These fine wines are premium varietals from iconic New Zealand regions. They’re perfect for thoughtful gifts and special occasions, big or small – everything from family celebrations to marking life’s milestones, saying a humble apology to a big thank you. We understand it can be bewildering navigating special occasion wines and New World stands behind every one of these beauties.

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From Ka Tahi wines and the extraordinary winemaking of Darragh Hughes comes a magical wine. Ka Tahi, meaning “The One”, is the brainchild of three friends committed to producing great wines at affordable prices. This is a very sophisticated wine with alluring aromas of white peach, brioche and lemon-scented flowers. Big rich crème brûlée complexity with coconut and juicy fine textured tannins with a prolonged creamy finish and a beguiling trace of gun smoke. A very stylish example of Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay from a very talented winemaker.

Find out more at www.katahiwines.com

Starborough Chardonnay

Produced by the Jones family, who have been Marlborough pioneers since 1865, at their vineyard adjacent to the Awatere Valley, here is a Chardonnay that shouts Marlborough. The Starborough vineyards are a relatively recent development and the family runs them alongside arable crops and livestock. This single vineyard Chardonnay shows aromas of lemon cheesecake, grapefruit and stone fruit running right through the palate. Textural with a touch of flint and gun smoke, the palate is rich, focused and elegant with fine crunchy acidity. A big wine with persistence and personality.

Find out more at www.starborough.co.nz

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In 1961 Sir George Fistonich, at just 21 years of age, set up Villa Maria Wines after leasing 5 acres of land from his father. Always focused on regional differences, Gisborne is regarded as the home of Chardonnay and in the 1980’s Villa Maria starting producing Chardonnay from the region. A region totally suited to high quality Chardonnay production: the cool sea breezes help preserve the natural acidity of Chardonnay, while the warm summers develop tropical fruit flavours. Sourced from a selection of their best Gisborne vineyards, this is Gisborne Chardonnay at its finest. Rich ripe lime, citrus and nectarine aromas, with a touch of gun smoke giving complexity, these flavours flow through to the palate where integrated oak and textural juiciness are wrapped around a solid core of apple, buttery popcorn and vanillian oak. The finish is long, intense and very seductive.

Find out more at www.villamaria.co.nz

Akarua

From the heart of Central Otago’s Bannockburn a pale pink Sparkling Rosé that is the epitome of this style. Produced by winemakers Andrew Keenleyside and Dr Tony Jordan (one of the world’s experts in Champagne and Sparkling wines), this is a Rosé that shows its pedigree. Set up in the mid 1990’s by Sir Clifford Skeggs in some of the most spectacular Central Otago vineyard sites, the quality of the grapes off these sites is reflected in this wine. A very fine and regular bubble bead, complex aromas of rose, strawberry and candyfloss with a touch of fresh brioche. As you would expect, the palate has a lovely acid line that creates the wine’s backbone with fresh autolysis characters of toast and croissant, while still maintaining a wonderful lightness and a prolonged and lingering finish.

Find out more at www.akarua.com

Cloudy Bay

Cloudy Bay is the iconic winery associated with Sauvignon Blanc and certainly one of the pioneers of the variety in New Zealand. Today Cloudy Bay is owned by luxury goods company, Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey, owner of some of France’s most prestigious Champagne houses. So it’s not really a surprise, with all that experience to draw on, that a great Sparkling wine is part of their amazing portfolio. Lovely intense lemon curd citrus aromas along with lemon pith and a suggestion of honeysuckle, the bubbles are fine and even creating a superb mousse. Flavours of apple and ripe spicy red fruits along with a tantalizing chalk note balance the acid, which is crisp and crunchy. There is a bright toasty note in the finish, which is long and persistent.

Find out more at www.cloudybay.co.nz

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From Kaimira Wines, a producer that focuses on great wine and sustainable practices, even recycling winery water for vine irrigation. Here is a Chardonnay-dominant Sparkling wine that displays all the fineness, elegance and complexity of great New Zealand Methode wines. Made from Nelson fruit sourced from their own vineyards, the resulting wine is very fine with a lovely precision and presence. The bubbles are fine and even and the aromas of brioche and the creamy mouthfeel are all classic bottle fermented characters. This is a wine that has six years on lees contact, gathering intense autolysis notes but still showing freshness and a beguiling lightness throughout its lingering dry finish.

Find out more at www.kaimirawines.com

Awatere River

Produced from the cooler Awatere Valley that runs parallel to Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, the grapes typically take longer to ripen, resulting in great flavour intensity and rich savoury notes. Concentrated cherry compote with fresh cranberry and rose-scented florals. The palate is bold with smoky high toned plum flavours, the floral touch adds to the layers of complexity and juiciness. A finish that is both bold and lingering, an exciting wine to enjoy.

