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Churton Wines: It’s Marlborough, but not as you know it.

27.03.20

Rebecca Gibb MW

In 1988, Sam and Mandy Weaver waved goodbye to the London wine trade and set off for New Zealand with their newborn baby on an adventure that hasn't yet ended.

Hailing from an English farming family with a microbiology degree in hand and a grounding in European wine, co-founder Sam established himself as a go-to man in the infancy of Marlborough wine. He is still a go-to man if you want to know how to grow grapes with tender loving care and make wines with elegance and restraint. While its makers are as understated as their wines – perhaps it's British modesty – the Churton name should be shouted from the top of the London Eye. It's a leading light of fine wines from Marlborough and if you need any more convincing, read on.

 

Five Reasons Why Churton is Different


1) Churton has been organic since 2008, which is bloody ages in New Zealand terms. They also farm biodynamically and they're putting thewheels in motion to start the Demeter certification process in 2020.

2) Churton's vineyard is on a hillside at 200m above sea level, which is rare in New Zealand. For those who grew up on a menu of European wines, hillside vineyards were the home of some of the continent's finest wines whether it was the cascading slopes of the Côte d'Or, the vertiginous banks of the Mosel or the terraces of the Douro Valley.  The Weavers made the decision to close plant its 22-hectare site on a hillside. It's working out pretty well so far (it's also a lot of work but great wines are not made from sitting down and drinking tea all day)

 

3) The founders' two sons, Ben (32) and Jack (29) are now taking over the reins and they've introduced a new range under the Churton umbrella for bright young things. Natural State is an experiment with tradition: the dry white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Petit Manseng while the red is a vibrant Pinot Noir that's been whole berry fermented. They two wines are organic and suitable for vegans as they're unfined and unfiltered.

4) Many of the vineyard blocks are named after cuts of meat so you'll find Flank, Blade, Topside, Rump as well as Best End - the 1.2 hectare parcel dedicated to making its superlative barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc. The Abyss, the source of its eponymous Pinot Noir is so-named as it perches on a cliff-edge, overlooking a steep drop to the Omaka River below.

5) Unlike the majority of Marlborough producers, Churton's yields don't exceed 1.5kg per vine and they don't machine harvest. If you want to make elegant Sauvignon Blanc it's all about hand harvesting and whole bunch pressing into large barrels. Winemaker Ben lets wild yeasts do their job and for the first time in 2017, the Best End Sauvignon Blanc had no fining, no filtration, no stablisation and the merest touch of SO2. That's about as close to natural as it gets (without smelling and tasting weird).

 

 

 

 Rebecca Gibb MW

 

 

The Churton Wines...

churtonsb18 Organic

Churton Sauvignon Blanc, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand 2018

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

Fresh and floral on the nose with lifted white peach aromas. The palate is…

Food Matches

Oysters, Pork belly Pie & Goats Cheese

White

Crisp, Dry Whites

75cl

Discover More
Limited Stock, please contact us
churtonwhitenaturalstate Organic

Churton Natural State Field Blend, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand 2017

Marlborough, New Zealand

Food Matches

Strong blue cheese, Pate & Tarte tatin

White

Aromatic Whites

75cl

Discover More
Buy
petitmanseng Organic

Churton Petit Manseng, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand, 50cl Bottle 2018

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

Churton's 2018 sweet Petit Manseng is bright, yellow gold with green…

Food Matches

Strong blue cheese, Pate & Tarte tatin

Pudding

Rich & Complex Whites

50cl

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Buy
churtonabys Organic

Churton Abyss Pinot Noir, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand 2017

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

An amazingly aromatic and floral nose. Complex musk rose and chamomile…

Food Matches

Strong blue cheese, Pate & Tarte tatin

Red

Rich & Complex Whites

75cl

Discover More
Buy
churotnnv16

Churton Viognier, Marlborough, New Zealand 2016

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

Complex aromas of winter florals and ripe apricots with savoury notes of…

Food Matches

Cantonese Chicken & Pad Thai

White

Aromatic Whites

75cl

Discover More
Buy
CHURTONBEST Organic

Churton Best End Sauvignon Blanc, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand 2018

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

Churton incorporates 10 distinctive Sauvignon Blanc blocks and we harvest…

Food Matches

Fish, Seafood & Chicken

White

Crisp, Dry Whites

75cl

Discover More
Buy
naturalstatepn Organic

Churton Natural State Pinot Noir, Organic, Marlborough, New Zealand 2019

Marlborough, New Zealand

Tasting Notes

An amazingly aromatic and floral nose. Complex musk rose and chamomile…

Food Matches

Strong blue cheese, Pate & Tarte tatin

Red

Rich & Complex Whites

75cl

Discover More
Limited Stock, please contact us
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