Joelle Thomson

Writer, author, journalist

This week's WIne of the Week is the third vintage of Zen, one of New Zealand's best quality and highest priced Chardonnays. Does it live up to its name and its price tag? If ever there was a time of year to push the boat out and see, here it is with the silly season upon us....
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Doctors Flat is an elevated three hectare vineyard in Bannockburn, Central Otago, where schist sub soils, clay and fine silt all provide Pinot Noirs with great density and complexity. This is a full bodied, dark take on the Central Otago Pinot theme, made from three Dijon cl...
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'A hammock and a good book sort of wine' is the best tasting note I've heard all year, not least because it's nearing that time when hefty work loads and overwhelm take their toll, so a hammock, a good book and a great wine hold a lot appeal. The description comes from Just...
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Central Otago Chardonnay has doubled in volume in the last five years but how’s it tracking in style and quality? The biggest Central Otago Chardonnay tasting ever held was last week at Felton Road Winery in Bannockburn. I attended, along with four other wine writers...
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Wine of the week... 2021 Felton Calvert

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A new festival in Central Otago has launched and tickets are now availableLakes, brunches and wine tastings are all on the itinerary of a new festival in the Gibbston Valley, 30 to 40 minutes' drive from Queenstown in January next year. The four day festival is called R...
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Good vintages come in pairs in Hawke's Bay, as the latest duo of 2019 and 2020 Homage Syrah show. This wine of the week is from the 2019 vintage and while I have had the privilege of tasting (as a critic and wine writer) the 2020, it will not be released for another year... ...
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Nga Waka grows visitor numbers with new facility

Growing visitor numbers to Martinborough now have a new tasting room to visit before they even enter the village with the official opening of Nga Waka's new cellar door tasting room this week.The small winery is has more than doubled its vineyard holdings in the past seven y...
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The under dog rises

November 1, 2022

Wine of the week from Giesen

It may not be the most flattering description but under dog definitely does describe the flagging fortunes of Riesling in New Zealand, which has shrunk from 713 hectares planted nationwide in 2013 to 619 hectares today. It's a continuation of a decline that has slowly trickl...
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One of New Zealand's most iconic wineries has announced a new head winemaker with Joel Watson adding Dry River to his business card, along with his existing role as winemaker at Luna Estate. The two Martinborough wineries are now owned by Charlie Zheng, who purcha...
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