Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand’

July 27, 2015 11:08 am - Posted by Jody in Drink

CedarCreek Estate Winery has rattled the wine world once again. On July 1st, 2015 CedarCreek’s 2012 Platinum Block 2 Pinot Noir was awarded the Trophy for ‘Best Red Wine in Canada’ at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards, in London, UK. That same day, the winery also announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed winemaker Alexis Moore, a preeminent wine figure from New Zealand.

“I’m excited to hear you got Alexis,” exclaims Lynn Penner-Ash of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars in Oregon. “What an incredible winemaker,” says Lynn, who herself was one of Oregon’s first female winemakers and today a leading winemaker and consultant on winery design.

“I never thought I’d leave New Zealand,” says Alexis Moore. “After ten years of successfully establishing roots in the wine world, New Zealand had definitely become my home,” she confirms . “My great love is Pinot Noir and aromatic whites,” continues Moore, whose very first vintage of Pinot Noir went on to claim 5 Gold Medals at reputable international wine competitions including Mondial des Pinots in Switzerland. “That moment when Darryl Brooker called me to convey the incredible opportunity to build the Okanagan Valley into one of the five great Pinot Noir regions in the world was something I just couldn’t say no to.”

Ironically Alexis Moore is Canadian and originally from Nova Scotia. Alexis’ winemaking experience transcends international borders having first honed her skills in the vineyards of Provence in France. This led to positions at such notable US producers as Flowers Winery in Sonoma and Oregon’s Penner-Ash Wine Cellars. With 16 harvests under her belt, Alexis’ return to Canada comes from her most recent role with Gladstone Vineyard in New Zealand, where she earned international acclaim for crafting exceptional Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.

Alexis completed her degree in Viticulture and Oenology at New Zealand’s prestigious Lincoln University which created the first cool climate wine production and education program. “I honestly believe that great winemaking starts in the vineyard, in fact, for the first three years of my winemaking career, I worked in vineyards.” proclaims Moore.”I couldn’t believe it, but one of the bonuses of working at CedarCreek is that all of our grapes are Estate grown. And nothing is more fulfilling for me as a winemaker than getting the chance to walk every row and learn about every inch of our Estate Vineyards, first-hand with Darryl Brooker, who knows every intimate detail of this land and whose Single Vineyard Block program is something I am in absolute admiration of.”

“A relentless perfectionist is how I perceive Alexis,” says Darryl Brooker, CedarCreek’s ex-winemaker, who was recently appointed as Chief Winemaker at Mission Hill Family Estate. “CedarCreek means so much to me. I have put my life in to building CedarCreek over the past five years and as I moved on within VMF Estates, I was not prepared to let go unless I found the right person who could take CedarCreek further. Alexis’ passion for cool climate viticulture, respect for sense of place in winemaking, and her outstanding wines that I tasted when I visited New Zealand were some of the things that convinced me she was the perfect fit for CedarCreek.”

“Alexis is passionate and intellectual,” states Proprietor Anthony von Mandl. “It was critical to find someone who embodied the purity of CedarCreek to ensure that we can carry on what Darryl has started here, all the way from the vineyard to the bottle. Alexis comes with an open mind, her sincerity is reflected in her wine and in her philosophy. And the fact that she is actually Canadian provides an extraordinary and very positive twist in the next chapter of CedarCreek’s proud history as one of the first eight pioneering wineries in British Columbia. Indeed what is New Zealand’s loss is most definitely British Columbia’s gain.”

This new appointment comes shortly after the announcement that Darryl Brooker will transition into the Chief Winemaker role at Mission Hill Family Estate.


