The Tasting Panel: Excellent Reviews on These New Releases

Tasting Panel

The Tasting Panel,
 June 2017

We're ecstatic over these new reviews we just received by Anthony Dias-Blue of The Tasting Panel and Blues Reviews! 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Pinot Noir - 92 Points 
“Deep ruby color; smooth, lush texture; dense, ripe black cherry with flesh, spice and oak notes; juicy and deep, long and balanced.”

2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc - 91 Points 
“Smooth and lush with crisp and lively acidity; rich and dense, ripe and long.” 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Chardonnay - 90 Points 
“Bright, clean and juicy with silky texture and good depth; long, smooth and toasty; racy and dense; fresh and lively” 

2016 Mt. Beautiful Rose - 89 Points 
“Light ruby color; fruity and floral with red berry flavors; crisp with racy minerals and bright acidity; extra dry.”

Shop these wines here.

2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauv Blanc - A Top 10 Wine for Summer!

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Dan Dunn (@TheImbiber), Gayot, June 2017

We can't think of a better way to start off summer than our new release 2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvinon Blanc being chosen as one of Gayot contributor Dan Dunn's Top 10 Wines of Summer!

"The Best Wines for Summer Sipping 

The quest to unearth the best summer wines began and ended at one of America's premiere epicurean events — the 35th Anniversary Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, where hundreds upon hundreds of the world's finest winemakers converged to showcase their wares. And while selecting just ten great bottles of wine was a near impossible task, as the great T.S. Eliot once said, "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." This one goes to ten. Enjoy! 

Typically, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is known for its pungent odors and grassy, tart palate. Ah, but Mt. Beautiful, in the heart of North Canterbury, on the South Island of New Zealand, produces anything but typical Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc. The nose is pure flower garden, and the predominant flavor is tropical fruit. It's no pushover, mind you, but the acidity has been tamped down in favor of a rounder, creamier mid-palate experience."

Mt. Beautiful: North Canterbury, New Zealand

Lyn LM Archer

By L.M. Archer, The Hedonistic Taster - BinNotes - redthread, June 5, 2017

"For those of you unfamiliar with Mt. Beautiful, the story centers around a man, a country, and a quest.

In 2003, world-renown economist and avid outdoorsman David Teece and his wife Leigh set about locating a region where no vineyards yet existed in his native country of New Zealand. His goal: Make world-class wine where no wine had ever been made.

With the  the help of geologist and friend Ron Sutherland, Teece eventually honed in on North Canterbury, an area on the South Island between the Southern Alps and Kaikoura. At first glance, the region’s unrelenting nor’westers, sweltering summers, minimal rainfall, frost-prone winters, and rugged morphology didn’t appear conducive to farming grapes.

But the land’s twenty-three different soil types, including ‘Phoebe,’ a well-draining glacial till/loess/volcanic ash concoction, combined with a myriad of microclimates, proved an alluring gamble. Teece and his wife purchased a total of 184.32 acres, christening the virgin vineyard Mt. Beautiful.

Determined to grow cultivars different from its neighbors in nearby Marlborough, Mt. Beautiful boasts over thirty different clonal selections, each varying in flavor, color, berry size, ripening, phenolics, tannins, susceptibility to disease, and ability to withstand drought and frost, among other characteristics."

... read the entire post here.

Mt. Beautiful Winery's 2017 Harvest Recap

The Mt. Beautiful 2017 grape harvest wrapped up at the end of April. Here's a little recap including photos as well as insights from our Winemaker Sam Weaver, Assistant Winemaker Ben Weaver and Vineyard Manager Garrick Guy.

Grapes In Bin Pint Noir

Sauvignon Blanc Grapes On Vine

In total we harvested over 430 tonness of grapes; the large majority being Sauvignon Blanc (313T) and Pinot Noir (64T) with lesser quantities of Riesling (12T), Pinot Gris (22T) and Chardonnay (20T).

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Winemaker Sam Weaver noted “Though it was a challenging vintage my view is that North Canterbury and in particular Mt. Beautiful missed the worst of the weather events. The result is that we harvested some very good fruit and there will be some very good wines from the vintage."

