Mt. Beautiful


Four Silver Medals Won at Rodeo Uncorked!

 Rodeo Uncorked Houston Livestock And Rodeo (1)

Rodeo Uncorked! - Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, November 2016

Mt. Beautiful Winery was awarded four silver medals on the following wines at its 2017 wine competition, Rodeo Uncorked! 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc - $15.99 /  bottle - Purchase
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris - $18.99 / bottle - Purchase 
2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - $25.99 / bottle - Purchase
2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling - $21.99 /  bottle - Purchase

Ex-All Blacks' Tony Brown Visits Our Tasting Room!

Tony Brown All Blacks

(Tony Brown; in light blue shirt cradling a bottle of Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir)

Last week, New Zealand's ex-All Black's rugby player Tony Brown visited our Tasting Room in Cheviot. (He's a bit of a big deal in NZ)

Tony is now Head Coach of the provincial rugby team, the Otago Highlanders who won the Super Rugby competition last year. Super Rugby is the international tournament that runs for 5 months between NZ, Australia and South Africa. This year there was also a team from Japan and Argentina included.

Tony and other management and coaches from the Otago Highlanders were travelling from Dunedin (where they are based) to Nelson, and wanted something fun to do on the way.

They were hosted by Juliette and had such a good time they ended up staying for a few hours, trying some older vintages along with a few platters. They were incredibly interested in learning as much as they could about winemaking and we enjoyed imparting all our knowledge to them!

Frost Protection in Our Vineyard

Kaikoura Helicopters 

During the spring time, temperatures can dip quite low during evenings and put our vines at risk of the damaging effects of frost.

There's a variety of means to fight against frost damage in the vineyard including the use of wind machines, sprinklers, hot air burners and helicopters.

The use of helicopters is one of the most expensive and most effective methods. Their large blades help circulate the air and push warm air down towards the ground. Sometimes they fly around for hours doing just that.

If our Vineyard Manager thinks there might be frost the coming morning, he calls in these choppers from Kaikoura. They are parked at the vineyard and the pilots stay in Cheviot for the night "on call."

If the frost alarms go off, Fin calls the pilots who arrive within 10 minutes to fly the helicopters and start the fight against frost!

Bud Break In Our Vineyard

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Here in the US we are officially in the fall season however in New Zealand, spring is on the horizon. In fact we just received word of bud break in our Chardonnay blocks this morning. The 2017 vintage is already underway!

Mt. Beautiful Riesling in The Shout Hospitality!

Shoutout Cameron Douglas (1)

Hospitality Magazine, Cameron Douglas MS, September 2016

Click the image above to read Cameron Douglas's article "Aren't All Rieslings Sweet?" featuringa review on Mt. Beautiful's 2015 Riesling he scored with 92 points!

92 Points! 

“Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Riesling 2015: Mineral, dry stone, citrus and apple combinations, rose and apple blossom fragrances, a bouquet. Dry, crisp, loaded with texture and flavour, ripe fruits, mineral, a hint of honeysuckle and baked fruits, a light leesy texture adding length and finish.”

21.99 / bottle   |    263.88 / case 


Pruning In Our Estate Vineyard


Pruning is an annual event in our vineyard that helps control the size and shape of the grapevines. It also helps optimize the vines’ production potential, so we have beautiful and quality fruit yields.

Pruning By Hand

Performed very carefully and entirely by hand with secateurs and loppers, this is an essential activity of vineyard management that sets the stage for the vineyard’s performance and productivity for the coming year and years ahead.

Pruning G

Pruning H

With 184 acres planted to vines at Mt. Beautiful, and over 20 unique blocks, pruning is an especially active time in our vineyard that spans the course of 2-3 months; typically June through August, during New Zealand’s winter months. It also happens to be the most expensive single activity of the year where our permanent staff joins forces with several seasonal hires in the vineyard.

Pruning B

Fin Grieve, our Vineyard Manager, uses his vast experience and judgement when choosing which of the two primary pruning methods (spur or cane) will be optimal for a given vineyard block, taking into consideration desired crop levels, the characteristics of each varietal and the block’s location.

Primarily we cane prune most of the vineyard however Riesling responds particularly well to spur pruning. In addition we also spur prune small areas of our Pinot Noir.

Pruning A

Here’s more information on these two different types of pruning techniques used at Mt. Beautiful / Teece Family Vineyard.

Cane Pruning:

This method is normally better suited for colder climates or vines growing outside regions that are on the cold end of their preferred range, however, cane pruning is more labor intensive and risky, as it necessitates someone with a trained eye who knows how to choose the best canes. If a poor choice is made, the vine may produce less than favorable results.

