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Martinborough wines earn high rankings

One of Australia’s leading wine authorities has ranked two Martinborough businesses as being in the top 10 of New Zealand wineries.

The tasting team of digital wine platform The Real Review placed Ata Rangi at fourth and Dry River Wines at eighth.

The list – in its seventh year – was compiled by such independent critics as masters of wine Bob Campbell and Stephen Wong, who sampled more than 3500 wines from the past year.

Ata Rangi winemaker Helen Masters said it is fantastic that Martinborough is consistently well-represented in the top echelon of wines.

“It’s always really nice, and it really cements all the hard work that the team does consistently year to year,” she said.

“We’re constantly driving for incredible wines that are of incredible quality that are also distinctly Ata Rangi and Martinborough.

“For that to shine through, it’s great – it’s good for everybody.”

Masters said this season has been a stunning vintage year.

This year’s grapes are of impeccable quality with no disease pressure, great flavours, and beautiful tannins, she told the Times-Age.

“The only negative was the quality was slightly lower quantities due to the cooler weather in spring, but it was really just so lovely.”

The wines are showing real purity and length, she said.

Wairarapa Winegrowers Association Chair and On Giants’ Shoulders winemaker Wilco Lam said both Ata Rangi and Dry River Wines deserve “huge congratulations”.

“This is a great result for them and a positive reflection on the Wairarapa,” he said.

Lam said the wineries’ classification will get global attention since there are few such systems for New Zealand wineries.

“The season was very good with exceptional fruit ripening conditions, in line with the classic years.

“The region is extremely excited about the 2024 harvest, and the wines will be highly sought after, especially since the volume was down to the long term average.”

New Zealand wine master and first-time The Real Review team taster Stephen Wong said it is really heartening to see increasingly diverse representation from New Zealand: “The stellar results from Central Otago, the outstanding dominance of organic producers, and smaller regions like Wairarapa, North Canterbury and Waiheke punching about their weight class alongside the juggernauts of Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

“It is an exciting time for New Zealand wine across almost every style and grape variety.

“There is much cause for optimism.”

“Top Wineries of New Zealand 2024 is the who’s who of fine wine producers creating new benchmarks as a measure of excellence,” taster Bob Campbell noted.

“It is a one-stop shop for the latest and greatest New Zealand wines, and we are thrilled to reveal them to New Zealand wine lovers.”

The Real Review’s international tasting team reviews about 10,000 wines yearly – more than any wine publication – with an Australia and New Zealand focus including those wineries that routinely produce excellent wine.

They offer comprehensive tasting notes, ratings, and recommendations for customers.

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