Pinot Noir Hand Harvest Mt Beautiful Winery
** Pinot Noir grapes being hand harvested.

Pinot Noir Grapes On Vine
** Pinot Noir grapes on the vine.

Sam continues " As you are aware the weather conditions during the growing season were cool which meant that ripening was late in comparison to the last two years. Towards the end of harvest, however, we picked some excellent fruit across most varieties. In some respects that later picked fruit was better than some fruit picked in 2016.

We started harvest on 31st of March with Pinot Noir and concluded harvest with Pinot Gris on the 28th of April. The most challenging variety this year for Mt. Beautiful was Riesling which we picked relatively early due to disease pressure. Nevertheless the resulting wine will be very drinkable.

We picked all blocks on the vineyard. Though there were stresses and anxieties during the vintage we came through remarkably well. Yields in Pinot Noir were significantly down but in all other varietals they were near normal."

Ben Weaver adds "The more you work in the same place the more you understand the quirks and can iron them out. It also means when you have mechanical break downs you know how to get around it and find alternatives a lot quicker. As was the case this year. The vintage crew was great. A very strong French contingent as well as Maura from the US. All very hard working and enthusiastic. Vintage is incredible hard work and long hours. It takes a special person to keep going and have a fun time doing it. They were all fantastic."

Mt. Beautiful had some firsts this season. For one, this was our first vintage with our new Vineyard Manager, Garrick Guy! We also harvested our Marle Block of Pinot Noir (planted 2013) for the first time, located east of our main vineyard and planted on a north facing slope.

Garrick comments "This block has the opportunity to bring some great flavours and complexity to our already great Mt. beautiful Pinot Noir blend.”

And lastly earlier this year we purchased a powerful new vineyard netting machine which can cover four rows of vines at a time. This proved to not only be a huge time saver but also great insurance in preserving our crop from the threat of birds. 

Vineyard Netting Mt Beautiful Winery

Keep scrolling to view additional photos of the 2017 harvest with captions. More photos can be viewed in our "Vintage 2017" album here.

Tractor With Grapes Riesling Night Pick
** Mt. Beautiful's first night pick by hand.

Night Time Grapes Arriving To Winery
** Riesling tractored from the vineyard to winery in the evening.

Sorting Table White Grapes
** CEO Robert Watkins and Director of Viticulture Fin Grieve sorting grapes

Maura Marian And Marguax
** Harvest Interns Margaux and Marian (France) and Maura (US)

Francois Mt Beautiful Harvest Intern
** Harvest Intern Francois (France)

Garrick Guy Vineyard Manager Of Mt Beautiful Winery
** Mt. Beautiful's Vineyard Manager, Garrick Guy, standing in one place long enough for this photo.

Vineyard Manager Fin In Mland Rover
** Director of Viticulture, Fin Grieve ready to roll!

Robert Watkins Chardonnay Tanks
** CEO Robert Watkins getting the up-high view of the new Chardonnay tanks.

Chardonnay Tank Installation
** New Chardonnay tanks delivered and installed just in time for harvest!

Robert Fin Sam Discussing Picking Schedule
** Fin, Sam and Robert discussing the picking schedule block by block.

Pinot Noir Grape Harvest From Machine
**Pinot Noir, normally hand harvested at Mt. Beautiful, was machine harvested specifically for the creation of our rosé wine.

Erin And Murphy In Side By Side
** Business Development Manager Erin Harrison taking furry friend Murphy for a ride through the vineyard to check up on things.

Doggy Break
** Erin's dog Murphy and Garrick's dog Base having some fun!

Close Up Hands On Sorting Table Pinot Noir Grapes
** Sorting Pinot Noir grapes.

Mt. Beautiful Gets Dirty at BDR's 4th Annual Fundraiser!

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Mt. Beautiful’s CEO Robert Watkins believes that when his team members dovetail their personal interests with opportunities to share Mt. Beautiful wines, it’s a “win” for everyone and brings life to the brand.

