Wine Guide
Bell Hill Vineyards
How is it possible in the digital age to not be able to find any information on something? By actively shunning publicity, asking wine journalists not to write about your incredible Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (“we’re embarrassed by the demand a good review creates”), by exporting at least 65% of your product and by allocating the rest on a very strict basis. That’s how. So if you’re looking to add a case or two of Bell Hill to your portfolio, you’re going to have to look very hard.
A model of Burgandy in the Weka Pass
Fast gaining status as a new(ish) vineyard worth knowing about, Bell Hill vineyards is one of North Canterbury (in New Zealand’s South Island) most secret success stories. A teeny-tiny vineyard of just 2-hectacres, you would not be alone if you had never heard of them. Planted in 1997 in prime chalky limestone and calcareous clay soil, Bell Hill’s Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are not just good. They’re. Very. Good. Modelled on the Burgundian ethos of high-density planting, “growers” (not owners, managers nor winemakers) Sherwyn Veldhuizen and Marcel Giesen put an enormous amount of trust in the (non-scientific) theory that excellent Pinot and Chardonnay vines need limestone in order to flourish. “We’ve got great faith in the soil,” says Sherwyn. “With vine age, our wines are developing more pronounced limestone mineral character. The soil gives our wines shape, tension and length. We’re still learning and try hard to gain a little extra quality each year.” No sooner said than done, as Bell Hill’s scores are stratospheric year in year out.
Probably one of the best New Zealand wines on the market
Sadly though these are not easy wines to get hold of and the classic equation of scarcity plus quality means that Bell Hill is one of the most expensive New Zealand wineries there is. If you can add a bottle to your cellar, our advice is to do it, not only are the wines excellent, but ROI is very good; 25% in from December 2017 to April 2019. With such superlative quality, we believe Bell Hill will not be able to stay secret for much very longer.