Waimea Estates, good wines at great prices

Waimea Estates vineyard (Photo: Waimea Estate)

Waimea’s founders, Trevor and Robyn Bolitho, diversified their Nelson-based horticultural business in the early nineties when they began to plant grapevines. Today they have over 140 hectares of vineyards and a large, modern winery.

Their good, and sometimes great, wines offer reliable and sometimes outstanding value thanks to economies of scale, good vineyards and effective winemaking.

Once a year Waimea send me a selection of their currently available wines for review. Here are my top picks:

  • Waimea Classic Riesling 2016 (Nelson – NZD $17) is a concentrated wine in a medium-dry style showing lovely acid and sweetness tension and a fine backbone of peppery tannins. Made in an Alsace, rather than Germanic style, it offers excellent value.
  • Waimea Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (Nelson – NZD $17) offers even better value than their riesling. It’s a wine of strength and character. Brilliant with pan-fried flounder seasoned with a squeeze of lime.
  • Waimea Albariño 2016 (Nelson – NZD $23) is one of the best local examples I’ve tasted of this promising Spanish/Portuguese grape variety. It has concentration and weight with lively acidity and citrus flavours.
  • Waimea Gewürztraminer 2015 (Nelson – NZD $23) is a concentrated wine in an off-dry style, with classic varietal flavours and a to-die-for texture.
  • Waimea Trev’s Red 2015 (Nelson – NZD $23) is a co-fermented blend of cabernet franc, syrah and viognier in a ripe, soft and dangerously drinkable style.


2 thoughts on “Waimea Estates, good wines at great prices”

  1. Bob Campbell says:

    That might be the case judged by the diminishing number of Gewurztraminer samples I receive. GW is rather fickle when it comes to cropping and a hard sell at retail. There are more viable commercial options when it comes to making wine.

  2. DavidKNZ says:

    I’ve tried the Waimea Gewürztraminer; its delicious. But every time I visit the wine shelves there are less and less Gewürztraminer’s available. Is this much underrated variety headed for extinction??

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