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Dog Point Vineyards
One of the (many) benefits of new world wines is that they do not have the same stumbling blocks that their ancestors had. Everything - from green harvests to new vs. old barrel ageing - has been tried and tested. So while many of these wines are young, they have saved themselves 100 years so by studying best practices brought over from Europe. One such erstwhile student is Dog Point Vineyards in Marlborough, New Zealand’s prime wine growing region.
Dog Point on point
Almost since its inception, Dog Point has been among the very top of wine producers in New Zealand. Producing four fantastic wines, the careful craftsmanship of oenologist James Healy and viticulturist Ivan Sutherland has garnered the label a cult following, both in New Zealand and abroad. The Healy/Sutherland duo, however, dates back to pre-DP days. The pair met while they were both at Cloudy Bay, (Sutherland was Cloudy Bay's viticulturist for 18 years while Healy was the Company's Oenologist for 12 years. Sutherland was also a director of the brand prior to leaving). The meeting of the pair proved, literally, fruitful, and in 2004 they launched their own brand, Dog Point. With 30 accumulated years behind them, this powerhouse duo could do no wrong, and in just 15 short years, Dog Point has come to be considered the benchmark for Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Noirs, and Chardonnays in the business.
Old world philosophies and new world technology
Ivan and James’ wines show astounding quality and complexity. Not only is their slitty clay terroir the best in Marlborough but Dog Point’s 40-year old vines are some of the oldest in the region. Yields are kept low - at least 50% below average - and unusually for New Zealand, grapes are hand-harvested. This is worth noting as hand harvesting is one of the few European winemaking elements that has not hit the antipodes; 95% of harvests are by machine. Their four signature blends are all of equal quality and price, however, if we were to choose one, it would be the Dog Point Vineyard Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc. The 2008 enjoyed a sharp rise in early Q2 2019, making it the savvy choice of the new world newbies.