As a long standing producer of quality sparkling wine in the form of Nautilus Estate Cuvee Marlborough Brut NV, we take our fizz very seriously. As such, Nautilus Estate is very proud to be one of the founding members of “Méthode Marlborough” – a society formed to communicate the quality and heritage of Marlborough traditional method sparkling wines.
The society launched 1 September and comprises the following nine members:-
Allan Scott, Cloudy Bay Vineyards, Hunter’s Wine, Johanneshof, Lion, Nautilus Estate, No 1 Family Estate, Spy Valley, Tohu Wines
The group is open to any producer who makes a sparkling wine meeting the following criteria:-
1. Wines are 100% grown and made in Marlborough.
2. Wines are made by traditional method production.
3. Wines are 100% made from the three traditional varieties (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier) either individually or as a blend.
4. Wines are aged for a minimum of 18 months on lees.
Chairperson Stephanie McIntyre says the initiative is intended to celebrate the quality and diversity of sparkling wine styles produced in the region. “We are very proud of the quality sparkling wines produced in this region. A superb cool climate, extensive sparkling winegrowing experience, the right clones in the right places, and a group of skilled & quality-minded producers has led to a local tradition of premium wines.”
“The purpose of this group is to educate consumers on how our sparkling wines differ from other styles. Variations of quality in sparkling wines are the result of tangible winemaking techniques. For example all ‘Méthode Marlborough’ wines are made in the traditional method which means the second fermentation is in the bottle, followed by the intricate riddling and disgorging process. This produces the finest and most persistent bead. Additionally, all these wines are aged for a minimum of 18 months before disgorging takes place. This allows complex flavours to develop, balancing fresh and fruit driven character with savoury notes of toast and brioche.”
The group is dedicated to promoting wines made only from Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. McIntyre explains that, while sparkling wines can be made from other varieties, this trio of varieties is internationally recognised as a benchmark style by sparkling wine producers all around the world.
A collaborative approach has been the driving force for the formation of the group. McIntyre states that, “Although small, the Marlborough region is incredibly diverse and the range of sparkling wines within our society demonstrates well the level of quality attainable in the region. I think the trade and consumers will enjoy having the opportunity to taste a cross section of wines from our group. It is a delicious showcase of the region.”
The Méthode Marlborough group will feature in a seminar at the Marlborough Wine Weekend in November, and renowned international sparkling wine expert Tom Stevenson will be on the panel.