With cane pruning, two or three canes growing from the head of the vine are selected and preserved for the following year. These canes should be a minimum of 8-10 mm wide (pencil width) and be one-year-old wood with evenly spaced and healthy looking buds (internodes).

The selected canes are then wrapped and tied to the trellis wire. Before removing all of the remaining dormant canes, replacement spurs are identified and cut back to two or three buds. These provide insurance that there will be at least some replacement canes should the vine not produce canes in the areas that we want for the following year’s pruning.


Pruning C

Spur Pruning
Spur pruning is easier for beginning pruners to learn, especially when pruning older vines that have pronounced cordons and spurs.

Cordons are canes that are not replaced (left on the wire for many years) and spurs are where the buds that produce shoots in spring are cut back to the cordon . With this method, the one-year-old wood growing from the spurs of the cordon are pruned back so only one or two buds are left as close as possible to the cordon. As the shoots grow they will need to later be tied to the trellis.

The advantage of spur pruning is that it generally yields a higher likeliness for a uniform bud break and also creates a spatial balance along the cordon which is advantageous for crop loading and minimizing disease pressure.

A disadvantage of spur pruning is that it’s possible for spurs to stop producing one-year-old wood, leaving permanent gaps in the cordon, If that occurs we usually replace the cordon with a new cane.


The Beautiful People - Erin Harrison, Business Operations & Development Manager

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Erin is a valued member of Mt. Beautiful's New Zealand team who, among many things, is amazing at keeping our US team updated on what is going on in our vineyard, farm and tasting room.

She loves to share spontaneous and creative photos and videos of the various happenings. To name a few - our sheep getting shorn, the construction of our new lodge at Manuka Bay, a snowy scenic landscape after a storm, 1000's of sheep passing through a gate, an employee BBQ and even something as simple as a visitor to our tasting room in Cheviot.

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We wanted to get to know a little more about Erin through some Q&A, and prompted her with the following:

Hometown: Cheviot

How did you get in the wine business? Being in the right place at the right time.

Role at Mt. Beautiful:
Business Operations & Development Manager (whip cracker).

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Ideal dinner party guests:
My extended family; always a good time and it always ends in card playing and port drinking.

Favorite Mt. Beautiful wine:
Chardonnay 2015 – not released yet. Just you wait, it’s amazing.

Favorite food and wine pairing
:  Pinot Noir with kiwi lamb chops.

Favorite restaurant
: Roots, Lyttleton NZ. Closely followed by Nobu.

Favorite vacation destination:  
For a good adventure – Guatemala
For good snowboarding – Fernie, Canada
For general epicness – anywhere in the South Island of NZ

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Favorite things to do in my free time:  Catch-up with my girlfriends and drink wine.

First paid job:  
Does working on the family farm count? We were paid with food and shelter.
Otherwise, washing dishes at Magpies Rest Café in Cheviot when I was 13.

Favorite TV show:  Don’t really do TV. Too busy drinking wine.

Favorite Color:

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Don’t leave home without:
My sidekick, Murphy the Wauzer puppy.

Fun fact about you or any other information you think our readers would enjoy reading:  I’ve spent a month saving penguins in Antarctica.


Romeo Bragato Awards - Mt. Beautiful Takes A Silver!

Silver Bragato

Our Vineyard Manager, Fin, was present at this year's Romeo Bragato Conference held in Blenheim. This event is recognized as the largest and one of the most important conferences to grape growers and wine makers on the New Zealand calendar. 

Needless to say Fin (along with the entire Mt. Beautiful team!) was proud to take home a Pure Silver medal for our 2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.  Out of 40 wines awarded medals in this class, only four were rated higher.

About the Bragato Awards:
"The Bragato Wine Awards is seen by many as the first wine show for the new vintage; this is a chance to see how they stack up against other wines in the same class. The objective is to give recognition to viticultural excellence and to recognize the influence of grape growers and their vineyards in creating the unique qualities of New Zealand wines, by judging the wines made from grapes grown on such specified vineyards. This competition is open to all growers of New Zealand wine grapes to enter wine products from grapes grown on the vineyard or vineyards owned, managed, or operated by the entrant. Entries must be wholly made, processed and matured in New Zealand. The 2016 Bragato Wine Awards are proudly sponsored by O-I New Zealand, the world's leading glass bottle manufacturer.” 



Mt. Beautiful - One of Six Cellars You Can't Drive Past!

MiNDFOOD, Jai Breitnauer, September 2016

We're excited to be "one of six cellars you can't drive past" in this beautifully written article about wineries in the Waipara Valley.

"With their incredible views, delicious local food and world-class wines, Waipara Valley is definitely the place to pull over.

