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Our New Pinot Noir Vineyard Development

Vineyard Development 2019

In 2018 we had the opportunity to purchase an additional parcel of farmland, connecting our existing farm and vineyard properties in Spotswood.

This new acquisition is being converted to a Pinot Noir vineyard featuring 300 rows, 30,000 vines and covering six hectares (14.8  acres).

On average it can take up to three years to produce grapes worthy of harvesting and producing wine with. This estimate is based on a number of factors including how well the vine is tended to, soil types, sunlight, pruning techniques, etc.

Photo: Garrick Guy, Vineyard Manager  

10 Years of Mt. Beautiful Vintages

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Authored by Rebecca Farrell-Gomez, the Gourmez, December 14, 2018 

Read this post on Becca's website here. 

"Did you say vertical tasting?

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Mt. Beautiful wine, pinot gris, vertical tastingThat’s an irresistible invitation for wine bloggers. We love to compare and contrast different vintages from the same winery, to ponder the sometimes subtle, sometimes great, differences between them. Make it five vertical tastings in an evening, at a restaurant I’ve never tried before and from a wine region with which I’m barely familiar, and my participation is a foregone conclusion. Obligatory disclaimer: As media, this experience was entirely free to me at the invitation of Mt. Beautiful Winery.

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Kicking things off with a glass of rosé in Sens’ garden.

Mt. Beautiful Winery’s 10th Vintage Anniversary was the reason for the vertical tastings. Owned by the Teece family of North Canterbury, New Zealand, the farms and other properties that make up Mt. Beautiful are based right below the Kaikoura Seaward Mountains.

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Mt Beautiful’s first wine was released to the public in 2008. They currently make seven types: four white wines and pinot noir, from which they also make a barrel select wine and a rosé. Minus the rosé, we had a full vertical of each available to us. That’s a lot of wine, folks! Thirty-eight different vintage­­–varietal combinations, in fact. Which was way too many for me to attempt in an evening. Even spitting, that curiosity would kill this cat. Instead, I homed in on four from each grape, for a grand total of twenty wines. And that was still plenty! Luckily, we had a great selection of palate-cleansing appetizers from our host restaurant, Sens.

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That hummus was plenty tasty, as was the pimento cheese, but the true standout was a bright green dip bursting with so much spring pea flavor that I pondered if peas could be harvested fresh in September. Maybe it was fava bean? Regardless, once properly carbed up, I proceeded with the tasting.

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New Zealand is most known for its sauvignon blanc, and Mt. Beautiful’s lineup did not disappoint in terms of strong perfume and tropical flavors. The 2009 and 2015 vintages ranked highest for me. In particular, the 2009 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc had such a strong floral showing, I feared a spider web might drop from between dripping blossoms. In the glass, that intensity was very balanced and placed a strong call for oysters.

The 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc offered white blossom perfume. Its acidity tasted unique, like a mixture of ginger and lemongrass. Pears, leaves, butter, and flowers abounded. Pepper came out with food.

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The chardonnays had light bodies and notes of lemon across the board, with buttery backbones restrained by tropical notes such as kiwi and kalamansi. The 2014 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay pleased me most, with notes of sautéed green and gala apples, rosy with their skins on. It’d taste great with charcuterie or salted wasabi peas.

Did someone mention charcuterie? I’ve never seen such a high tower of it in my life as the one piled behind these luscious hunks of cheese.

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Sorry, just palate cleansing again before moving on to the vertical of pinot gris. Admittedly, pinot gris is a wine grape varietal that has yet to grow on me. It lacks personality, and beyond knowing it’s a great seafood pairing for its lack of showboating, pinot gris rarely impresses me. But both the oldest and newest vintages of Mt. Beautiful’s had plenty to showboat about, especially the 2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris, which smelled of sand dollar discoveries and butter. Mild acidity brought more butter into the glass, and I was intrigued by notes of budding green leaves. Try it with lobster.

