Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2017

This year we eagerly jumped on the invite to participate in Pebble Beaach Food & Wine's 10th Anniversary event. Our team had a blast sharing tastes of our wines from North Canterbury, New Zealand.

Pebble Beach Food Wine

Althoguh it was a tight squeeze at our pouring station, we shared our entire portfolio including our all-new 2016 Mt. Beautiful Rose, Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir .

Suzanna Mannion And Tiffany Tonnerre Of Mt Beautiful Winery Pebble Beach Food Wine
(Marketing Manager Suzanna Mannion and Western US Sales Manager Tiffany Tonnerre)

Pebble Beach Food Wine Auction Lot Riesling Vertical
(7 bottle vertical of Mt. Beautiful Riesling)

Pebble Beach Food And Wine Robert Watkins And Tiffany Tonnerre
(Western US Sales Manager Tiffany Tonnerre and CEO Robert Watkins)

Greg and Marleen Burch of the "Flavor is Everything" wine radio show were live streaming and included us in their line-up of interviews. Greg interviews Mt. Beautiful Marketing Manager Suzanna Mannion roughly 3.5 minutes from the end of the embedded video link below.

Kevin and Dee Armstead of Destination 831 also stopped by to learn more about Mt. Beautiful. Check out this interview with CEO Robert Watkins and Host Joy Anderson.


Great Reviews By Christopher Null MS - Drinkhacker

Drinkhacker, Christopher Null

We're excited about these recent wine reviews by Christopher Null included in his "Tasting Report; Wines of New Zealand." 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling      A 
"really fresh, surprisingly pretty with light florals, honey, and spice"

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir     B 
"chewy, some flab; lightly spicy"

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay     B 
"classic new world whie, modest oak and vanilla notes"

First Vintage of Our Rose - 94 Points!

Gourmet Traveller Wine

Reviewed by Bob Campbell MW

94 Points, 4 stars 

2016 Mt. Beautiful Rose
Pinot noir rosé from juice pressed off to barrel and tank after a small amount of skin contact. Quite intense and appealing wine with charming strawberry and watermelon flavours leading to a gently spicy finish. Lovely purity and an ethereal texture.” 

Tiffany Tonnerre Joins the Mt. Beautiful Team!

Meet Tiffany Tonnerre

Meet Tiffany Tonnerre, our Western US Sales Manager!

Effective March 27, 2017, Tonnerre will manage and increase Mt. Beautiful’s expansive growth throughout the Western United States.

Tonnerre possesses over 20 years’ combined experience in the food and beverage industry. Most recently she was the Northern California Key Accounts Manager for Henry Wine Group.

Prior roles in the wine industry include serving as the Northwest Regional Manager for Champagne Laurent-Perrier for over 10 years, as well serving as a Fine Wine Key Account Specialist with Southern Wine & Spirits.

“We are very excited to welcome Tiffany to the Mt. Beautiful team,” says Robert Watkins, CEO of Mt Beautiful, Teece Family Vineyards and Farms.

“Given our exponential growth this past year, I look forward to Tiffany’s contributions managing and enriching our distributor relationships throughout the Western United States.

Tiffany is a well-respected professional in the industry and possesses a breadth of sales experience at many levels that will serve Mt. Beautiful well in the market place.”

 Contact Tiffany Tonnerre directly at

Silver Medal - Texsom Int'l Wine Competition

Texsom International Wine Awards Logo

The 2017 Awards represented the breadth of the wine world with entries from 25 states and 25 countries totaling nearly 3,200 entries. The entries were blind-tasted and judges by 67 internationally renowned industry influencers from 10 countries. Suggested retail pricing of medal-winning entries ranged from $2.99 to $770. Vintages spanned 75 years with the oldest being 1941. The diversity of the Awards provides an array of choice for all beverage enthusiasts.

Our 2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir was the only Pinot Noir from the North Canterbury region and out of 18 total Pinots entered from all of New Zealand, only four rated higher. 

Needless to say we are quite proud of our Silver Medal! 

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - $24.99 - Purchase


Mt. Beautiful Sauv Blanc Receives 4 Star Rating!

Restaurant Wine Logo

Restaurant Wine, February 2017

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc 

4 stars!

"Screw cap. Round and delicately flavored, this is fine Sauvignon at the price. It is full bodied, crisp, and long on the finish, tasting of pear, grapefruit, guava, pineapple, herbs, and fig. Excellent value. Unwooded. 9,600 cases. 14.5% [2017-2018]"

- Ronn Wiegand

Palate Press Awards 2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling 90 Points

Palate Press Wine Magazine Logo

Palate Press, February 2017
, Becky Sue Epstein

What We’re Drinking – 2015 Mt. Beautiful North Canterbury Riesling


"Delightfully easy to drink yet balanced. I don’t want to get too labored with the description of this full-flavored, minerally, off-dry Riesling wine. So I’ll just say that the citrus notes range from orange to grapefruit with tinges of honey, flowing from aroma to palate to finish. We enjoyed it with appetizers of crabmeat in puff pastry."