Find out more at www.arwc.co.nz

Fifth Bridge

Produced by the Dicey brothers, a name synonymous with great Central Otago wines. This wine is named after the fifth bridge between Bannockburn and Cromwell, a critical link to the 1800’s goldfields of the Central Otago region. Quintessential Central Otago Pinot Noir, the red cherry notes, pristine fruit and dried herb spiciness are classic aromas of this region. The palate is intense with concentrated raspberry and black cherry notes but still showing soft ripe texture and lovely long silky tannins. Beautifully balanced integrated oak, there are no sharp edges but just abundant flavour.

Find out more at www.cereswines.co.nz

Bald Hills

Situated on the edge of the Kawarau River, in the heart of Central Otago, the vineyard was planted twenty years ago by Blair and Estelle Hunt in what they described as a “rabbit infested block of dirt”. Fortunately for us all they were also “reasonable consumers of Pinot Noir”, a drive that turned novice winemakers into producers of exceptional wines. This is a legacy that Isao Mita, who purchased the vineyard from the Hunts in 2015, is honoured to continue. This wine is a great example of Central Otago Pinot Noir. Pale ruby in colour, with intense aromatics of cranberry, raspberry, blackberry and lovely cedar oak. The palate is deep and dense with concentrated red fruit and dusky rose. The oak brings a lovely spice to the flavour, which is superbly balanced with juicy acidity and persistence, elegance and finesse of this remarkable Central Otago Pinot Noir. 

Find out more at www.baldhills.co.nz

Vavasour

The Vavasour family arrived in New Zealand in 1890 and established their farm in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley. One hundred years later the family saw the potential of the Awatere Valley and planted their first grapes there. With an ancestry dating back to the Norman times of Britain, Vavasour is a pioneer of this region. From the famous Awatere Valley and a prized vineyard of older vines, this is a big wine with dense savoury black cherry fruit and floral violet aromas. The flavours are both powerful and concentrated with layers of dense ripe fruit and cedar wood oak all beautifully integrated together. Big ripe tannins that are polished and precise create an engaging tension through the wine. The finish is long, broad and captivating.

Find out more at www.vavasour.com

Babich

Babich Wines is New Zealand’s most experienced family-owned winery. The family originally planted vineyards in West Auckland in 1919 and the founder Josip Babich is honoured in their flagship wine named after him as The Patriarch. Grapes for this wine are sourced from the very prestigious Irongate vineyard in Hawke’s Bay’s Gimblett Gravels. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon with a splash of Malbec makes this is a classic example of this flagship wine. Aromas of dark blackberry and blueberry with spiced black cherry and cedar wood oak, there’s a charming harmony that runs through this wine. It is complex with layers of red and black fruit flavours with a dash of liquorice. Great density of flavour and textural structure, it’s extended finish has nuances of savoury smoked meat and chocolate. A very well made and polished wine.

Find out more at www.babichwines.com

Church Road

From one of the oldest wineries in the country, developed by winemaking pioneer Tom McDonald, this is a wine to celebrate his vision and pioneering spirit. As a 19-year-old, Tom was left to look after the winery while the owner Bartholomew Steinmetz returned to his native Luxembourg in the 1920’s. Tom later bought the winery and started producing quality red wine. Famous for producing the first commercial Cabernet Sauvignon, and as they say ‘the rest is history!’ Dark purple colour with a nose of dark plum, blueberry and cedar and great lifted aromatics. The palate is dense blueberry and toasty oak flavours along with cocoa notes. The tannins are rich, supple and dense with an attractive chalky character and the concentrated red fruits and lifted toasted notes are perfectly balanced.

Find out more at www.church-road.co.nz

Villa Maria Cab Sav

Produced from grapes sourced in the prestigious Gimblett Gravels area of Hawke’s Bay, an 800-hectare region of gravelly soils created in the huge floods of the 1860’s, where the old Ngaruroro River exposed this outstanding site. These Reserve wines are only produced in years where the wines are of a very high standard. Deep dark red with purple hues, the colour is intense, just like the flavour. Aromas of blackcurrant, plum, coffee and a lifted floral note of violets are concentrated, as are the flavours that balance the tight structure and polished tannins. This is a big wine that still has a lovely softness – plush and rich it’s still very young with terrific aging potential, if you are strong enough to resist. 

Find out more at www.villamaria.co.nz

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