Muddy WaterMuddy Water
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James Hardwick Riesling

Vines of impeccable pedigree that yield preciously small quantities of exquisite flavour.

Muddy Water Muddy Water

The Block

Our Riesling block is named after family friend James Hardwick, whose passion for Riesling inspired the original owners to create a high quality Riesling in a contemporary Alsace style. Tucked behind a stand of pine trees, they're the first vines you see as you come up the long, winding drive to the winery.

The vines are from cuttings from the first Riesling ever planted in Waipara: the renowned Corbetts Block, source of the famous Corbans Amberley Riesling cult wine of the 1980s. Grown on their own roots for full, natural expression, the vines have been spur-pruned since 2007 and we also shoot thin to control fruit growth. Through the combination of clone type, cool climate and careful hand-tending we can achieve wonderfully low cropping levels - unusual for Riesling - with the vines producing restrained quantities of perfectly small bunches packed with exquisitely intense flavour.

  • Planted: 1993
  • Planting density: 1850 vines/ha
  • Row spacing: 3m
  • Vine spacing: 1.8m
  • Avg yield: 2kg/vine

The Wine

Citrus and white-fleshed stone-fruits in a balanced off-dry style are signature expressions from this block, with individual vintages running the gamut from fresh and crisp through to sweeter toffee-like silkiness. An underlying chalky minerality speaks loudly of our clay-lime soils.

We hand-pick fruit in the early mornings of late autumn when the days are dry and nights are cool, selecting only the bunches with perfect ripeness, and then press the whole bunches slowly for purity of flavour. We allow for wild fermentation without the intervention of commercial yeasts or nutrients, stopping the process when there's just enough sweetness present without being cloying.

James Hardwick Riesling 2014

Yellow-gold in colour. Rich and inviting on the nose with peach and rock-melon fruits flowing through to an expanse of elderflower, wild fennel and cloves. Similar flow through the palate with nectarine, preserved lemon, baking spices and the smoke of Manuka wood. Beautiful intensity, length and generously layered.

NZ Organic Wine Awards 2015
  • Harvested: 30 April 2014
  • Cellaring: 2023

James Hardwick Riesling 2013

Light straw colour in the glass, our James Hardwick Riesling 2013 shows the richness of a Waipara Riesling from dense clay soils. The growing season encompassed a beautiful, long and hot summer producing bunches with intensity and richness. Ripe citrus fruits, cloves and nutmeg are followed by weighty peach and apricot, and a long fresh palate of lime-like acidity. Textural with a savoury element, this is a perfect wine for pairing with seafood and chicken, or to serve as an aperitif.

  • Harvested: 30 April 2013
  • Cellaring: 2023

James Hardwick Riesling 2012

Mineral notes prevail on the nose with a delicate array of lily, elderflower and lemon verbena, washing into a palate with nectarine highlights and a long succulent honey-tinged finish. Enduring throughout is a core of chalky minerality, speaking loudly of our clay-lime soils and organic viticulture. Age with confidence through to 2021.

Our Organic Riesling is carefully tended entirely by hand and naturally produces tiny quantities of small bunches. The vines are 12 years old and originate from the first Waipara Riesling vines planted back in the 1980’s. We hand pick selected healthy bunches late autumn when the days are dry and nights are cool.

The hand-picked fruit is pressed slowly as whole bunches before an overnight settling in tank. We allow fermentation to start naturally without the intervention of commercial yeasts or nutrients and this flow through at its own pace to a balanced off-dry style. We cool the young wine to finish fermentation before a period of six months yeast lees.

  • Harvested: 08 May 2012
  • Cellaring: 2012 - 2021