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Leveret Mills Reef Picks Up Two Trophies at the 2022 Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards

The Leveret Mills Reef team was proud to pick up two trophies at yesterday’s Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards, held at the Tomoana Showgrounds. The awards exist to honour the incredible talent of the winemaking sector in Hawke’s Bay, and seven judges went through the largest number of entries since 2016. The Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Gris 2022 and Leveret IQ Premium Brut Methodé Traditionnelle are the wines that took the trophies in their varietal categories for Leveret Mills Reef.

“The Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Gris is a stunning wine that has reaped the benefits of the hard work of our entire team,” says Paul Dawick, Chief Winemaker at Leveret Mills Reef.“We’ve only got stronger since we combined Leveret and Mills Reef, and the result is award-winning. Simply majestic, this pinot gris exudes poise, elegance, and a touch of spice. It’s a perfect wine for date night!”

“It’s also our privilege to receive the trophy for sparkling wine,” says Cam Duke, Winemaker at Leveret Mills Reef. “This award is testimony to decades of knowledge, passion and hard work that goes on behind the scenes to create some of New Zealand’s finest bubbles. Our company has been producing Methode Traditonelle, sparkling wine since the early 80’s, so it’s fantastic to be recognized for this award for our IQ Brut. The IQ in the name stands for ‘’improving quietly”, which we feel it certainly has been over the last 40 years.”

Leveret Mills Reef has five vineyards in Hawkes Bay; Riverview, Kinross, Tantallon, Campbell’s Brook, and Colefield. The two trophy winning wines were sourced predominantly from grapes grown at Riverview, the most westerly and elevated vineyard. These wines were overseen by winemaker, Hamish Binns and Riverview vineyard manager, Isaac Huggett. 

“From the vineyard to the winemaking, we’re in the unique position of being in control of every aspect of our winemaking, with quality being of the utmost importance,” explains Dawick. “Having access to vineyards like Riverview in Hawkes Bay has elevated what we’ve been able to create as a team. Watch this space as there’s more to come.”

Both wines are available to purchase at the Cellar Door in Katikati or online.

Meet the Trophy Winners:

Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Gris 2022
The grapes for this cooler-climate loving variety were sourced from low-yielding vines located within the Maraekakaho sub-region of the Hawke’s Bay. The site enjoys a temperate climate moderated throughout summer by cooling afternoon breezes, in tandem with alluvial soils underfoot overlaying red metal, on terraced sun-facing slopes – the combination of which is ideally suited to the Pinot Gris variety.

The weather over the 2022 growing season was characterised by a cooler start during spring flowering, which helped to naturally moderate crop levels for higher wine quality, leading onto a long, dry, hot summer. However, two significant depressions in March meant careful and astute picking decisions had to be made, for immaculate fruit condition and optimal fruit profile.

The grapes were pressed on arrival to the winery and the clarified juice transferred to three stainless steel tanks for fermentation and initiated with an inoculated yeast specially selected for its aromatic expression. A blending trial on the separate batches was undertaken to achieve the right balance, enhanced complexity and mouthfeel. The emerging wine thereafter received a light fining, progressing through to cold stabilisation prior to bottling on 20th July 2022, under screwcap.

Full bodied and creamy smooth, it displays attractive peach, nectarine, and nashi pear flavours complimented with pink grapefruit and a deliciously soft ginger spice finish.

SHOP ➤ Mills Reef Reserve Pinot Gris 2022

Leveret IQ Premium Brut Methodé Traditionnelle
The grapes for this wine were mainly sourced from their Hawke’s Bay vineyards located in the upper river terraces of the Ngaruroro River. These very free draining sites with cool night-time temperatures are ideally suited to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier production.

Traditional methods of sparkling winemaking are used, firstly through a primary fermentation with a neutral yeast strain, followed by a complete malo-lactic fermentation. The base wines are then blended after 12 months maturation on lees prior to filtration and tirage. 

Following bottle fermentation the wines are left for at least another 18 months on the fermentation lees. This maturation time allows yeast autolysis to occur contributing important flavour and textural qualities to the wine. 

This premium Brut has a fine and persistent bead. The aroma shows complex yeast autolysis characters of nuts, freshly baked bread, wild mushrooms and marzipan. The fruit aromas are totally entwined with the secondary characters but are still present enough to provide a citrus and stone fruit base. The palate is amazingly fresh, with a gentle effervescence and long textural finish.

SHOP ➤ Leveret IQ Premium Brut Methodé Traditionnelle

Want to know more about our wines

New Zealand’s temperate, maritime climate and rich, free-draining volcanic soils have brought new intense flavours and styles to the world wine market. With vineyards in prime locations such as Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough.

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