Dog Point Vineyard is a collaboration between two former key staff members of Cloudy Bay, enologist James Healy and viticulturalist Ivan Sutherland. Both left Cloudy Bay at the end of 2003 and have produced their own wines from the 2002 vintage forward. The wines are hand-crafted from estate fruit grown on some of the oldest vines and best sites in Marlborough. Yields are low, and the grapes are hand-harvested. The winemaking is non-interventionist, and all the wines (with the exception of the stainless Sauvignon) are given extended barrel aging with minimal racking and handling. Bottling is done without fining and with minimal filtration.
Dog Point Vineyard Winery
The name Dog Point dates from the earliest European settlement of Marlborough and the introduction of sheep to the district. "These were days of few fences, of boundary riders and boundary keeping dogs".
Shepherds' dogs sometimes became lost or wandered off and eventually bred into a marauding pack which attacked local flocks.
Their home was a tussock and scrub covered hill, overlooking the Wairau Plains, designated by the early settlers as Dog Point.
Marlborough's Wairau Valley is the major grape growing region of New Zealand, a confined geographical area at the northern tip of the South Island. Abundant sunshine, low rainfall and cool autumn nights characterise our long growing season, enabling the slow evolution of a rich array of vibrant fruit flavors.
Fruit for our wines is sourced from selected vineyard plantings dating back to the late 1970's. These older well-established vines situated on free draining silty clay loams are supplemented with fruit from closely planted hillside vines with a clay loam influence.
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A few other New Zealand areas include the region of Auckland, high up on the North Island, Nelson, sitting to the west of Marlborough, and Canterbury, just under Waipara on the South Island. Most wines in New Zealand will come from a designated area and say so on the label.
Auckland was one of the first wine growing regions of the country, but now produces very little of New Zealand's wine. It's pretty wet up there so vineyards are planted in the driest spots possible – reds are most popular here. Nelson is the only region along the west coast of the country, producing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Canterbury's chilly climate is best suited for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The country of New Zealand is about 1000 miles from the coast of Australia. It consists of two long islands, end to end, that are approximately the same length as California. Most of the country's climate is maritime due to the abundant coastline. The northern island is warmer and wetter, while the southern island is cooler and dryer. The most popular grapes of New Zealand are Sauvignon Blanc (made most famous by the bright, crisp wines coming out of Marlborough), Chardonnay and the ever-growing Pinot Noir.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.