Pyramid Valley Growers Collection Wines

08-Aug-2014
Mike and Claudia Weersing of Pyramid Valley are possibly the most sensitive winegrowers in New Zealand. Following a background of immersing themselves in winemaking and wine culture around the world, they established their vineyard, farm and home in the Waikari Valley, North Canterbury in 2000 to make Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on clay-limestone soils. Their philosophy of respect for all things in the environment has led them to allow the fruit to grow and wine to be made as naturally as, and with the least intervention possible, encouraging the wines to find their innate balance and equilibrium. The adoption of biodynamics has been part of this approach.

The wines they have made have received critical acclaim by many influential commentators. Yet, incredibly, the wines have also proven divisive, due in part to their difference to the mainstream. Many of the wines are indeed at the cutting edge of style and have characteristics which sit on the precipice of faultiness, but that is where great complexity can lie. There’s no arguing that the Weersings have the most positive and noble intentions, but the results can make those who are more conventional and conservative quite nervous. Risk taking and the successful management of it often requires lateral thinking, and Pyramid Valley seems to have achieved it with a degree of brilliance.

Pyramid Valley has taken another step in their growth and consolidation, with the arrival of Caine and Brittany Thompson from Hawke’s Bay. Caine has a broad industry experience and is well-known for his commitment to organics and biodynamics, and his role as general manager of the Demeter certified operation is perfect. His wife Brittany, leaving Elephant Hill, has taken up the role of assistant winemaker to Mike Weersing. Pyramid Valley is entering a new phase of its life. www.pyramidvalley.co.nz

The ‘Growers Collection’
The ‘Growers Collection’ range consists of wine made from outside of the home vineyard. One of the initial aims was to explore the making and terroir expression of Pinot Noir wines from vineyard sites of like-minded friends. The ‘Eaton’ and ‘Calvert’ wines are the result. This has grown to include different varieties from sites in diverse growing regions. The Weersings particularly enjoy working with varieties that seem neglected, and guiding them to styles that offer an alternative to the norm. Older vines and committed grapegrowers are given recognition with these wines. Here, I review a Pinot Blanc from the ‘Kerner’ vineyard in Marlborough a Chenin Blanc from the ‘Moteo Ridge’ vineyard in Hawke’s Bay, a Pinot Noir from the ‘Calvert’ site in Central Otago, and a Cabernet Franc from the ‘Howell’ vineyard in Hawke’s Bay.


FEATURED WINES IN THIS REVIEW

  • Pyramid Valley ‘Growers Collection’ ‘Moteo Ridge Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Chenin Blanc 2013
  • Pyramid Valley ‘Growers Collection’ ‘Kerner Estate Vineyard’ Marlborough Pinot Blanc 2012
  • Pyramid Valley ‘Growers Collection’ Calvert Vineyard’ Central Otago Pinot Noir 2010
  • Pyramid Valley ‘Growers Collection’ ‘Howell Family Vineyard’ Hawke’s Bay Cabernet Franc 2011

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