By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
New Zealand winery Yealands Estate aims to become one of Marlborough's leading producers of aromatic white wines.
Despite Marlborough’s global reputation for Sauvignon Blanc, Yealands’ chief winemaker Tamra Kelly-Washington says the winery is focused on carving a niche for itself with aromatic whites following the international success of its Yealands Estate PGR, a unique blend of Pinot Gris, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
“The aromatics are new for us but they have gotten some really good write-ups in the UK. The PGR is exciting because it’s a real winemaker’s wine, playing around with the different varietals and seeing how they come together as one wine,” said Kelly-Washington.
“There are lots of different ways to do it and styles you can create, depending on what you want to do.”
Kelly-Washington (pictured) said the PGR blend, which is not currently available in Australia, is an ideal “food” wine. [continues below]
She also revealed plans to launch a PGR blend in the winery's mid-tier Land Made Series.
“The Land Made wine will be just a little bit fruitier but still very plush and plump. It’s great because it will be a very accessible wine, not just available at restaurants which is the case with the PGR blend.”
According to Kelly-Washington, Yealands has the ideal vineyard site to create outstanding aromatic whites.
“The aromatic varieties are not unusual here, there is a lot planted, but we believe that at our site there is a lot of potential for growing high-quality aromatics – it is cooler, we get a longer growing season, and we’re really trying to put a lot of focus on that. We’re working towards being known as a top quality aromatics specialist for the area.”
Yealands has successfully positioned itself as a sustainable winery, and was recently named Green Company of the Year by the UK drinks publisher, Drinks Business.
“A lot of the things Peter Yealands is doing in the vineyard with regards to sustainability is really helping the quality of the grapes. I’m seeing better quality each year. We have a really efficient winery with excellent refrigeration, lots of really good input from the sustainability side which really helps with white wine production," Kelly-Washington said.