Joelle Thomson

Wine writer and award winning wine author

What I am drinking, reading and savouring each week


Otago wine company imports new French bubbly

It’s not exactly a case of a coals to Newcastle but there is an irony about the newest imported wine available in Central Otago. It’s a Pinot Noir from France, only in this case it’s sparkling.

The Maison Vitteaut-Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne comes from Burgundy, is made 100% from Pinot Noir grapes and is a blend from vineyards in the Cote de Beaune. It’s made the same way as champagne but can’t be called champagne because it comes from outside the famous region of the same name.

The Burgundian bubbly is being imported to New Zealand by ex-pat Frenchman Thomas Moschetta, who runs the cellar door and wine club at Kinross on the Gibbston Highway, just outside Queenstown.

“I’m always keeping my ear to the ground for interesting ways to bring some of the specialties of my homeland here to share. I’m so thrilled that in June I was able to secure for Kinross exclusive importing and retail rights to this Cremant de Bourgogne (sparkling wine from Burgundy). It’s a beautiful blanc de noirs brut methode traditionelle that we think Kiwis will love,” says Moschetta.

  • Maison Vitteaut-Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne is $45 and is available exclusive from Kinross.

This is my wine of the week


Maison Vitteaut-Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne Brut Blanc de Noirs $45

This is a welcome addition to the New Zealand wine scene especially at this time of year. Blanc de Noirs means ‘white of black’ and this sparkling wine is made entirely from hand picked Pinot Noir grapes grown in the Cote de Beaune. It’s vinified by Maison Vitteaut-Alberti, using the same winemaking methods as champagne, only in this case the wine comes from Burgundy, just down the road.
It’s dry, refreshing and medium bodied with characterful, toasty aromas, reflecting the Pinot Noir grape, and tastes fully sparkling, which is suggestive of high quality winemaking.

The grapes were settled for over 24 hours then fermented with added yeasts in thermo-regulated vats at 20 degrees Celcius. A second fermentation in bottle took place in air conditioned cellars at 15 degrees Celcius and the wine has a refined freshness and rich savoury flavours and lingering finish.

It’s very good quality and value.