NWWA Top 50 – Middle Earth Wines

Middle-earth Wines was founded 10 years ago by Rob Grey his daughter Kylie and her husband Ryan with a view to produce premium quality, estate grown wines of Nelson. Prior to launching Middle-earth wines Rob had been growing premium quality grapes for contract for over 10 years on his Brightwater farm which has been in the Grey family for over 60 years.

SupermarketNews spoke to Trudy Sheild, winemaker at Middle-earth Wines about their award-winning top drop.

What characteristics of your wine are influenced by the physical landscape of your winery?

“The linear mineral thread resulting from young alluvial river gravels, clean water, bright Nelson sunshine combine for a wine with great natural acidity and naturally lower alcohol. Naturally lower alcohols are a feature of all our wines as they reach physiological ripeness and develop flavours at lower sugar levels. (Nelson secret).”

What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?

“Variety – of tasks, of people, of interactions, of seasons.”


“Proudly 100% Pinot Meunier. Glorious aromas of pomegranate and melon, chased by juicy acidity and a long fruity finish.”

What was important in making this award-winning wine?

“Timing of picking is key in securing flavours, freshness and balance. The winery practices remain secret but unobtrusive.”

Food Pairing?

“Pork, Salmon, Sashimi, Crayfish. It is also a stunning aperitif.”

How long can you shelf your winning bottle of wine for?

“Three years….but we haven’t been able to do that because it always sells out!”

Who would your wine appeal to?

“Wide ranging appeal, great aroma with a beautifully balanced dry finishing pallet.”

How would you describe this wine to someone who's never had this grape varietal/blend before?

“Delicious. Fleshy, frisky, fruity, Fabulous.”

If you could do a wine bottle swap with any winery in NZ or the world, which winery and wine would it be with?

“Because it’s so damn good – Champagne Billecart Cuvee #1, Limited Release 100% Pinot Meunier.”


Founders: Rob Grey and family

Current Owners: Rob Grey, Kylie & Ryan O’Connell

Winemaker: Trudy Sheild

Location: Brightwater, Nelson

Wine varietals produced: Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Viognier, Albarino, Pinot Noir.