Millton Vineyard & Winery
New Zealand’s First Organic & Biodynamic Wine Estate.
In the winery the process is gentle and precise preferring time to fine the wines rather than technology. Indigenous yeasts and bacteria are used and the fermentation takes place in stainless steel or larger format oak barrels, all housed in a thermally clad building.
Sulphur dioxide is used to allow the wine to travel and age however these levels are kept to a minimum. The properties are certified organic and biodynamic confirmed with the trademarks Bio-Gro and Demeter.
The Millton Vineyard’s three individual Gisborne vineyards; Opou, Te Arai and the Clos de Ste. Anne are located in Manutuke. The unique character of the appellation is its proximity to the influence of the Pacific Ocean together with the geologically youthful sedimentary soils. Cooling sea breezes keep the climate friendly and temperate in high summer.
Traditional viticulture is practiced in all vineyards and all are dry-farmed, with no insecticide, herbicide, systemic fungicide or soluble fertilisers used.
In 1984 James and Annie Millton established The Millton Vineyard on the banks of the Te Arai River near Manutuke, where the early settlers first planted grapevines in 1871. This region is situated on the East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand in the wine appellation of Gisborne.
Originally Annie’s father, Mr John Clark, had developed vineyards on his estate at ‘Opou’ in Manutuke during the late 1960's. James and Annie returned to Gisborne after experience gained in the famous wine regions of France and Germany including Champagne Bollinger, Maison Sichel in Bordeaux and Weingut Kurstner in Rheinhessen. By 1983 they had extensively researched and replanted major parts of the families’ grape growing business, before establishing The Millton Vineyard in 1984.
Even Millton's earliest releases were of high quality, not only winning favour with foundation customers, but pleasing the wine judges as well. Recognition was rapidly achieved winning numerous trophies and gold medals for the traditionally styled Riesling and Chenin Blanc. Internationally, gold medals were awarded for the 1992 Gisborne Chardonnay at the International Wine Challenge in London. This wine then went on to win the trophy at the International Organic Wine Challenge Fair, while two other Millton wines entered came second and third.
A similar result was achieved at the 2004 San Francisco Wine Fair with Gold medals for the Riesling and Chenin Blanc. The Chenin Blanc also won the trophy, moving it into the position of its current prestige as being a new-world wine classic gaining inclusion in Neil Beckett's, "1001 wines to drink before you die" (Published by Penguin in 2008).
Today, Milltons’ Gisborne wines consistently appear in fine dining rooms worldwide and continue to receive numerous national and international accolades. Millton Vineyards & Winery are exclusive members of international group "La Renaissance des Appellations" and New Zealand collaboration "The Family of Twelve".