand honey.  I used to keep bees myself and am extremely skeptical about claims of organic honey, at least in North America.  I suspect that New Zealand is the only place in the world that exports truly organic honey.  Why?  Unlike the deplorable import controls in this country, New Zealand has vigorously prevented any bees or bee products from entering their country and have thus been spared the huge spectrum of hive disorders that have wrecked bee keeping in the USA.  So if you can find Kiwi honey, buy it!  [I cannot write about Kiwi honey without also noting that New Zealand’s most famous gentleman bee farmer was Sir Edmund Hillary who made the first ascent (along with Tensing Norgay) of Mt Everest.]

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Let's Talk Wine:  Time to Head South


By JoAnn Actis-Grande

Posted Jan. 28, 2016 at 4:26 AM

I recently tasted through the portfolio of Mt. Beautiful wines. They are made in the Southern Hemisphere – where it happens to be summer right now!

The vineyards are located in North Canterbury, New Zealand, and the wines are as beautiful as their name.

New Zealand is a country that sits in the middle of the South Pacific, made up of two islands called the North Island and South Island. Both islands produce wine. The North Island is smaller and more populated than the South Island, which is filled with lakes, rivers, glaciers, mountains and volcanoes.

The country has 10 main wine regions. The cooler maritime climate conditions produce wines with very distinct characteristics. The Marlborough region basically put New Zealand on the map as a wine region with its renowned Sauvignon Blanc. White grape varietals dominate the landscapes, and the Rieslings are famous from Canterbury. New Zealand Pinot Noir is some of the best I have tasted.

The North Canterbury wine region can be found on the east coast on the South Island, not far from the Pacific Ocean. Mt. Beautiful wines are the expression of the wild, rugged and breathtakingly scenic region. Only seven miles from the Pacific Ocean, their benevolent namesake, Mt. Beautiful, protects the vineyards from harsh sea winds.

New Zealand native, Dr. David J. Teece, a well-known scholar, author, and entrepreneur, together with his wife Leigh, also accomplished, spent two years searching for the perfect place where they could pioneer an undiscovered region and fulfill their dream of bringing the best of New Zealand to the world. Today, the fruit of their mission is a selection of certified-sustainable, estate-grown, and distinctively restrained wines that let the pure terroir shine through. They also own a working sheep and beef farm surrounding their vineyards that is four times larger.

Mt. Beautiful wines are unique from most New Zealand wines by way of their location in up-and-coming North Canterbury, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach. Consulting winemaker Sam Weaver describes the winemaking style as clean wines with "drive" and length of flavor. They show abundant fruit, but “pull in the reins” to manage it with more balance. All of the wines carry the North Canterbury appellation and are 100 percent varietal.

The Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc exceeds expectations with floral aromas and tropical fruit flavors that sustain a smooth balance with each sip. The Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay are delicious, and the Pinot Noir offers violet aromas followed by vibrant berry fruit flavors.

Mt. Beautiful wines are affordable ($16 to $26), easy to drink and pair beautifully with seasonally fresh foods or opened for special occasions.

Look for them at your favorite wine retailer or shop online at


JoAnn Actis-Grande travels to many great wine regions all over the world writing about wine, travel, and curious lifestyles. She lives in Portsmouth and can be reached by email at Find more of her Let's Talk Wine columns online.


 Not Bread Alone : It's Summer Somewhere

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Not Bread Alone Frank Whitman All Wines


Now that we've had some temperatures in the teens and winter is a certainty, it's re-assuring to think that, right now, it's summer somewhere. All across the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite: summer now, winter when we're on the beach.

I just had a chance to taste some New Zealand wines made in the reversed seasons below the equator. While our temperatures sank below 20 and the ground hardened with frost, it was sunny and 70ish in Christchurch, New Zealand. The coastal breeze across Pegasus Bay from the Southern Pacific brought refreshing ocean air to the vineyards. What an ideal climate for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris!

The island nation of New Zealand is a land of fantastic landscapes (Lord of the Rings was filmed there), steep mountain peaks, and stunning shorelines. NZ is really two main islands, the North and South, plus numerous smaller islands. Its isolated location in the southwestern Pacific made it one of the last places to be inhabited by humans and gave it a unique biodiversity.

The climate of this relatively small nation ranges from cool and wet to sunny and warm. Agricultural products make up the largest share of NZ exports, with the rapidly growing wine industry overtaking wool as a key part of the mix.

Wine has been made in New Zealand since colonial times, but their Sauvignon Blanc burst upon the world scene in the 1980s. Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough at the Northeast tip of the South Island, especially the Cloudy Bay brand, took the wine world by storm. The NZ style married the traditional tropical fruit flavors of Sancerre from Loire Valley in France with brisk acidity and refreshing citrus flavors.