The 2011 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris had more vibrancy than most of its kin. A violet and lilac nose led to a tasty tropical cornucopia of lychee, kiwi, pineapple, horseradish, and Santa Claus melon. It gave me that tingly feeling of stepping inside a warm house after a day spent in the cold.

I tried the vertical of riesling last among the white wine offerings. There was too much petrol in the nose for me on a few bottles, though a petrol nose is a common riesling characteristic, so that may not be a problem for you. Nor did it stop me from enjoying the middle vintages of this wine. The 2011 Mt. Beautiful Riesling was a balanced, extra juicy wine with banana, kiwi, lemon cream acidity, and pressed apples. And the 2012 Mt. Beautiful Riesling drank like a key lime cupcake eats, with extra edible glitter. It’s quite yellow in the glass, and that petrol nose gave way to a nice sugar-to-acid balance.

At last, time for red. Which also meant time to try those lamb burgers!

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Made with New Zealand lamb, of course. Lamb sliders are becoming ubiquitous on Bay Area menus, but these were substantial, probably just smaller versions of Sens’ full-size lamb burger. With oozing manchego and layers of flavor from tomato jam, truly seeded buns, and tzatziki, they were quite dense and well worth trying.

As were Mt. Beautiful’s pinot noirs!

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The older vintages were intense in flavor with memorable notes of foods like sarsaparilla, Caribbean pepper pot stews, and the sweet-sour of Filipino cooking. But I preferred the newer vintages of this grape for their freshness, particular the 2015s. That includes Mt. Beautiful’s first barrel select: the 2015 Mt. Beautiful 10 Barrels.

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You could entertain yourself for the evening contemplating its mysteries. Lots of earthy leaf notes made me think of oak trees and the peeled bark of softer woods. The fruit is just-ripe cherries with white strawberries and twigs.

The 2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir was just as good. It displayed the requisite strawberry and pepper notes of pinot noir with smoothness. Vanilla, cardamom, and the pull of bamboo tannins also made appearances.

As did the great Wilfred Wong, chief storyteller at Wine.com, a legend among us Bay Area wine bloggers.

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It’s been forever since I saw Wilfred, and it was great to get the chance to catch up with him and the many other wine media folks I ran into, however briefly, as we rushed from wine vintage to wine vintage, determined to sip and savor as much as we could. I’m pretty content with my selection of 20, and I’d be interested in seeing how Mt. Beautiful’s current releases hold up in another 10 years from now. Turns out I’m ideally situated for just that scenario—Mt. Beautiful’s founders are based right here in the Bay Area. David Teece is the Tusher Professor of Global Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founder of the globally influential Berkeley Research Group, LLC. His wife, Leigh, is a native Californian, successful venture capitalist and financier, and CEO and founder of World Mentor, an educational nonprofit that teaches innovative thinking skills to high school students.

Northern California and North Canterbury are closer connected than I knew! Cheers to that.

This vertical tasting took place 17 September 2018.

Raymond Chan Wine Reviews

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2018 Mt. Beautiful Rosé
17 / 20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright, light copper-orange colour with some depth, paler on the rim. The nose is softly full with densely packed aromas of savoury quince fruit with subtle strawberry notes, hints of yellow stonefruits and soft nutty and mineral elements, unfolding red florals. Dry to taste and fullish bodied, the palate has fulsome flavours of savoury quince and strawberries with stonefruit and floral detail. The mouthfeel is robust and vigorous with some phenolic textures lending presence. The fruit is underlined by light, background, thirst-quenching acidity and the wine carries to a light flavoured finish of quince and florals. This is a fulsome and vigorous dry rosé with quince, strawberry, stonefruit and floral flavours on a textural palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2-3 years. A blend of 65% Pinot Noir given 12 hours skin contact and 35% hand-picked Pinot Gris, also given time on skins, the two varieties co-fermented in stainless-steel with 15% in seasoned French oak to 14.5% alc. and <3 g/L RS, the barrel portion aged on lees. 17.0/20 Nov 2018 RRP $21.50

