Millton Te Arai Chenin Blanc 2017
Availability: 73 in stock
A true staff (ok, Mel) favourite at Specialist Cellars. This Chenin Blanc is vibrant, textured and packed with character. Zesty & floral aromas are supported by mango, honey & ripe pear flavours. Long lingering after taste, balanced and poised.
‘Millton Vineyards & Winery’ was New Zealands’ first organic and biodynamic wine estate. Established in 1984 by James and Annie Millton in Gisborne have nurtured vines in the region that date back to 1871. Annie’s father actually had a vineyard on site at ‘Opou’ vineyards in the 1960s, and after returning from gaining their extensive experience in France and Germany, the couple came back with a new vision in their eyes. They had done extensive research and replanted major plots of the land to lay the foundations for what we know as the legendary ‘Millton Vineyards’ to date.
‘Millton’ was the first producer ever in New Zealand to gain a Bio-Gro certification for organic wine production in 1989 and later biodynamic certification Demeter in 2009. Back in the 80’s people thought organics and biodynamics was a fallacy and a feat too hard to achieve with no real benefit. The Millton’s certainly didn’t see things this way – and the proof was in the pudding – or grapes in this case. Straight off the bat ‘Millton’s’ early vintages were not only impressing consumers, but wine judges in New Zealand and all over the world. Today their reputation still holds as strong, you will constantly find them in high-end restaurants, wine bars and dining rooms across the world.
‘Millton’ has four distinct brands: ‘The Millton Single Vineyard’, ‘Crazy by Nature’, ‘Clos de Ste’ and most recently ‘Libiamo’. Anne wines are from small volumes of ultra-premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Viognier and Syrah. Further down the hillside are the ‘premier cru’ plantings of Chenin Blanc, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, all of which create the ‘Millton Single Vineyard Estate’ wines. ‘Crazy by Nature’ offers a Chardonnay, Dry flinty Chenin Blanc and an award winning Malbec, Syrah and Viognier blend. If you have to try any of the Millton wines we recommend not missing out on their Chenin Blanc. We won’t go into too much detail but this wine is unmissable.
Millton’s philosophy is about treating the land well and having it in turn treats you well. A famous quote from dear James is that “We are not standing on dirt, but the rooftop of another Kingdom”.
For more information on Millton and their wines, visit their website.
Often overlooked, Gisborne is a powerhouse for New Zealand wine, contributing to roughly a quarter of the nation’s output. Gisborne is not only blessed with being the first place in the world to see the light of a new day it also boasts a rich history such as being the first location in New Zealand that Captain James Cook set foot back in 1769. Over 80 years later in the 1850s, the first vines were planted in the region’s predominantly loam, silt, and clay soil. In the early 1980’s Gisborne weathered the phylloxera outbreak New Zealand experienced, managing to damage via a mass of replanting. The region’s soil favours aromatic varietals such as Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer, complemented by the regions remote easterly location and long sunshine hours making ‘Gizzy’ a favourite
Gisborne is comprised of three subregions; Patutahi, Manutuke and Ormond. Each region is quite distinctive from the others; Patutahu is notably warmer because of its geographic location, being further inland, the region retains more of the day’s warmth and experiences relatively low rainfall and great drainage due to the sloping terrain and soils with heavy clay content. Manutuke is more coastal, its sandy silt-soils (with the heavier complex Kaitai clay in the hills to the west) still benefit from fantastic drainage making it well suited for Chardonnay. Ormond sits further north of the town. The slopes with high clay content and sandy topsoils made the subregion the top candidate for Gisborne’s first commercial planting, as well as set the stage for the production of the regions top Chardonnays.
The hills surrounding Ormond provide such effective shelter from the elements the Chardonnay ripens up to 6 weeks before their southern counterparts, however, the hills don’t always act in favour on the grapes. If conditions are particularly wet, vintners may experience problems with keeping the crop free of rot or disease.