Top Wineries of New Zealand 2021: 52 to 49
52. Rapaura Springs
Best known for: A selection of succulent sauvignon blancs.
Rapaura Springs is a large, family-owned producer that grows and sources grapes from every one of Marlborough’s subregions. My favourites include a punchy 2020 Bull Paddock Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc; a classic and concentrated 2020 Rohe Dillons Point Sauvignon Blanc; a mineral, floral Rohe Blind River Sauvignon Blanc; a bright, high-energy 2018 Limestone Terrace Ward Pinot Noir from a coastal site and a supple 2018 Rohe Southern Valleys Pinot Noir with juicy acidity.
Location: Waiheke Island
Best known for: Generously proportioned and age-worthy Waiheke wines.
The 75 different vineyards occupying 61-hectares of land gives Man O’War plenty of options when it comes to matching variety to site. Waiheke’s largest wine producer just got even better with the release of a new Kulta (Finnish for “loved one”) range of benchmark wines. My favourites are a lively, complex 2019 Kulta Mathilda Chardonnay; a crisp and crunchy 2018 Kulta Totto Syrah and an age-worthy 2018 Kulta Tytti comprised of cabernet franc, merlot and petit verdot.
Best known for: A reliably good producer of often adventurous wines.
Favourite wines include a concentrated yet fragrant 2016 Reserve Pinot Noir; a 2017 Old Vine Chenin Blanc from 36-year-old vines; an opulent 2019 Barrique Fermented Chardonnay; a rich, mouth-filling 2016 La Michelle Methode and an intense, peppery 2020 Grüner Veltliner.
49. Black Estate
Location: North Canterbury
Best known for: High-energy, age-worthy pinot noir.
Black Estate makes stylish wines from three organic hillside vineyards; Home Vineyard, Netherwood Vineyard and the evocatively named Damsteep Vineyard. Favourites include a dry, textural 2019 Chenin Blanc; a powerful, mineral-laced 2019 Damsteep Riesling; a 2017 Netherwood Pinot Noir from unirrigated, ungrafted vines; a 2019 Damsteep Pinot Noir with savoury charcuterie flavours and a concentrated, richly-textured 2019 Home Chardonnay.