2017 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay
17/20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright straw-yellow colour with lemon-green hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is elegant and slender in presentation, possessing a taut and finely concentrated core of fresh citrus fruit with yellow stonefruits, with a subtle layering of nutty oak and hints of lemon-curd MLF detail. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated and taut heart with bright and lively citrus fruit and yellow stonefruits, along with nutty oak, and hints of creamy barrel-ferment melded with MLF. The mouthfeel is refreshing and sleek, and flows along a fine line with brisk acidity enlivening the fruitiness. The wine carries to an elegant, slender, but lingering finish. This is an elegantly taut, refreshing Chardonnay with lively citrus fruit along with nutty oak notes and hints of creaminess on a sleek palate. Serve with seafood dishes over the next 3+ years. Clone 95 and 2/23 fruit, hand-picked, WBP and fermented in equal portions in stainless-steel and new and seasoned oak to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months on less, the barrel portion undergoing MLF. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $26.90

2017 Mt. Beautiful Riesling
17.5 / 20 Points, 4 Stars
Bright, pale straw colour with slight green hues, near colourless on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with very good depth of penetrating aromas of lime fruit entwined with notes of honeysuckle and toast. The nose exudes a mineral freshness. Medium in sweetness and light-medium bodied, the palate has soft and gentle flavours of lime fruit with hints of lemon, melded harmoniously with some honeysuckle and toast, unfolding lifted white florals. The flavours are delicate and integrated, with the sweetness adding to the fruit richness. The wine flows along a light, tight line of fruit extract, with taut, soft acidity indicating low pH, and the wine carries softly to a light, nuanced finish. This is a delicately flavoured, harmoniously integrated medium Riesling with lime, lemon, honey and white floral flavours on a soft-textured, taut palate. Serve as an aperitif and with Asian fare over the next 4+ years. Fruit fermented in stainless-steel to 11.24% alc. and 21 g/L RS, TA 9.45 g/L and pH 2.74. 17.5/20 Nov 2018 RRP $28.00

2017 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
17.5/20 Points, 4 Stars
Moderately deep red colour with ruby hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is soft and somewhat restrained in expression, showing light aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit along with delicate nuances of fresh herbs, red florals and nutty oak. The aromatics build in depth with aeration. Medium-bodied, the palate has medium-deep flavours of red cherry and berry fruit along with subtle notes of fresh herbs, some light, nutty oak, unfolding lifted red florals. The fruit forms a soft-textured core with light, grainy tannins lending presence to the mouthfeel, the acidity integrated and balanced. The wine carries softly to a gentle finish of red fruits and florals. This is an elegantly fruited Pinot Noir with red cherry and berry fruit with herbs, oak and floral notes on a soft, grainy-textured palate. Serve with poultry and pork over the next 4 years. Predominantly clones 667 and 777 with up to 11 other clones employed, the fruit hand-picked and fully destemmed, and fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. 17.5-/20 Nov 2018 RRP $32.00

South Pacific Pacers Take on the 2018 Healdsburg Half Marathon

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Mt. Beautiful's properties may be on New Zealand's South Island but we have a sales and marketing team in the U.S. that is passionate about the brand and and also an active bunch!

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With our U.S. office located in the San Francisco Bay Area, within close proximity to Sonoma and Napa wine countries where a couple "Destination Races" take hold, includiing the popular Healdsburg Half Marathon, we saw a natural tie-in to creating a U.S. running team aptly named the South Pacific Pacers.

Suzanna Mannion, our Marketing Manager organized the running team in 2017 for the Healdsburg Half Marathon however wildfires canceled the event that year. The team reformed in 2018 and successfully completed the event with 10 "pacers" (i.e. runners) in addition to our Western U.S. Sales Manager Tiffany Tonnerre and Executive Administrator Maura Sullivan who staffed what proved to be a very popular post-race tasting station at the finish line! 

