Top Wineries of New Zealand 2021: 12 to 9

12. Church Road

Location: Hawke’s Bay

Best known for: Chardonnay, syrah and blended reds.

This flagship brand for Pernod Ricard NZ consistently offers both quality and value across its six sub-brands from Estate to the very limited edition Tom. Church Road is one of the country’s most reliable premium wine producers thanks at least in part to a large grape supply and inspired winemaking.

11. Puriri Hills

Location: Clevedon

Best known for: Outstanding, age-worthy blended reds based on the Bordeaux varieties.

Puriri Hills makes three blended reds which in ascending price order are Estate, Harmonie du Soir and Pope. They also occasionally produce a rosé from their picture-book hillside vineyard. Founder, Judy Fowler, successfully uses the wines of Right Bank Bordeaux as her benchmark. Highly collectable.

10. Bell Hill

Location: North Canterbury

Best known for: Chardonnay and pinot noir.

A tiny (1.96 hectare) vineyard planted on a steeply sloping bell-shaped hill that was once a limestone quarry makes small amounts of chardonnay and pinot noir. They offer two labels; Bell Hill and the entry-level Old Weka Pass Road. Both are reliably excellent and extremely collectable. Demand exceeds supply and their wines are mostly allocated. Be quick, but wait until I’ve got mine.

9. Trinity Hill

Location: Hawke’s Bay

Best known for: Homage Syrah.

Syrah is their signature wine with five labels at different price points. Trinity Hill pioneered tempranillo in New Zealand and continues to make the best example. They also produce a very stylish Rhône-style marsanne viognier. The best wines from Gimblett Gravels include a rich, intense chardonnay and powerful cabernet sauvignon that defines the variety.

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