Wither Hills has released its first-ever Syrah and Merlot varietals, expanding its range and marking an exciting new chapter for the award-winning New Zealand brand.
The new Merlot 2018 and Syrah 2018 are from Hawke’s Bay rather than Marlborough, the brand’s spiritual home, explains Matt Large, Head Winemaker at Wither Hills.
“While we’ve experimented with a few different wines in small batches over the years, it’s clear that the Hawke’s Bay is the best region for creating Merlots and Syrahs of depth and richness. This is thanks to the warmer climate which allows the fruit to ripen more fully, really bringing out the flavours in the wine," said Large.
“We’ve created a warmly textured Merlot, matured under different oak regimes over 18 months to bring out vibrant dark plum flavours, with nuances of cigar box and chocolate. To create our Syrah, we gently de-stem and ferment the fruit before an extended maceration period to soften the tannins, resulting in a varietal packed with notes of dark fruit, pepper and spice."
To celebrate the launch, Wither Hills has commissioned Napier-based ceramic artist Holly Morgan to create an exclusive range of tableware that integrates raw materials from the Te Awanga region, home to some of the grapes in these wines.
“I’ve always had a love of wine; there’s nothing more special than sitting down to a beautiful meal and a glass of wine with your loved ones. I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with Wither Hills to create the unique designs that represent the best of both our worlds,” said Morgan.
Leila McCracken, Senior Brand Manager of Wither Hills, said she is delighted to be working with Holly and morganmade to launch the new wines with something special for customers.
“At Wither Hills, our wine is “Made Beautifully”. It’s this commitment to quality that is at the heart of our brand and all we do. With that in mind, it made sense to work with an artisan like Holly to celebrate the new red wines. The passion and incredible care she has in her craft are values shared by our team, who are also inspired by the unique character of New Zealand’s land,” said McCracken.
The Wither Hills Hawke’s Bay Merlot and Syrah will also be the first products to go to market wearing the new-look copper-foil label, a special homage to the brand’s origins and spiritual home.
“Although Wither Hills has a diverse range of Marlborough wines, we are always looking to new horizons and are truly proud of our new Hawke’s Bay created wines which reflect this,” added Large.