Today we are introducing readers to a New Zealand producer of fine wines – “Yealands, owned by the legendary kiwi entrepreneur Peter Yealands” and “the dynamic winemaker behind Yealands, Ms. Tamra Kelly.”
“The Yealands story is an interesting one. This young winery was founded in 2008 by Peter Yealands, who built a fortune as a leading player in the green-shelled mussel industry. He has a passion for wine and the environment, and began purchasing vineyards in Marlborough’s Awatere Valley in the mid-2000s. His namesake winery was the first to be carbon neutral from the foundation, and he seeks to be NZ’s most sustainable winery – not an easy task in this land of sustainability!”
Meet the Winemaker
Tamra Kelly-Washington, was born in Marlborough, New Zealand – and has come back to her roots to work at Yealands Estate Wines. Tamra got her enology degree, and began amassing some great winemaking experience 15 years ago. She began working around the world doing harvests; in Australia, as well as Napa, (learning all about warm climate wines) then back to Australia. She also traveled into Sicily, Puglia, and other areas of Northern Italy – spending a total of five years in Italy – furthering her winemaking experience.
Kelly heard about Peter Yealands and what he was doing back in New Zealand. Wondering if she would fit in, she was excited about how Sauvignon Blanc was making its mark back home. She thought it was a good time to return, and Peter needed a winemaker at his new winery back in Marlborough. Starting afresh with a brand new proposition, this was the end of 2007. By 2008 they had their first vintage. A big challenge, Kelly said, that she’s really enjoyed.
“Peter is very in tune with nature” Kelly said, and “the land, a big chunk of it, is on the water.” And while they have 133 block and nearly 2,500 acres, Sauvignon Blanc is just one of several varietals that they now grow. Warm sunny days in summer paired with cool nights, holds the flavor in, while maintaining the grapes’ freshness and acidity. There is no treatment, according to Kelly, as “what you are tasting is a really natural product.”
Taste the Wines (aroma and flavors separated by 😉
2013 Sauvignon Blanc (100% Sauvignon Blanc, Seaview and Wairau vineyards)
Lemon, lemon zest, condensation on metal; good citrus fruit, acidity, fresh sliced pear flavors throughout the finish.
2013 Estate Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (100% Sauvignon Blanc, Seaview vineyard)
Nut fruit, apricot, crisp golden delicious apples; same fruit comes forward on the palate, viscosity, nice acidity.
2013 Block S1 Sauvignon Blanc (100% Sauvignon Blanc, Seaview vineyard)
(SI means Special One to Tamra) They chose to make this wine from a single block that received lots of sunshine.
Grapefruit, limeade, cool stones; zingy, good crisp citrus fruit and acid.
2013 Pinot Gris (100% Pinot Gris, Seaview vineyard)
Kiwi, candied apple, honeycomb; juicy fruit, moist feeling, less acidic than the Sauvignon Blancs, could have this with French Toast, maple syrup and fruit. Cool climate vineyard, according to Tamra, allowed for them to retain the acidity.
2013 Pinot Noir (100% Pinot Noir, Awatere and Wairau Valleys)
Stewed plums and Luxardo cherries, green pepper; great fruit and balance between fruit and pepper, with a long clean finish.
2013 Estate Pinot Noir (100% Pinot Noir, Seaview vineyard)
Slightly heavier fruit, darker cherry, white and green pepper; bigger yet with a pleasant tartness, nice.
And you should be able to find these wines at BevMo, Vons and a few independent retailers!
Learn More about Yealands