With diverse climate regions and soil types on both islands, New Zealand makes a wide range of wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are well established producing varietal reds as well as Bordeaux-style blends. Pinot Noir is rising in production, as worldwide demand drives winemakers to search out sites where this difficult grape will thrive. Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant white wine, but Chardonnay is also widely planted. Winemakers are experimenting with Riesling, Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) and Chenin Blanc, along with other international grape varieties.

Mt. Beautiful winery is continuing this exploration of New Zealand's wine potential. With more than 140 acres of vines including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, owners David and Leigh Teece have opened a new vineyard in North Canterbury on the east coast of the South island. Seven miles inland from Pegasus Bay, but sheltered from strong ocean winds by Mt. Beautiful, the vineyards are certified sustainable, and the wines are all made exclusively from estate-grown fruit.

Their Sauvignon Blanc has tamed the sometimes excessive NZ acidity, and blended tropical fruit aromas with a fresh-hay grassiness. Bright and refreshing, it's delightful to sip and well-matched with hors d'oeuvres, fish, or chicken.

Mt. Beautiful makes a small amount of Pinot Gris, a wine I'm always eager to try. This example, like some of the better ones from Oregon, has floral aromas accented with pear. The pear notes persist in the flavor along with green apple and continue into the wine's long mineral finish.

The Mt. Beautiful owners say Pinot Noir is their favorite of the five wines now under production. With a floral fragrance, red berry flavors, and mild tannins, it favors a more subtle French Burgundy style. No new-world, in-your-face, cherry-berry here.

With over 11,000 cases made, the Sauvignon Blanc ($16) should be easy to find. Production of the Pinot Noir ($26) was under 4,000 cases and the Pinot Gris ($19) only an experimental 1,500 cases. Mt. Beautiful wines are available at New Canaan Wine Merchants, Greens Farms Spirit Shop in Westport and Cost Less Wines in Stamford. Or you can ask your favorite retailer to order you some.

Mt. Beautiful doesn't host visitors at the winery, but they have a tasting room in the nearby town of Cheviot. With small plates and local products in addition to the wines, they have regular hours, but as the website says, "are often open later in summer months." It pleases me to know it's summer there now. Too bad it's so far away. I'd like to hop on a plane right now for some reverse season winter-wine touring.

Frank Whitman's Not Bread Alone runs Thursdays in The Hour. He may be reached at

Mt. Beautiful 2014 Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc 2014 score big!

Sam Kim Wine Orbit PG14 SB14

"Elegantly Styled" & "Stylish and Restrained"

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Bigger Than you Head - Pinot Gris 2014 in the Top 50 of 2015

Bigger Than Your Head PG14 Top 50

Pinot Gris with Texture and Flavor

PG14Wine Review Online

Pinot Gris 2014 is Wine of the Day


New Zealand's Mt. Beautiful Launches New Winery & Tasting Room

For Immediate Release:

New Zealand's Mt. Beautiful Launches New Winery & Tasting Room

New winery built for 2015 vintage; new tasting room in Cheviot open to the public

Cheviot, NZ, Dec. 8, 2015 —Mt. Beautiful announces the completion of a new US$3.5 million winery located in the up-and-coming region of North Canterbury, NZ and the opening of a public tasting room conveniently located nearby in downtown Cheviot.


About The Winery

World-renowned scholar/entrepreneur and New Zealand native David J. Teece, together with his wife, Leigh, founded Mt. Beautiful with a mission: “We wanted to bring the best of New Zealand to the world,” explains Teece. “And to do that, we wanted to pioneer an unrecognized area in New Zealand that was suitable for viticulture, but where no one else had planted before.”

A two-year search led to just the right spot at North Canterbury’s scenic northernmost fringe, only seven miles from the ocean yet protected from harsh sea winds by a benevolent namesake, Mt. Beautiful. Here, the Teeces established their vineyard from 2003-2005 and began making wine in tiny quantities in 2007.

The new winery—commissioned for the 2015 vintage—is the next step in the brand’s evolution and was specifically designed to allow for the best possible handling of the property’s estate-grown, certified-sustainable fruit. Consulting Winemaker Sam Weaver says, “For me it’s a huge step forward, bringing the ultimate level of control of the whole winemaking process back to the vineyard.”

The winery’s current capacity is 400 tons with an expansion to 650 tons planned for vintage 2016. Mt. Beautiful has multiple fermenters in a variety of sizes, which allows all of the vineyard blocks to be fermented individually. This lets the winemakers understand what each site in the vineyard is capable of in terms of style and quality—an important process in a vineyard featuring 23 different soil types and several distinct microclimates.