As much fun as running 13.1 miles was had by all the participants and it looks like the South Pacific Pacers will be making a comeback to the Healdsburg Half for years to come, and will hopefully grow our team as the years go by. 

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Wine, etc.: Like red, fruity wine? Here are some to discover.

Tom Marquardt And Patrick Darr

Capital Gazette,
Tom Marquardt and Patrick Darr 

"Far be it from us to tell you what you should like in wine. We may be able to tell you what is a good wine, but we can’t determine what is a good wine to you.

We can tell you, for instance, many cheap, jammy and sweet wines are not good wines. But, if you like them, who are we to say you shouldn’t?

So, call us frustrated that these extracted wines are flooding the market and attracting consumers who haven’t the desire to ponder something more balanced. While serious winemakers have been refining their wines for centuries, others have come along to mask defects with a load of sugar.

We get it. There are no rules, right?"

Mt. Beautiful is proud to be one of the six "Wine Picks" Patrick and Tom noted in their article. Here's what they had to say about us:

"Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir North Canterbury 2016 ($30). This is another notable pinot noir from New Zealand where their pinot noirs are deservedly becoming better known. Deep dark and rich black cherry flavors are dominant in this bold pinot noir. It would do well with beef dishes."

View the whole article here.

Press Release: Mt. Beautiful Announces Two New Sales Assets

Karl Ziegler

For Immediate Release

Mt. Beautiful USA Announces Two New Sales Assets

Benicia, September 19, 2018 - Mt. Beautiful USA, the import, sales and marketing company owned by Mt. Beautiful New Zealand, welcomes its new National Sales Manager Karl Ziegler along with a new partnership with Aurora Wine & Spirits.

Effective Aug 17th 2018 Karl will oversee and direct the development and implementation of a comprehensive national sales strategy for the company’s wine brands. Karl’s 20 plus years’ in the wine industry started in 1996 as Sales Representative for Southern Wine & Spirits. He’s since held numerous sales roles on both the distributor and supplier sides of the business, bringing a wealth of distributor management and brand growth strategies that will serve Mt. Beautiful well.

Mt. Beautiful has also partnered with Jim Moeller of Aurora Wines & Spirits to leverage his nationwide network of supplier reps to help Mt. Beautiful grow new accounts and more effectively manage existing relationships. Jim and his team of representatives will report to Mt. Beautiful’s Regional Managers who will in turn direct them on how to best optimize their local knowledge and contacts in effort to grow Mt. Beautiful’s distribution and forge new sales channels.

The Hedonistic Taster: Mt. Beautiful

Lyn LM Archer

The Hedonitic Taster, L.M. Archer

"As a wine writer, It’s rare to desire every wine sampled in a tasting line-up. Yet each Mt. Beautiful Winery wine here elicits a hankering for more. Hats off to Mt. Beautiful winemaker Sam Weaver, a quiet leader in New Zealand’s Sustainable Winegrawing program, whom I first met at IPNC some years ago. Mt. Beautiful Winery proprietor David Teece have spared no expense, both in the vineyard and the cellar, to produce truly original, premium wines. This year marks Mt. Beautiful’s tenth vintage anniversary making wines in one of the world’s most hardscrabble locations. Good on them – here’s to more!

Wine: Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
Vintage: 2017
Alcohol: 13%
Robe: Clear lemon hue.
Nose: Cut grass, gooseberry, lime blossom, saline aromas.
Bouche: Lime zest, grapefruit, pineapple bouche; light-medium body, bright acids.
Quintessential New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc squared – gorgeous, pristine fruit + quality wine making.

