Wine Guide
Millton Vineyards and Winery
If you have ever visited New Zealand, then you will understand the grandeur, the potential and the vast scope of its wine region. New wines have been popping up all over the place, yet some, such as Millton, have been instrumental in establishing what we consider the New Zealand wine “industry” today.
Learning to fly from the best
Located in the stunning Gisborne region, on the banks of the Te Arai River, Millton proudly states that it is the first vineyard to practice organic and biodynamic farming in the country. Established in 1984, James and Annie Millton need no introduction. Annie’s father, John Clark, was a forerunner in establishing vineyards in New Zealand, having planted vines as far back as 1967. As a young couple, James and Annie travelled to Europe to gain some experience in the business, cutting their teeth in prestigious estates such as Champagne Bollinger, Maison Sichel in Bordeaux and Weingut Kurstner in Rheinhessen. Upon their return to NZ, they replanted much of Clark’s estate (which was more of a grape growing business at the time), and hey presto, Millton Vineyards and Winery was born.
Four labels
Since Milton’s inception, the Milltons have planted two more vineyards and today they produce varietals of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Gewurztraminer and Riesling under four main labels. Of these, their signature Millton range is the best expression of their forty years of evolution, and both the Pinot Noir and the Reisling are high scorers at 90 points on aggregate in general (93 from Huon Hook for 2011s Pinot Noir). As with most new world wines, pricing is ridiculously low, think just €20 on average.

While investing in new world fine wines remains something of a grey area for now, Millton’s heritage, savoir-faire, farming practices and low-yields go a long way in placing them at the top of the list when the time is right. Which could be even now.