Motorcycling is one of Robert’s many interests dating back to his teenage years when he'd catch trails between friends’ houses on his Yamaha YZ250 or traverse logging roads and train tracks in Colden, New York.

He eventually moved into riding road bikes in the D.C. area until the mid-90s and after a break motorcycling found him again in 2012. He's since enjoyed exploring roads around the North Bay and Tahoe regions of California on his Triumph Tiger, and just recently acquired a Kawasaki KLR650 for on/off road adventures.

With a growing interest in dual sport riding, it was a no brainer to seize the opportunity to sponsor Seattle based Backcountry Discovery Routes (BDR).

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BDR is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization whose mission is to establish and preserve off-highway routes for dual-sport and adventure motorcycle travel. They work with land managers, state tourism departments and rural communities to keep backcountry roads accessible to motorcyclists.

Its organizers and contingent of members consist of dual sport and outdoors enthusiasts who are passionate about BDR's mission. Many of its supporters are active players in the motorcycle industry and represent familiar brands.

Some examples include CEO Paul Guillen of Touratech-USA, founder Eric Hougen of Wolfman Luggage and founders Jeff Anderson and Curtis Cummings of Great Southwest Moto Adventures to name a few.

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They also receive support outside the motorcycle industry from individuals who have identified ways they can positively contribute on some level.  One example is the support BDR receives in regards to its branding and marketing from Tim James, the throttle happy founder of a long standing creative agency called James Howard based in Clifton, New Jersey.

Robert identified the opportunity to share a sensory experience with BDR supporters; tasty estate grown wines from New Zealand! In addition to offering a year-round discount for BDR supporters on direct wine purchases from its website, Mt. Beautiful was the exclusive wine sponsor for the Backcountry Discovery Routes’ fourth annual fundraiser held in the Mojave Desert this May.

Needless to say the support was well received and Mt. Beautiful's wines brought a flavorful element to the weekend (after helmets were hung up).

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 66

The event kicked off on a Thursday evening at the colorful Stagecoach Ranch Inn in Yucca Arizona. Approximately 47 BDR supporters and their adventure bikes arrived to the ranch and became fast friends while breaking bread, enjoying beverages and engaging in discussions about which off road tracks to explore in the coming days and how they can better band together in supporting the BDR mission.

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 17

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 16

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2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 70

Mt. Beautiful’s Marketing Manager, Suzanna Mannion, shares Robert’s passion for dual sport riding and was eager to be included in BDR’s annual fundraiser event. Both having not ridden much dirt in recent times opted for the easier ride routes which offered plenty of beautiful desert vistas along the way (and a very challenging sand crossing).

We're pleased to report that the journey was uneventful and everyone came back in one piece with big smiles and new friendships.

To learn more about BDR's mission and how you can support them visit their website here. View more photos from this event here.

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 30

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 54

2017 BDR Spring Fundraiser LOW RES 91



Sweet Treats and Grown Up Fun

By Angela Corry, The Celebrity Cafe, May 5, 2017

The Celebrity Cafe Angela Corry

Editor-in-Chief of added Mt. Beautiful wines on its short list of "sweet treats and grown up fun" for Mother's Day!

July 2016 Flavor Characteristics 45

"This New Zealand winery offers 100% estate grown, certified sustainable wines including Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir. My favorite is the Sauvignon Blanc, which pairs floral aromatics and tropical flavours such as guava and melon-like fruit, which creates a freshness on the palate that ends with a crisp finish."

Wine Time Recommends Our '15 Sauv Blanc

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Blogger of Wine Time, David Dickson, included a couple of Mt. Beautiful wines in his The Tasting Room section of his site. We like what he has to say! 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Riesling 
Ripe with off-dry flavors of honeysuckle, lime, and wintersweet flower. The citrus notes meld together with crisp, minerality, and a complex ripe apple character. It finishes with a beautiful, lingering acidity. 

2015 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc
This Sauvignon Blanc pushes the boundaries of the typical New Zealand flavor profile with lots of decadent tropical flavors and less grassiness and a creamy mid-palate all the way through to a crisp finish with bright minerality. 

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!

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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

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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