Mt Beautiful vineyard is run by David and Leigh Teece, who established it in 2004. They have 80 hectares of vines including pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and riesling. Surrounding the sustainable vineyard is the Teece family beef and lamb farms with a tasting room in Cheviot."

Click here to read the whole article.

A Finalist at North Canterbury Business Awards!

Every two years, Enterprise North Canterbury hosts the North Canterbury Business Awards. These awards are designed to recognise and celebrate excellence amongst North Canterbury businesses. 

There are several categories, covering diverse industries, from retail to IT, agribusiness to manufacturing. In addition, all entrants are automatically put forward into the Supreme Award and the People’s Choice category which is an award decided by public votes.

This year, Mt. Beautiful entered and is excited to be selected as a finalist under the Manufacturing category! Here is a look at our certificate as well as a couple images from the awards ceremony.

Finalist North Canterbury Business Award

 Canterbury Business Awards Photo 2

From left to right: Ben Weaver, Robert Watkins and Erin Harrison of Mt. Beautiful

Canterbury Business Awards Photo 1

At left: Robert Watkins of Mt. Beautiful

Tomatoes and Wine; A Delectable Combination

Sacramento Bee
Sacramento Bee
, Mike Dunne, August 2016

Here's a clip from a recent post in the Sacramento Bee featuring our 2015 Riesling paired with this cool and refreshing summertime favorite!

"Tomatoes and Wine, a Delectable Combination

Gazpacho: The first obligation of gazpacho is to be cool and refreshing, and that standard also applies to any wine poured alongside. The Mt. Beautiful 2015 North Canterbury Riesling ($22) has the energy and spine to dance gracefully with any relatively delicate take on gazpacho." 

21.99 / bottle   |    263.88 / case 


92 Points - Highly Recommended! 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir


, August 2016

Out of 172 New Zealand pinots tasted, only seven rated higher. Mt. Beautiful's 2014 Pinot Noir received an average of 92 points and is Highly Recommended!

"Alongside bright cherry notes, there is a compelling core of minerality that sits effortlessly on the palate. Pure, evocative pinot character that is enticing and rich. Floral and earthy finish."

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88  / case 


Mt. Beautiful Riesling - Chosen as Wine of the Day


Bigger Than Your Head, Fredric Koeppel, July 2016

Wine of the Day, No. 155 

“Last night, LL made a fabulous stir-fry with shrimp, snow-peas, red bell pepper and jalapeno. She made a broth from the shrimp shells and a bunch of vegetables and also gently heated canola oil in a small pan with chopped garlic and ginger and some red pepper flakes. Then she marinated the shrimp in that oil. After the stir-frying, she used the broth to thicken the sauce. The result was deep and wonderful flavors and textures. Of course we wanted a white wine, something that would balance the hint of spicy heat emanating from the red pepper flakes and jalapeno, so I opened a bottle of the Mt. Beautiful Riesling 2015, from New Zealand’s North Canterbury region. Made all in stainless steel, this riesling exudes freshness and immediate appeal, while just a suggestion of off-dryness in the entry provided an appropriate foil for the spiciness of the dish. The color is very pale gold; lovely aromas of pears and green apples are touched with notes of lychee, peach and jasmine, cloves and white pepper, and a few minutes in the glass bring in hints of tangerine, lime peel and roasted lemon, all of these elements perfectly integrated. The segue onto the palate is seamless, and from mid-course back through the finish the wine feels bone-dry, animated by chiming acidity and scintillating limestone minerality. A wine with the word “beautiful” in the name better live up to its billing; this one, golden and glittering, certainly does. 11.5 percent alcohol. Production was 1,100 cases. Drink now through 2019 to ’20. Excellent. About $22.”

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

21.99 / bottle   |   263.88 / case 


90 Points - 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - Cameron Douglas MS

Cameron Douglas Master Sommelier, Cameron Douglas MS, July 2016

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 

90 Points 

"Light, crisp, fresh and varietal with aromas of sweet cranberry, red plum and red cherry, a light mineral layer adds depth and complexity. On the palate – juicy red fruit flavours, light to medium silky tannins and plenty of acidity, a layer on tension in the structure adds both texture and poise. Cherry and light red plum with some raspberry notes, moderate sweet oak and fairly lengthy finish. Balanced and well made."

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88  / case 


Your Wednesday Wine - Mt. Beautiful NZ

Detroit News Logo

The Detroit News
, Sandra Silfven, July 2016

Your Wednesday Wine; Mt. Beautiful from NZ 

“MT. BEAUTIFUL is an actual mountain on the South Island of New Zealand and the name of a winery that makes beautiful wines — including a Sauvignon Blanc that does not exhibit the usual green, herbal character that is trademark for this country, but juicy tropical fruit and citrus. The Riesling has all the delicacy and finesse of the Mosel.