Be a good bugger!

 Support Cheviot Be A Good Bugger

Our local community of Cheviot has come together to develop this campaign to support local businesses that are hurting after the closure of State Highway 1 North of Kaikoura.

"Have you ever thought to yourself “Am I a GOOD BUGGER?”

Well now you have a chance to be a GOOD BUGGER by supporting Cheviot. Our little town of Cheviot is hurting from the closure of State Highway 1 North of Kaikoura. Businesses that rely on the traffic and tourism the State Highway 1 brings are feeling the pinch.

We’ve had a lot of people and businesses across NZ ask “How can we help?” So we’ve put together two fantastic ways that you can be a GOOD BUGGER.

1. Purchase one of our GOOD BUGGER hampers full of delicious products made with love in Cheviot.

2. Visit Cheviot in the month of February and go in the draw to win one of four $500 hampers of awesome Cheviot made products.

All entries also go in the draw to win Air NZ flights and Heritage Hotels accommodation."

Interested in participating? Click on one of the following fliers to learn more.

Be a Good Buggar           Support Cheviot, New Zealand

Not Bread Alone; It's Summer Somewhere

The Hour Header

Not Bread Alone Frank Whitman All Wines


Now that we've had some temperatures in the teens and winter is a certainty, it's re-assuring to think that, right now, it's summer somewhere. All across the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite: summer now, winter when we're on the beach.

I just had a chance to taste some New Zealand wines made in the reversed seasons below the equator. While our temperatures sank below 20 and the ground hardened with frost, it was sunny and 70ish in Christchurch, New Zealand. The coastal breeze across Pegasus Bay from the Southern Pacific brought refreshing ocean air to the vineyards. What an ideal climate for Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris!

The island nation of New Zealand is a land of fantastic landscapes (Lord of the Rings was filmed there), steep mountain peaks, and stunning shorelines. NZ is really two main islands, the North and South, plus numerous smaller islands. Its isolated location in the southwestern Pacific made it one of the last places to be inhabited by humans and gave it a unique biodiversity.

The climate of this relatively small nation ranges from cool and wet to sunny and warm. Agricultural products make up the largest share of NZ exports, with the rapidly growing wine industry overtaking wool as a key part of the mix.

Wine has been made in New Zealand since colonial times, but their Sauvignon Blanc burst upon the world scene in the 1980s. Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough at the Northeast tip of the South Island, especially the Cloudy Bay brand, took the wine world by storm. The NZ style married the traditional tropical fruit flavors of Sancerre from Loire Valley in France with brisk acidity and refreshing citrus flavors.

With diverse climate regions and soil types on both islands, New Zealand makes a wide range of wines. Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are well established producing varietal reds as well as Bordeaux-style blends. Pinot Noir is rising in production, as worldwide demand drives winemakers to search out sites where this difficult grape will thrive. Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant white wine, but Chardonnay is also widely planted. Winemakers are experimenting with Riesling, Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) and Chenin Blanc, along with other international grape varieties.

Mt. Beautiful winery is continuing this exploration of New Zealand's wine potential. With more than 140 acres of vines including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir, owners David and Leigh Teece have opened a new vineyard in North Canterbury on the east coast of the South island. Seven miles inland from Pegasus Bay, but sheltered from strong ocean winds by Mt. Beautiful, the vineyards are certified sustainable, and the wines are all made exclusively from estate-grown fruit.

Their Sauvignon Blanc has tamed the sometimes excessive NZ acidity, and blended tropical fruit aromas with a fresh-hay grassiness. Bright and refreshing, it's delightful to sip and well-matched with hors d'oeuvres, fish, or chicken.

Mt. Beautiful makes a small amount of Pinot Gris, a wine I'm always eager to try. This example, like some of the better ones from Oregon, has floral aromas accented with pear. The pear notes persist in the flavor along with green apple and continue into the wine's long mineral finish.

The Mt. Beautiful owners say Pinot Noir is their favorite of the five wines now under production. With a floral fragrance, red berry flavors, and mild tannins, it favors a more subtle French Burgundy style. No new-world, in-your-face, cherry-berry here.

With over 11,000 cases made, the Sauvignon Blanc ($16) should be easy to find. Production of the Pinot Noir ($26) was under 4,000 cases and the Pinot Gris ($19) only an experimental 1,500 cases. Mt. Beautiful wines are available at New Canaan Wine Merchants, Greens Farms Spirit Shop in Westport and Cost Less Wines in Stamford. Or you can ask your favorite retailer to order you some.

Mt. Beautiful doesn't host visitors at the winery, but they have a tasting room in the nearby town of Cheviot. With small plates and local products in addition to the wines, they have regular hours, but as the website says, "are often open later in summer months." It pleases me to know it's summer there now. Too bad it's so far away. I'd like to hop on a plane right now for some reverse season winter-wine touring.

