NWWA Top 50 – Squawking Magpie

Squawking Magpie produces outstanding Hawke's Bay Wine made in the Gimblett Gravels area with emphasis placed on viticultural excellence.

The “cradle of quality” for Squawking Magpie is the Woodlands Vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels area, the first 4 hectares of which were planted in 1995. In 2002, a new 20-hectare vineyard was developed as a joint venture and planted predominantly in Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

From the very first plantings, emphasis has been placed on creating outstanding wines by focusing on viticultural excellence.

Owner and director Gavin Yortt and his team hold the firm belief that great wine comes from great grapes. And the proof is certainly there to be tasted: Squawking Magpie wines exhibit all the elegance and finesse of a unique terroir and stand testament to the superiority of single vineyard estate management and production.

Squawking Magpie is proud to be an accredited member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.

SupermarketNews spoke to the team to find out more about its award-winning wines.

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

“The vineyards are located in a variety of sub-regions of the Marlborough Wine growing area. Each of these sub-regions brings its own unique character to the wines made from them. The variations in the soils, climate and aspect of each site contributes to creating a unique and memorable wine. Richer weighty wines from the clay dominant southern valleys, Punchy, tropical and ripe greens from the Upper Wairau, Zesty, minerally with classic gooseberry and capsicums from the Coastal Lower Southern Wairau combine in this wine.”

What is one of the most rewarding things about winemaking?

“Turning grapes into award-winning wines.”


“The grapes used for this vintage have produced a powerful, mouthfilling wine with fresh acidity, ripe melon and lime flavours.   Fully tank fermented, this wonderful wine is fresh and vibrant with a crisp dry finish.”

What was important in making this award-winning wine?

“Picking on flavour not on numbers is key to creating a complex and powerful wine. This accompanied with cropping the vines at the correct level for the site of course. The use of a variety of yeasts both aromatic and textural create the base wines to work with. Reviewing these wines and ranking them on merit, power, flavour and persistence, then blending these components so all the elements work seamlessly together is key factor. Blending, reviewing and redoing (if required). The resulting wine is a combination of years of experience and insight into how the various components will work together. A bit of good luck and mother nature smiling on you helps too.”

Food Pairing?

“Chicken /Fish and any salty dishes.”

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

“3-5 years.”

Who would your wine appeal to?

“Sauvignon lovers.”

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

“Fruity with typical bright aromas.”

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

Screaming Eagle Sauvignon Blanc – California, US$6,000 per bottle and a waiting list to be able to buy.”


Founders: Gavin Yortt

Current Owner: Gavin Yortt

Winemaker: Tim Adams – Marlborough, Jenny Dobson Chief Wine Maker – Hawkes Bay

Location: Hawkes Bay / Marlborough

Wine varietals produced: Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Methode Traditionelle