Wine: Mt. Beautiful Riesling
Vintage: 2016
Alcohol: 11.3%
Robe: Pale lemon hue with tiny, iridescent green flecks.
Nose: Petrol, burnt rubber, citrus aromas.
Bouche: Medium body, off-dry, citrus bouche.
Solid, quality Riesling. Go ahead, Somms + wine geeks – you want this wine.

Wine: Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay
Vintage: 2016
Alcohol: 13.5 %
Robe: Pale lemon robe.
Nose: White flowers, stone fruit, citrus aromas.
Bouche: Golden apple, white nectarine, mineral backnote bouche; light-medium body, nervy acids, clean finish.
Smitten. Best non-oak bomb New World Chardonnay yet. More, please.

Wine: Mt. Beautiful Rosé
Vintage: 2017
Alcohol: 13%
Robe: Gorgeous burnt apricot hue.
Nose: Lychee, white ginger, baking spice aromas.
Bouche: White peach, nectarine, nutmeg bouche; medium body, bright acids. You had me at ‘gorgeous burnt apricot robe.’
Alluring, intoxicating, haunting, “must have more” rosé. This wine just ain’t pretty – it’s got brains, too – which is why it ranks among my Top Five Fave Rosés for 2018.

Wine: Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2016
Alcohol: 13.5%
Robe: Deep ruby robe.
Nose: Smokey, dark cherry, violet, bramble aromas.
Bouche: Blackberry, black cherry, red fruit bouche; light-medium body, artfully balanced acids and tannins, lingering finish.

Seamlessly constructed, exceptional quality Pinot Noir at a ridiculously accessible price point. No brainer, Pinotphiles. Buy. Drink. Repeat."

Read the whole article Hedonistic Taster 

Fall Rose Wine Picks: Liquid Assets for Boaters

Foodandwinetravelchix

Food Wine Travel Chix, Linda Kissam 

"Rosés are the darlings of warm fall weather and the boating life … and for good reason. They pair well with pretty much any food you might have on board …from hot dogs to shrimp. Throw in an avocado or two and you have pure heaven.

Rosés can be made into various cocktails too. If you go down that road, I suggest making rosé ice cubes and pouring club soda over them. Trust me, it’s an easy-to-make crowd pleaser.

Each boating year I do a couple of different tastings. This year it was ciders and Rosés. My husband and I were on an 8 week cruise in our 42’ Grand Banks gliding over the Canadian coastal waters. Food storage – fresh and canned – is at a premium. Space for adult beverages are also tough to find, so what we bring aboard needs to be top notch without breaking the budget. We’ve found storing our wines deep under the floor boards in the aft cabin keep the wines cool and ready to serve. Our pairings are simple and boat focused. The best is when we can catch fresh fish.

Mt Beautiful 2017 Beautiful Rosé – (About $15) – A dry, crisp blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Gris. Salmon pink color with some floral notes and sweet red berry aromas on the nose. Love the taste of white peach and pink grapefruit. Smooth texture and acid friendly. This is a medium bodied wine with a significant finish. Pair with a charcuterie board."

Read the article here.

Beautiful Wines from New Zealand’s Mt. Beautiful Winery

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Beautiful Wines from New Zealand’s Mt. Beautiful Winery
By Linda Milks

"Exploring wines from different regions of the world opens our taste buds to the nuances of grapes grown in different soils and different climates.

The Wine Review Council, a group of wine lovers reviewed wines grown on the South Island of New Zealand (about an hour and half north of Christchurch.) This is the area where Mt. Beautiful stands regally over the vineyards and protects the grapes from the ocean winds. The Mt. Beautiful Vineyard is comprised of 23 different soil types in this small area, plus an array of micro climates.

Eight of us were assigned a different wine and asked to bring a food pairing for our wine. Sometimes this can be difficult since we have not tasted the wine, and wines can surprise us with some unique and interesting variances.