Mt. Beautiful is in North Canterbury, a region along the central-eastern part of the South Island, bordering the coast. The wines are grown inland from the ocean and are protected from the harsh winds by Mt. Beautiful. The winery was founded by New Zealand native and scholar-entrepreneur Dr. David J. Teece who spent two years with wife Leigh searching for an undiscovered area of his homeland to grow grapes. The grapes are certified sustainably grown and only estate grapes are used for the wines. From the labels to the nectar in the bottles, these wines live up to the name of the winery. The Mt. Beautiful script on the label is from the actual handwriting of proprietor Dr. David Teece’s deceased father, Allan Teece. The tasting room is in the town of Cheviot.

Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc North Canterbury New Zealand 2015, $15.99: The back Riesling-Bottle-Shot-Transparent[1]label says it all: “We have set a new precedent for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.” You will find this one is not so tart, grassy and herbal as the signature Marlborough style. It has lovely tropical fruit and a subtle creaminess on the midpalate. It has white floral tones with intense melon, mandarin orange, green apple and just a touch of herbs in the finish. It’s crisp and dry, fruity, packed with layers of flavor. It’s a very different style for New Zealand, and I love it.

Mt. Beautiful Riesling North Canterbury New Zealand 2015, $21.99: This delightful creation does a dance on the palate with its bright tones of pink grapefruit and honeysuckle blossoms, its sumptuous juicy texture and minerality that races through everything. Close your eyes and you swear it came from a steep hillside along the Mosel. It’s made from two distinct blocks in the vineyard. Riesling is the first wine Mt. Beautiful made for release to the public."

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
15.99 / bottle   |  191.88 / case 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling
21.99 / bottle  |  263.88 / case 


Silver Medal - 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

Wines Of Canterbury

We have great news! 

Wines of Canterbury has announced its results for the 2016 Canterbury Wine Awards, and Mt. Beautiful's Pinot Noir is a Silver Medal winner! This event, now well established and in its fifth year saw a record number of wineries enter their wines for judging along with a record number of medals awarded.

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir

"... sophisticated fragrances of black cherries and violets, ... ripe bramble fruit and subtle tannins." - Winemaker, Sam Weaver

25.99 / bottle   |   311.88 / case 


Raymond Chan Reviews Mt. Beautiful Riesling

Raymond Chan Logo
By Raymond Chan, Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, June 2016

Necoiants New Zealand Fine Wine Tour 2016

"One of the highlights on the vinous calendar is the annual Negociants New Zealand Fine Wine Tour. Primarily targetting the hospitality and wine trade, Negociants have in recent years opened the tasting to the public. The tour features the New Zealand and Australian wineries from the portfolio, and the proprietors and winemakers pour and discuss their wines. This year, there were 20 New Zealand exhibitors, and 6 Australians on show, and thus well over 100 wines to taste. The exhibitors feature some very high profile names, as well as some lesser known, but the quality of the wines offered is extremely high. In addition to having the wines to taste, the tour runs masterclasses which focus on selected varieties or styles. It’s a very valuable event to attend. This year, the tour was held in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch. 

2015 Mt Beautiful Riesling, North Canterbury, New Zealand
Riesling has probably been the variety with the most potential for Mt Beautiful, and this 2015 is arguably the best yet, fulfilling the promise. Bright, pale straw-yellow with slight lemon hues. This has lovely lime, sherbet and honeysuckle aromas, along with beautiful (no pun intended) exotic florals, the backbone being fresh citrus fruits. Off-dry to taste, the palate is crisp, zesty and tight, pure and clean with linearity and purpose. There’s a fine balance between the refine phenolic libe and acidity, the fruit still tightly bound. This is focussed and intense. It will develop well."

21.99 /  bottle    |      263.88 /  case 


Historic Telescope will Return Stargazing to City


By Scoop Independent News Education, May 2016

Scoop Logo

"Historic telescope will return stargazing to city

The University of Canterbury (UC) Foundation charity aims to bring back a piece of Christchurch’s astronomical heritage by restoring the Townsend Teece Telescope to the city centre.

For 114 years, the telescope was available for public stargazing on clearFriday nights, and introduced people of all ages to the wonders of the night sky and the science of astronomy. Since its installation in the University’s Observatory Tower in 1896, the telescope was maintained and operated for public viewing by what is now the University of Canterbury’s Department of Physics and Astronomy as part of its commitment to science outreach in the community.

