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Our Wines


Pioneer Block 9 Big John Riesling 2016

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark


The name of this wine reflects its six foot ten-inch vineyard owner John Walsh, affectionately known in viticultural circles as Big John.


Woodbourne - south western end of the Blenheim Airport runway.


Soils: Even, free draining alluvial soils of moderate fertility.

Topography: Relatively flat with the property divided by a small tributary of the Fairhall River. The vineyard sits 40m above sea level.

Climate: Located within the valley floor this block enjoys high sunshine hours with low disease pressure due to dry North West winds.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

Moderated vigour from the older alluvial soils sees a relatively slow ripening phase giving good flavour concentration, distinct citrus and mineral notes and excellent fruit weight on the palate.


Two cane vertical shoot positioning (VSP), irrigated when necessary.


The grapes were lightly whole bunch pressed and the free run juice was briefly settled then fermented at cool temperatures with a selected yeast strain to enhance aromatics. The must was tasted daily and the fermentation stopped when the residual sugar perfectly balanced the natural acidity. The wine remained on lees for a couple of months with occasional stirring to create texture, then was racked, lightly fined, stabilized and filtered.


Pale lemon.


Fragrant aromas of muddled lime, lemonade and mandarin.


A textural palate with chalky phenolics underlying fresh citrus and clover honey flavours. The residual sugar gives a sweet flush on the mid palate, but the wine finishes dry.


This wine will improve with careful cellaring for at least five years from the vintage date.


Alcohol: 9% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 8.5g/litre, Residual Sugar: 40g/L, pH: 2.92.

Food Match:

Enjoy on its own as an aperitif or with Asian spiced pork.


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