Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Small volume high quality vintage

Speed was of the essence this year when harvesting grapes in New Zealand’s biggest wine region this year, says Jane Hunter, managing director of Hunter’s Wines in Marlborough.
Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are her top picks for vintage 2021. Volumes are down but quality remained relatively high, she said, when asked for her thoughts on vintage 2021.
“Vintage 2021 was similar to vintage 2020 in terms of quality but vintage 2020 yielded slightly higher volumes of grapes. The biggest challenge this year was getting everything into the winery at peak ripeness. Because of the light crops, fruit ripened quickly, so we had to be right on top of testing and then bringing the fruit in when it got to the desired ripeness.”
Hunter says that since the winery has its own processing facility and harvester, the team at Hunter’s Wines was able to harvest quickly.
“Our lesser challenge was the relatively inexperienced vintage crew. Normally we would have a number of overseas winemakers in the mix. However, they were keen and adjusted quickly to the daily routine and did a good job.”

Hunter’s Wines was one of the earliest wineries in Marlborough and one of the country’s first to produce sparkling wine made using the traditional method, the same way that champagne is produced. MiruMiru bubbles form a significant part of Hunter’s Wines production.

Jane Hunter is the recipient of recipient of the Wolf Blass AM Award 2016 and Wine Marlborough Lifetime Achievement Award 2016.