Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024 10 top movers

Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024

One measure of success in The Real Review’s Top Wineries list is how far each winery has moved up the list from last year.

There are many factors that may have helped a winery move up the leader board. A great vintage might be responsible, or perhaps some great decisions in an average vintage. The arrival of grape-sorting technology can be a game-changer when the going gets a bit rough. Dumb luck (or the lack of it) is often a factor.

Dog Point Vineyard

Up to 16 from 112.

Marlborough wine producer Dog Point is reputed to own the largest area of organically-grown vineyard in New Zealand. Most of the wines reviewed were from the excellent 2020 and 2021 Marlborough vintages which might help explain their significant leap in the current review. Meticulous viticulture could also have played a part.

Obsidian

Up to 6 from 98.

My guess is a change of ownership has given wine quality a lift with a favourable couple of Waiheke vintages in 2020 and 2021 giving another boost. Certainly Obsidian Montepulciano in 2020 and 2021 has never looked as good while their flagship The Obsidian is “best ever”.

Isabel Estate

Up to 61 from 137

The introduction of premium NZD $80 Aratoro Single Vineyard Chardonnay and Aratoro Single Vineyard Pinot Noir have given this relatively small brand a disproportionate boost supercharged by two good Marlborough vintages in 2020 and 2021.

Black Estate

Up to 29 from 88

Pinot noir has provided the power behind the increase with a boost from the good 2020, 2021 and 2022 vintages. Vine age and winemaker experience are other factors that may have played a part. Taste Black Estate Damsteep Pinot Noir 2021 and Black Estate Netherwood Pinot Noir 2020 if you want a second opinion.

Johner Estate

Up to 87 from139

A small 1.3 ha plot of organically-farmed grapevines christened Lime Hill Vineyard that’s made and marketed by Johner Estate, grown on limestone-rich soils, has produced chardonnay and pinot noir from 2020 and 2019 respectively that have given average quality a boost. Partners in this new brand, Johner (of Johner Wines) and Raphael Bruki, are justifiably excited about the prospects of Lime Hill.

Fromm Winery

Up to 9 from 59

The many fans of Fromm will be wondering ‘where to now?’ after the recent retirement of founding winemaker, Hätsch Kalberer. The current rise in status is a good omen, indicating to me that the replacement winemaker has his hands firmly on the reins.

Awatere River Wine Company

Up to 96 from 144

A string of good Marlborough vintages has boosted the average quality in recent years, particularly pinot noir, chardonnay, rosé, sauvignon blanc, and sparkling. I believe winemaking experience and vine age are factors in this company’s recent strong performance.

Carrick

Up to 40 from 87

New owners a few years ago and an adventurous approach to winemaking, particularly riesling and pinot noir, have maintained an interesting selection of wines with ‘something for everyone’. The standard of wine quality has grown steadily stronger, particularly over the latter part of the last decade. A serious stake in Bannockburn provides a solid foundation for quality wine production.

The Boneline

Up to 56 from 99

Unusually, cabernet franc is the shining star in this Waipara producer’s wine list. The intensity, power and ripeness of this extraordinary wine is captivating and unexpected. After disappearing off my radar for a few years Boneline is back with a vengeance. This is clearly a winery to watch.

Cloudy Bay

Up to 26 from 68

Cloudy Bay helped put New Zealand on the world wine map and as part of the French luxury goods group LVMH it continues to promote the country’s strength as a fine wine producer. Its latest and most expensive wine, Cloudy Bay Te Wahi Pinot Noir from Central Otago (NZD $130) adds credibility to its reputation as a fine wine maker.

Taste the Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024

Join us in celebrating the Top Wineries of New Zealand. Meet their winemakers and taste their must-try wines at our tasting event and dinner. Find out more below.


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