Mt. Beautiful wines are not only different from most New Zealand wines by way of their North Canterbury location, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach, with harmony and balance. Mt. Beautiful produces Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Pinot Noir wines that are the expression of this wild and rugged region, with aromatic and flavor profiles that let the pure terroir come through.


About the Tasting Room

The tasting room was a natural expansion of the Mt. Beautiful experience, according to CEO Robert Watkins, since the winery itself is not open to the public. “We designed and built the tasting room to enhance, educate and capture our philosophies and activities in the vineyard and on our working farms,” he says. The tasting room features high definition flat screens showing photos, videos and even a live feed during harvest so that guests can be close to the action but comfortably seated, enjoying a glass of Mt. Beautiful wine. “Wine lovers can now see and taste for themselves that our motto, ‘Beautiful wine comes from a beautiful place,’ is quite true,” he adds.

All the tasting room’s wooden furniture is designed and made by a local Cheviot craftsman, from wood cut and milled from the vineyard property. In a whimsical note, the tasting counter has a large notch in it to mimic what locals affectionately call “The Chasm,” an old, deep riverbed that separates the two halves of the Mt. Beautiful vineyard.

The tasting room is located in the town of Cheviot at 11 Hall Street. Here, visitors can enjoy current and older vintages, verticals, and large format bottles paired with an enticing variety of small plates and platters featuring local products such as Mt. Grey Olives, Smoked Warihou or Cheviot Hills Salami. Tel: +64 3-319 8155. Open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (often later in summer months). Reservations are not required. 


For more information please contact Mia Malm at or (707) 266-1320. Winery website:

For images, please visit

Our 2013 Pinot Noir Scores in the 90s

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Mt. Beautiful Opens a Tasting Room in Cheviot



Mt. Beautiful Opens a Tasting Room in Cheviot

Cheviot, New Zealand - (March 6, 2015) - The Mt. Beautiful Tasting Room opened its doors to the public on Tuesday, March 3rd.  They will be welcoming in guests to try their North Canterbury wines along with platters of local and regionally sourced foods.

Mt. Beautiful has been preparing to open the tasting room for the past 10 months and they are very excited to start showcasing their wines in this new tasting facility.  The tasting room, located on State Highway 1 in the town of Cheviot, shares a building with the local café, Two Rivers. 

Mt. Beautiful is a premium North Canterbury wine brand grown and produced at Spotswood, 9 kilometres north of Cheviot. For vintage 2015 they have set up their own on site, high specification winemaking facility which can process 700 tons of fruit.

The stunning vineyard, which was established in October 2004, is 80 hectares of vines planted across 140 hectares. The vines are planted on the north facing slopes of the rolling hills and gullies and include Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay varieties.  Surrounding the vineyards is Teece Family Farm, a high density sheep and beef operation.

“We are very excited to finally have a local presence to showcase our passion for growing and producing unique wines from the North Canterbury area,” says Robert Watkins, CEO of Mt. Beautiful.  “We hope to add to the vibrant Cheviot community by bringing in locals and passing guests to enjoy our wines and other town attractions.”

The Mt. Beautiful tasting room is located at 11 Hall Street, Cheviot and is open from 10:00-18:00 daily.  The facility is available for private events and tastings. They are licensed to sell off-premise and also offer wine by the glass to enjoy in their inviting seating areas.

About Mt. Beautiful:

Scholar Entrepreneur, and New Zealand native David Teece, and his wife Leigh, believe his homeland “produces some of the best products in the world and aficionados everywhere should have a chance to experience them.” Mt. Beautiful Wines from North Canterbury reflects their passion for New Zealand. By producing elegant, certified-sustainable, estate-grown wines, David and Leigh have found a way to truly encapsulate in the bottle, the climate and the richness of the land. Mt Beautiful is uncompromising in quality and faithful to the terroir.  As pioneers of the North Canterbury region, Mt. Beautiful owners David and Leigh were looking to invest in David’s homeland in a way that would allow expression of their passion for farm-to-table food and wine, while energizing the community to which they are so genuinely committed. By creating Mt. Beautiful Wines and adopting certified-sustainable practices, they are able to be dedicated guardians of the land, and good stewards of their New Zealand heritage. 

Facebook: Twitter: @MtBeautifulNZ Instagram: @mtbeautifulwines Website:  Blog:

Mt. Beautiful Tasting Room Contact

Robert Day - Tasting Room Manager

+64 3 319 8155

Mt Beautiful is featured front and center in Wine Spectator's Oct Issue

Wine Spectator

Our 2013 Sauvignon Blanc received 89 points from Wine Enthusiast

Mt Beautiful 2013 Sauvignon Blanc Canterbury

The 2011 Pinot Noir Was Featured In USA Today's Best of 2013