The Observatory Tower was damaged in the 4 September 2010 Christchurch earthquake and collapsed in the 22 February 2011 earthquake. The telescope was badly damaged in the collapse, but, miraculously, the lens was found intact.

The University of Canterbury Astronomy Department is holding an exhibition of the Townsend Teece Telescope pieces, including a look into the upcoming restoration project. This is on display to the public in the gallery space on the ground floor of the Matariki building at UC’s Ilam campus until 6 July.

The Townsend Telescope, donated to the then Canterbury College by James Townsend in 1891, is a historic 6-inch refractor constructed by the renowned English telescope-making firm Thomas Cooke & Sons of York & London in 1864.

A generous donation by UC alumnus Professor David Teece, his wife Leigh Teece and their family, will allow the restoration of this historic telescope. Renamed the Townsend Teece Telescope, the restored telescope will be returned to a rebuilt Observatory Tower in its heritage central city home in the Christchurch Arts Centre, enabling the people of Christchurch and visitors to enjoy stargazing through this beautiful and historic telescope once again.

Professor and Mrs Teece will be coming to New Zealand from their home in California to visit the exhibition in June.

This exhibition showcases the story of the telescope: its famous craftsman telescope maker, to its original Christchurch owner who observed the transit of Venus and searched in vain for the planet Vulcan, to its donation to Canterbury College and its use as a public outreach and engagement tool in its heritage central city site.

Associate Professor Karen Pollard, Director of the University of Canterbury’s Mt John Observatory says that astronomy allows us to think about our place in the universe and is particularly fascinating for children.

“The telescope is a very useful vehicle for introducing science to children and getting them interested in asking questions about how the world (and the universe) works. This is the reason that the Townsend Observatory was so useful as an outreach tool for the Department of Physics and Astronomy – it was very accessible and was a way of bringing astronomy and science to children and the wider public.’

Sarah Bouckoms was the last Townsend Observer to use the telescope before the earthquakes brought the tower tumbling down.

“I loved teaching the children about the stars, and watching the wonder on their faces as they realised they’d seen the real thing, not pretend stars painted onto the end of it. It was fun watching fathers telling their children about Granddad taking them to use the telescope when they were their age,” she says.

Chris Whitty was the site manager at the Arts Centre at the time of the earthquakes and remembers using the telescope as a young boy.

“Having worked at the Arts Centre for 23 years, I was absolutely gutted when the Observatory Tower collapsed, burying the telescope. Thankfully there were no major injuries as the Tower was covered in scaffolding for repairs, and we had been inside the Tower exactly a day earlier. It took a week to sift through the 35 tonnes of rubble to find the remains of the telescope,” Whitty says.

“Finding the telescope lens intact was a miracle and means that it can be reconstructed. With the salvaged stones from the rubble, we can also rebuild the tower, bringing Townsend’s legacy back to life. I’m looking forward to showing it to my own boys.”

The Townsend Teece Telescope will be restored over the next three years by Graeme Kershaw, Senior Technician in the UC Physics and Astronomy Department.

“The Cooke refractor is the epitome of the popular perception of what a telescope looks like,” he says.

“Built of brass, cast iron and bronze, it looks like a telescope, one that you look up into in direct line of sight with the object you are viewing, as if you are seeing the object with your naked eye. Some of the people who have used this telescope literally shed a tear when they saw images of the wreckage for the first time. For those people the Townsend has become a part of their lives, a part of their history.”

95 Points & 5 Stars!

By Beverage Dynamics National Retailer Wine Panel, Beverage Dynamics, May 2016

"Out of 58 Chardonnays tasted, only four rated higher!"

2014 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay  |  North Cantebury, New Zealand
95 Points and 5 Stars!

“This will draw attention to the lovely Chardonnays produced in New Zealand that haven’t received accolades they deserve. From certifed-sustainable vineyards, this is a rather New
World/Old World style. It has nuances of wildflowers, mineral and under-ripe fruit on the nose. These nuances continue on the palate, but then fruit flavors become lush and mouth
filling. The fnish is long and lively with racy sweet/tart acidity and a hint of lemon/grapefruit. Pair this with pork or fowl with a fruit glaze, or enjoy it as an aperitif.”

21.99 /  bottle    |    263.88 /  case


Drinkhacker Rates 2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling

By Christopher Null, DrinkHacker, May 2016

Drinkhacker Logo
2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling |  North Canterbury, New Zealand 

"Crisp and aromatic, with light notes of pineapple to give this wine a bit of a New World spin. The finish is loaded with acid and comes across as a bit peachy, with a solid and sophisticated balance between the two. A-"

21.99 /  bottle    |    263.88  /  case