Frank Whitman's Not Bread Alone runs Thursdays in The Hour. He may be reached at

Cameron Douglas MS Reviews


TheShout, January 2017

Our 2015 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines were just reviewed in New Zealand based TheShout magazine by Cameron Douglas MS.  

91 Points

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay 
Fine bouquet of sweet, ripe stone fruit and apple all dipping in newish oak with vanilla and wood aromas, some mineral and wild flowers and a touch of wild honey add depth and complexity. On the palate – juicy, fresh, ripe, warm and dry; flavours of citrus before stone fruit, noticeable wood spice with mild tannins, medium acidity and a fairly lengthy finish; decent complexity and desirable flavours. Serve cool to serve; drink now and through 2022.

91 Points

2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir 
Very fruity, ripe and varietal bouquet with dark cherry and raspberry fruits, plum and wild red florals, mineral and toasty wood tones. Very youthful and tense on the nose, but with complexity leading to high expectations on the palate. Mineral, plums, dark cherry and wild berry fruit flavours, dry and spicy with toasty wood tones; medium+ tannin impact with velvet to course silk textures; youthful, tense and lengthy. A wine requiring cellar time and some peace and quiet to find harmony – which it will. Decant for service, best drinking from 2018 through 2026.

Mt. Beautiful Has Become an Especially Exciting Label!

By Mike Dunne, Sacramento Bee, May 2016

Mike Dunne On Wine (1)

"Embrace Criterion and Mt. Beautiful Wines" 

"Few people who jump into the wine business must feel the pressure to succeed as keenly as David and Leigh Teece. He, after all, is the Tusher Professor in Global Business at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, while she is founder and chair of World Mentor, a Web-based mentoring program for educational institutions, companies and so forth.

Their investment in the wine trade, not surprisingly, looks to be working out quite favorably, for both themselves and for wine consumers. In just a decade, their brand, Mt. Beautiful, has become an especially exciting label, particularly for aromatic white wines like sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and riesling.

In 2004, the Teeces ventured into his native New Zealand – she’s a native Californian – to start planting grapes in the North Canterbury region along the South Island’s northeast reaches. They made their first wines off the 2007 harvest and ever since have been cultivating a devoted clientele both in New Zealand and the United States.

Their current releases include these notably satisfying wines:

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Sauvignon Blanc ($16): The 2014 growing year was progressing splendidly right up to harvest, but then rain complicated the outlook for the vintage. By being selective in their picking and then clever in their winemaking, the vineyard and cellar crews of Mt. Beautiful salvaged a sauvignon blanc without blemishes. It’s actually a quite vibrant interpretation of New Zealand’s best-known varietal wine – pungent and floral in smell, ripe with grapefruit and lime on the palate, intriguing in its suggestions of watermelon and jasmine, and nervy with acidity in its refreshing finish.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2015 North Canterbury Riesling ($22): I first wrote of a Mt. Beautiful riesling nearly four years ago, when the 2009 version caught my attention for its floral aroma, willowy grace, and vivid suggestions of apricot, apple and lime. This release is cut from the same cloth, though a little riper, with more texture and more grapefruit, especially in the energy of its acidity.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Pinot Gris ($19): Grapes for this wine were picked in two sweeps through the vineyard, the earlier harvest intending to capture and retain the variety’s floral aromatics and high-toned acidity, the later one to get grapes that would yield more ripe-fruit flavors and more body. The method worked, resulting in an unusually well-proportioned pinot gris that gives off suggestions of fully ripe pears in flavor but also finishing with the snap of a crisp apple.

▪ Mt. Beautiful 2014 North Canterbury Pinot Noir ($26): “Elegance” is a word best reserved for the finest of wines. This has it, even if the bottle is finished with a screw cap, not a cork. Get over it. The wine is brilliantly colored, vivid with cherry and strawberry fruit, and just tannic enough to reinforce its backbone. Its complexity lies in understatement more than bravado."

(Click here to read the article)


Mt. Beautiful Raises Spirits of Earthquake Victims

Australian News Earthquake

Watch this short video on 7NEWS 'til the end and you can see how Mt. Beautiful Winery helped raise the spirits of this international group of young tourists who had been on the "Kiwi Experience" bus tour when they became stranded in Kaikoura due to last week's quake.

They were evacuated via helicopter to Cheviot and the local community prepared food and hot drinks for them. Erin offered glasses of Mt. Beautiful wine, which was very well received. From there the tourists traveled to Christchurch by bus.

2014 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Gris - 91 Points!

  Wine Review Online

Wine Review Online, Michael Apstein, November 2016

"New Zealand has made such a name for itself with Sauvignon Blanc that one tends to forget it makes other excellent wines, such as this Pinot Gris.  This beautifully framed Pinot Gris conveys ripe, but not over ripe, stone fruit flavors offset by a hint of pear skin-like bitterness.  It has the perfect weight in the mouth -- not ethereal, nor heavy.  It’s a beautiful wine with invigorating balancing acidity that complements sushi, spiced Asian fare, or a simple roast chicken."

18.99 / bottle   |    227.88 / case 


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!