The 2017 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc ($15.99) was one of those surprises, but it was a pleasant surprise. Generally, New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs have a distinct grassiness to them. However, this Sauvignon Blanc explodes with flavors of tropical fruits of pineapple and mango. The pairing chosen for this wine was a Smoked Salmon Dill Cream Cheese Spread. While we liked it, we preferred the Le Delice de Bourgogne triple crème cheese with the wine.

Tomato Ricotta Tart

A beautiful seasonal Tomato Ricotta Tart accompanied the 2017 Mt. Beautiful Rosé ($15.99) with flavors of stone fruit, watermelon, and strawberries. The wine was dry and a beautiful color of pink and a red rose tinge. This is a Rosé blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Pinot Gris. We determined the wine is not a patio-sipping Rosé but rather one that needs to be paired with food.

Thai Spring Rolls

Because Chardonnays are bigger whites, the pairing for the 2016 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay ($21.99) was Thai Spring Rolls of Shrimp and Pork. The Chardonnay, though velvety, jostled your taste buds with flavors of stone fruits, apple, and almonds. The finish was full of minerality. For fun, we sampled the triple crème cheese with the Chardonnay and found a bitter finish which shows that a wrong pairing can change the taste of the wine. We liked the Spring Rolls as a pairing.

A twist on your traditional quiche was the Duck Egg Quiche with Ham and Grapes that was paired with the 2016 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir ($27.99.) The Pinot Noir provided fragrances of violet and black cherries on the nose. Silky and sophisticated would be a good description of this Pinot with a juiciness of blackberries and cherries. An earthiness could be found in this wine which was grown in the highest elevation in the vineyard. We found the fresh Chinook salmon was an excellent pairing for the 2016 Pinot Noir. This wine was chosen as the favorite of our group.

Fresh Peach Upside Dxcown Cake

The final Mt. Beautiful wine of the day was the Mt. Beautiful Winery Riesling ($21.99) and was paired with a Fresh Peach Upside-Down Cake. The first sniff of the wine gave off a slight petrol nose which is often a Riesling characteristic, especially when grown with more heat and sunlight. Key lime and apple flavors greet the palate of this off-dry Riesling with a lingering acidic finish. The Thai Spring Rolls paired beautifully with this 2016 Riesling.

Both Wine.com and Total Wine & More (in some areas) carry Mt. Beautiful wines. You can also buy them online through Mt. Beautiful Winery and Vineyards.

Author’s Note: As is customary in this industry, the Wine Review Council was provided with these wines to review."

A Summer Travelogue of 25 Geographically Diverse Wines

Wine And The Earth

Three Mt. Beautiful wines were featured in The Daily Meal by Contributor Roger Morris.

"Sometimes, tasting through a group of recently released wines is like taking a tour of the world’s wine regions, some well-known, others relative newcomers. Such is the case here, with three wines from the beautiful but barely known North Canterbury region of New Zealand’s South Island. Add to this some prickly and refreshing red sparkling wines from the region around Bologna in northern Italy, a group of geographically and stylistically diverse red wines for less than $30 and, finally, a deluxe, delicious and very expensive Champagne, and it’s time to bring out the wine atlas and start looking at its maps."

Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc 2017 ($16). A sweaty sauvignon with flavors of green grapes and lime with a hint of cream.

Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Chardonnay 2016 ($22). A “soft” chardonnay with creamy fruit surrounded by lightly tart, dusty tannins.

Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Pinot Noir 2016 ($24). A light-ish pinot with creamy cherries and moderate acidity.

Read the entire article here.

photo: istockphoto.com

Mt. Beautiful Sponsors Fundraiser Feast by Māia Health Foundation

Maia Health Foundation Feast

Mt. Beautiful is proud to have been one of the sponsors of the Maia Health Feast where 260 Cantabrians came to a formal black tie feast at the Christchurch Art Gallery to raise funds for a rooftop helipad atop the Christchurch Hospital. $145k were raised that evening with $100k coming from a silvent auction.

Read an article on this event at Stuff here.