Kiwi Krazy

December 30, 2013 9:38 am - Posted by Jody in Travel
The Road to Middle Earth (via

  In 2012, director Peter Jackson returned to Middle Earth for a new trilogy based on the works of beloved author J.R.R. Tolkien. An Unexpected Journey, the first installment in The Hobbit series, received mixed reviews from fans and critics alike,…

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Wine Of The Week – Dog Point Pinot Noir 2008

December 23, 2011 11:51 am - Posted by Jody in Drink

Dog PointMarlborough, New Zealand


“The 2008 Pinot Noir is matured in Francois Frere barriques, 50% new, for 18 months and bottled without fining or filtering. Medium-deep ruby colored, the nose is very fragrant, floral, with notes of violets and lavender over red cherry and crushed raspberry plus nuances of cedar, thyme, loam and moss. Crisp, medium bodied with a medium level of fine grained tannins, it has a long earthy finish. Approachable now, it should cellar to 2016+.

When we started, we really didn’t know where we were going to go,” James Healy, winemaker and co-founder, confessed as I perched on a stool in the winery’s tasting room. “Ivan (Sutherland, viticulturalist and co-founder) and I are such different people. But we see eye to eye a lot of the time. We never wanted to do the big thing. We wanted to do it for ourselves and develop.” Only 6 years after the first anticipated releases from these ex Cloudy Bay, etc. stalwarts, it’s now hard to imagine Marlborough’s complex jigsaw puzzle of players complete without this dynamic duo that is Dog Point. Emphasis on the vineyards, proponents of cork for all but their Sauvignon and use of indigenous yeast aren’t the only things that define their edges – the wines are simply superb.”

Wine Advocate #191 Oct 2010

Dog Point


Dog Point Vineyard combines the considerable winegrowing experience of Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, the former chief viticulturalist and head winemaker at New Zealand’s famous wine estate Cloudy Bay.  After leaving Cloudy Bay, Sutherland and Healy began making wines from Sutherland’s own vineyards in Marlborough, which were planted in the 70’s and 80’s. In 2003 they launched the Dog Point label and their wines have made a huge impact in the wine world. Sutherland had previously sold the majority grapes from his vineyard to Cloudy Bay which assisted Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc to it’s international acclaim.

Now with their own label and focus they continue to sell their grapes to Cloudy bay but keep the best for themselves. The Sauvignon Blanc vineyards are partly older plantings on the clay silt of the valley floor where the Brancott valley joins the Wairau valley, and partly newer plantings on three ridges on the west side of the Brancott.

Grapes for Dog Point’s Pinot Noir are all hand-picked and given minimal handling.  Healy’s non-interventionalist, natural hands-off approach to winemaking characterizes the outstanding quality and highly expressive wine that the estate is known for.  While Dog Point gets most of their accolades for their outstanding Sauvignon Blanc, their Pinot Noir should not be overlooked.  Barrel fermented (50% new, in 100% French oak), this Pinot exhibits beautiful fragrance and lovely elegance while maintaining a solid, cleansing backbone of acidity.  A perennial favourite with sommeliers and wine critics!

Wine Of The Week – Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010

May 18, 2011 1:04 pm - Posted by Jody in Drink

Each week I like to choose a new wine to introduce to our fans. These wines vary by region, by varietal and even by price. I don’t think cost and value are necessarily related. So I like to focus on wines I have experienced on my travels and I think our fans will enjoy trying. salut!

Trialto LogoDog Point ImageDog Point Vineyard: Among New Zealand’s Wine Royalty!

Dog Point Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2010
Marlborough, New Zealand

4 Stars — Bob Campbell MW

Intense, lively wine with lemon zest, gooseberry, green capsicum and a suggestion of passion fruit. Tangy, mouth-watering Sauvignon Blanc with character. (Jan 2011)

Dog Point Vineyard combines the considerable winegrowing experience of Ivan Sutherland and James Healy, the former chief viticulturalist and head winemaker at New Zealand’s Cloudy Bay.  After leaving Cloudy Bay, the two partners began making wines from Sutherland’s own vineyards, which were planted in the 70’s and 80’s and previously supplied grapes to Cloudy Bay’s wines. Yet, the Dog Point wines are very much an expression of their own tastes and styles. All grapes are all hand-picked, and, afforded minimal handling. Healy’s non-interventionist, natural, hands-off approach to winemaking that characterizes this top quality, highly expressive Sauvignon Banc.