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Sparkling success with Méthode Marlborough

Check out this recent article on Méthode Marlborough within the winter edition of Bayleys' Preview magazine. Written by Kate Coote, it is an excellent overview of our collaborative organisation and reiterates our consumer guarantee of quality above all else!

As we head into the colder months, not everybody wants to hunker down and hibernate. Planning a mid-winter Christmas or Matariki celebration is an excellent excuse for a party.

One thing that your mid-winter Christmas celebration should never be without is superior sparkling wine! Thankfully you won’t have to travel too far to find the perfect drop. Six years ago, a group of like-minded professionals from Marlborough’s wine industry committed to setting benchmarks that established and celebrated the unique quality of Marlborough sparkling wines made using traditional methods, that were initially developed in the Champagne region of France.

Méthode Marlborough was founded by Adele Le Brun (No. 1 Family Estate), Katy Prescott (Nautilus Estate) and Stephanie McIntyre (Outré Ltd), three passionate Marlborough wine industry members who saw the importance of educating consumers, trade and media alike about the high calibre of Marlborough sparkling wines being produced in this way.

Today, the society has grown to include eleven members. No 1 Family Estate, Nautilus Estate, Johanneshof Cellars, Pernod Ricard (Deutz), Lion (Daniel Le Brun), Allan Scott Family Winemakers, Tohu, Spy Valley Wines, Hunter’s Wines, Saint Clair Family Estate, and LV.

Any wines bearing the Méthode Marlborough logo must meet strict criteria, guaranteeing that they have been made with care, attention and an ultimate commitment to quality.

- The wines must be one hundred per cent grown and made in Marlborough.

- They must be made using the traditional method of production. This means the second fermentation takes place in the bottle, followed by the intricate riddling and disgorging process.

- Méthode Marlborough wines must be made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, (either individually or as a blend). This trio of grape varieties is internationally recognised as the benchmark style by sparkling wine producers all around the world.

- Méthode Marlborough wines must be aged for a minimum of 18 months on lees.

Mitchell Gardiner, the co-chair of the organisation, says, “Sparkling wine is an important category within the wine industry, and often consumers wear blinkers when they consider their purchase. In the past, people have tended to choose Champagne for important events and Prosecco for everyday drinking.” The team at Méthode Marlborough is changing this thought process and encouraging consumers around the world to discover the delicious, high-quality méthode traditionnelle wines produced in this beautiful region we call home.

Sauvignon Blanc may have cemented Marlborough’s spot on the global wine stage, but Méthode Marlborough and its members are spreading the word that the region has more than one string to its bow. The slow ripening season and cool evenings that make Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc so unique is also critical to the quality sparkling wine production that Méthode Marlborough stands for.

Méthode Marlborough is a unique entity in New Zealand, and it opens up opportunities in the market place for its members to align with like-minded retailers and restauranteurs, by crafting special events and relaxed tastings and dining experiences that engage and educate consumers.

There’s a common misconception that sparkling wine should only be considered an aperitif. But Mitchell says that couldn’t be further from the truth, “Sparkling wine is one of the most versatile wines to match with food. Our member’s wines range from fresh and light through to complex and textural, so you’ll always find something to complement your meal.”

To discover Méthode Marlborough wines, the organisation encourages locals to visit their member’s cellar doors. Mitchell says, “Tasting wine where it was produced and sharing the experience with the people who have crafted it is hard to beat!” Alternatively, visit The Wine Station, located in a newly renovated 1906 heritage building at the Blenheim Railway Station. There you’ll discover a fridge dedicated to Méthode Marlborough sparkling wines. We’ll raise a glass to that!


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