April 30, 2010
Wine Advocate Issue 188 April 2010
April 26, 2010
Tim and Judy Finn Celebrate 30 Vintages at Neudorf
Thirty years ago this week, Tim and Judy Finn completed their first vintage at Neudorf Vineyard.
"We knew very little except we wanted to make beautiful wine in beautiful surroundings. I guess we lucked out finding this spot in Upper Moutere. It gives us grapes with the texture and definition we love," says Tim Finn.
Looking back, Tim says that 1991 was about when it became clear the the Neudorf block was so special. "We had a Chardonnay in the Sydney Top 100. Australian judge Huon Hooke declared he had found a Puligny Montrachet ringer in the flight - it turned out to be our Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay 9. As the then winemaker I take very little credit for this, the quality comes from the Moutere terroir. These unique sites are not generally treated with the respect they deserve but future generations will recognize and value them."
Since then the wine has gone on to received accolades from Jancis Robinson MW "Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay would fool many into thinking it was a fine, white Burgundy." Robert Parker's Wine Advocate said it was "a must have" wine and last year it collected the White Wine of the Show at the Tri Nations Challenge in Sydney - a competition where wine writers, not wineries, enter wines.
Unsurprisingly Neudorf is also known for the quality of its other wines: Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. Earlier this year their Sauvignon was Wine of the Week on www.jancisrobinson.com. "That was perfect timing," says Judy. "Just as the world was tiring of the flood of cheap, over cropped Sauvignon we get this huge endorsement of our more textural complex style."
"Last year we were named 'New Zealand's Greatest Winery' in the UK Wine Report. While you take these things with a grain of salt, we were flattered to head a list of wineries we admire."
Neudorf has always been hot on new technology - they were one of the first wineries to use screwcaps, and Neudorf was the first winery to trial mussel shells under the vines as a way of increasing grape ripeness without increasing alcohol. Tim's current interest is a time-lapse webcam he set up overlooking the winery yard through vintage. "It probably only appeals to the geeks, though it's quite funny. The vineyard guys have threatened to work naked one day to see if anyone actually visits the website."
This year to celebrate 30 vintages, Tim and Judy will open some library wines for special events at Hopgood's in Nelson, Martin Bosley's in Wellington, The French Cafe in Auckland and also London. Late this week they head to Singapore as part of Robert Parker's Top 100 wineries of the World.
Wine importer and our supplier, Jon-David Headrick will be appointed a Chevalier dans l'Ordre du Merite Agricole by the French government on April 9, 2010. This is one of the highest civilian awards given by the government. Becoming a knight is a lifetime appointment and is given to acknowledge outstanding service to French agriculture.
Read the Forbes article to find out more about this distinguished honor.