Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2021

Hawkshead Pinot Gris 2021

  • Pinot Gris
  • New Zealand, 750ml

This is a Central Otago Pinot Gris with x-factor. Its delicious aromatics of vibrant lime, sweet honeysuckle perfume and hints of apricot excite first the nose and then rolls on to the palate. Sumptuous fruit flavours, gentle acidity, slight mineral tones and a richly textured, elegant mouthfeel give the wine great length. The long lingering and ultimately refreshing finish makes it memorable.

  • Winery: Hawkshead
  • Varietal: Pinot Gris
  • Region: Central Otago, New Zealand
  • Vintage: 2021
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • Volume: 750ml
  • Closure: Screwcap
  • Other: drinks beautifully now, will continue to age for 5-8 years
  • Food pairing: Light seafood & vegetable based risottos, salads & sauces; fried fish & Fish & Chips; mushroom risotto; Hummus

This dry style, very aromatic Pinot Gris may well fool your palate into senses of sweet delight.  Yet for all of its impressive fruit sweetness this much loved Central Otago Pinot Gris still only has one gram of residual sugar.  The clean, fresh fruit-driven notes make this wine absolutely memorable.

The Hawkshead vineyard is nestled upon the gentle north-facing slopes of the spectacular Gibbston Valley – a renowned Central Otago destination for anyone who loves incredible scenery, warm hospitality and fine wine.

In 1895 Italian viticulturist Romeo Braggato stated that Central Otago provided great potential for the growth of quality Pinot Noir grapes. He believed the special balance of factors would make the unique environment ideal for the task – in soil and temperature, sunshine and rainfall, the region could be a Pinot Noir paradise. Between then and now this landscape has seen a number of changes as generations have first found their fortunes in gold and, later, with sheep farming. Now, over a century later, Braggato’s vision has become a reality.

Hawkshead makes the most of the Italian’s perceived assets, with the vineyard recognised both here in New Zealand and internationally for producing award winning wines. While growing grapes at 45 degrees south latitude is right on the edge for viticulture the vineyard, ranging between 350 and 400 metres above sea level, enjoys maximum year-round sunshine and a 650mm average yearly rainfall. The vineyard soils are mainly wind blown glacial deposits, overlaid with free draining alluvial schist and a varied amount with a thin layer of topsoil. Into this soil we have grown three Pinot Noir clones: 114, 667 & Abel. A long dry autumn, accompanied by warm daylight temperatures, ensures slow ripening and intense flavour development for the high quality fruit. It’s this ripening process and long hanging time that allows the grapes to develop the elegance and complexity so typical for Gibbston Pinot Noir. The fruit is hand picked and all clones fermented separately, with harvest as late as early May in some years.

The Hawkeshead Label

In 1841 the naturalist William Swainson, Fellow of the Royal Society, settled in New Zealand and named his first colonial home ‘Hawkshead’, after the home of his ancestors in the English Lake District. He had travelled the world, and natural history collectors continue to admire his books and folios of birds, butterflies, and tropical shells. And his drawings of early Wellington landscapes and dwellings created a valuable historical record of the area.

For Denis Marshall, Swainson’s artwork is more than pretty pictures. As one of his descendants Denis inherited the same love for the natural world. While Swainson recorded nature, Denis works to conserve and protect this precious natural environment, much of which is now under threat in the modern world. That’s why, when Denis and Ulrike settled in Gibbston, it was only fitting to choose the name of William Swainson’s first home in New Zealand for their vineyard. Now the original drawing of the cottage rests proudly on the Hawkshead Single Vineyard Pinot Noir label.

The influence of Swainson’s passion for nature does not stop there, with drawings from his collections of beautiful North and South American birds now featuring on the Hawkshead Riesling, Pinot Gris and Rosé labels also.

The Hawkeshead Team

The family business has thrived through the years thanks to a tight-knit approach and an unwavering focus and all-consuming passion for all things fine wine. Owners Denis and Ulrike are proud of their hands-on approach to the winery. Be it rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in amongst the vines, or working closely with winemaker Dean Shaw, or simply welcoming wine enthusiasts and aficionados to their place, they love what they do with this land – and love sharing it with others.

Denis Marshall - Be it with his time farming in the Rangitikei District, his work over many years serving New Zealand in public office, or his subsequent role in raising funds to support our county’s nature conservation, Denis has always had a deep, enduring respect and love for the land. This lifelong passion for conservation lead him to found the NZ National Parks & Conservation Foundation in 2000 and its new brand The New Zealand Nature Fund in 2020. It is a charitable organisation dedicated to raising and managing funds for important conservation projects throughout NZ. And it led him to the awe-inspiring landscapes of Central Otago, with its precious raw beauty.

Ulrike Kurenbach - Sometimes being involved with wine can just be in your blood. Ulrike grew up in the Rhineland, one of Germany’s famous wine regions. From an early age she remembers tasting wine with her family, and she remembers their influence in her subsequent appreciation for quality wine and the craft of wine making. After this upbringing she would go on to gain degrees in Food Technology and Art & Design and to teach in Germany, England and New Zealand. It was while based in London that she studied for a WSET diploma, ensuring a greater depth of knowledge to her current work. Now helping lead Hawkshead; her love of wine, food and creativity provides the perfect mix for a rewarding life.

Renee Shaw - After studying tourism in Wellington, Renee ventured to the South Island with a vision of exploring her backyard before travelling aboard. Then, like many ‘temporary’ travellers to this magical place, she found herself comfortably ensnared in a career lifestyle ideal for her talents. Sixteen years later Renee’s experience in multiple tourism and hospitality ventures, including several years as a guide on the Routeburn Track, serve her well in her work here. The adventure continues and, be it exploring new wines for her WSET Diploma, planning a weekend getaway, or running after her young daughter, Emiko, she always has something interesting to contribute.

  • 95/100 Points - Sam Kim, Wine Orbit (2020 vintage)
  • Gold & 93/100 Points - Candice Chow, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews (2020 vintage)
  • 5 Stars & Gold Medal Standard - Michael Cooper, Michael Cooper’s Buyers Guide 2022 - NZ Wines (2020 vintage)
  • Excellent to Outstanding - Mark Henderson, Otago Daily Times (2020 vintage)
  • 4 Stars & Silver - Bob Campbell MW, The Real Review (2020 vintage)


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