Marlborough Rosé on New Zealand Rosé Day 2021

New Zealand Wine Regions

New Zealand produces about 1 percent of the world wide wine making it a small but significant producer. The map shows the different regions within New Zealand. In this blog post I am going to look at some of the Marlborough Rosé wines produced.

Marlborough, a region in the North East of the South Island of New Zealand. Marlborough is classed as cool climate for wines production. Daily temperatures in Summer usually range from 25-30 Celsius, however, night time summer temperatures drop to 10-15 degrees Celsius. The cooler nights help to keep good acidity in the fruit and therefore produce very balanced wines with lovely fruit flavours. Being cool climate also defines the grape varieties that grow well in Marlborough.

The main red grape of Marlborough is Pinot Noir and therefore most Marlborough Rosé wines are Pinot Noir based.

Lawsons Dry Hills Pink

The 2020 vintage has a delicate pale pink Hue. The nose is an attractive blend of berry fruits with a dry finish. The Pinot Noir fruit for this wine was the fist to be picked in 2020 and was pristine. The fruit was grown and picked especially for this Marlborough Rosé wine with lower Brix and higher acidity.

The grapes were pressed and the skins removed to allow very little contact to achieve the lovely light colour. The juice was then fermented in stainless steel tanks using yeasts from Provence in France. Great to drink while young and vibrant and great to drink with platters.

For more information visit Lawsons Dry Hills web site

Lawsons Dry Hills Pink
Lawsons Dry Hills Pink taken during a wine tour

Rockferry Marlborough Rosé still wine and Rosé Bubbles

Rockferry is a small organic winery with 3 vineyards, 2 in Marlborough and one in Central Otago. All the vineyards are certified organic and they also practice biodynamic principals without being certified.


Rockferry Rosé wine and Brut Rosé Bubbles
Beautiful Rockferry gardens taken during a wine tour

Rockferry 2020 Marlborough Rosé wine

The Pinot Noir fruit for this wine is all grown in their Orchard vineyard in Marlborough. The Pinot Noir Clones Abel, 777 and 5 were machine harvested from the Orchard vineyard. The fruit was skin contacted for 3 hours then pressed. The Marlborough Rosé wine is stainless steel fermented at a cool temperature. Matured on the yeast lees for 3 months before bottling. The result is a gorgeous salmon pink colour. Flavours of Cherry and Strawberry come to the fore with a dry finish.

Rockferry Brut Rosé

The pinot noir fruit for this 2014 vintage wine was grown in Bendigo Central Otago. The clone 10-5 Pinot Noir  was hand harvested and whole bunched pressed. The free run juice was then settled for 24 hours before being racked into a mix of seasoned oak barrels and stainless steel barrels for fermentation. After a short warm fermentation the wine was left on full lees and underwent indigenous malolactic fermentation in spring. The wine was then tirage bottled and matured for 3.5 years prior to disgorging.

To quote Rockferry; “This wine is summer in a bottle with delicate floral aromas and a hint of wild berries on the nose. Then strawberries and cream come through on the palate before moving through to more complex doughy flavours.”

For more information visit Rockferry wines web site

St Clair Origin Pinot Gris Malborough Rosé

St Clair winery, based in Marlborough and one of the largest Marlborough family owned wineries. They make different ranges of wines. This Marlborough Rosé wine comes from their Origin range and this range is exported to over 60 countries around the world.

Different from most Marlborough Rosé in that it is not 100% Pinot Noir fruit. The wine is made from a blend of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. All the fruit was harvested in the cool of the night by machine therefore keeping the fruit fresh. The juice remained on skins for a few hours to achieve the delicate colour after which it was fermented in stainless steel tanks. On the palate the wines exhibits flavours of Strawberries and Raspberries with just a hint of cream. This wine is well matched with grilled fish.

St Clair Origin Rosé
St Clair cellar door garden during a wine tour

Hunters Rosé still wine and Rosé Bubbles

Hunters wines established in 1979 being one of the first 4 wineries in Marlborough. They are still family run with Jane Hunter in control and family members in key roles.

Hunters 2020 Marlborough Rosé wine

This is a very unusual Marlborough Rosé wine. This wine is a blend of Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer grapes with each variety contributing unique characteristics to the final wine. Fruit was picked in the cool of the morning. The Pinot Noir grapes were left to soak on skins for 24 hours to pick up some colour before pressing. The varieties were fermented separately before the wine was blended and Estate bottled. Tastes of fresh raspberry, peach and nectarine make the wine very drinkable and dry to taste.

Hunters MiruMiru Rosé Bubbles

The colour is a lovely blush pink. Blended from Pinot Noir 55%, Chardonnay 42%, and Pinot Meunier 3%. The first fermentation is in stainless steel tanks and then traditionally bottle fermented on lees for 18 months. Aromas of subtle strawberry and raspberry with a touch of fresh brioche. The palate is refined with freshness and balanced acidity.

Hunters Rosé still wine and Rosé Bubbles

Whitehaven 2020 Pinot Noir Marlborough Rosé

Whitehaven make 2 Rosé wines and here I will focus on the Whitehaven Marlborough Rosé. Made with 100% Pinot Noir, the fruit was machine-harvested then crushed and immediately pressed at the winery to ensure the desired level of colour and flavour extraction.  Using only the early ‘free run’ juice, fermentation was at cool temperatures with selected yeast to create a wine with pure fruit flavours and freshness. Made in a dry style, this medium bodied wine displays attractive red berry fruits, floral notes and creamy undertones supported by bright acidity.  These flavours persist on the lengthy, precise finish.


A very interesting Label for this wine. Jackson Estate Partnered with award winning photographer, Amber Griffin, and the internationally recognised ballerina, Alayna Ng. Jackson Estate Marlborough Rosé is 100% Marlborough Pinot Noir. juice. The fruit is harvested early, therefore, retaining good acidity. Gently pressed with minimal skin contact to give this beautiful colour. Fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine exhibits a bouquet of strawberries, red currant, pink grapefruit and watermelon and finishes dry on the palate. Perfect for a sunny summers day drink.

I could not resist adding this extra picture showing the vines in the foreground and the Richmond Ranges in the Background.

Marlborough Wine Tour at Jackson Estate

I hope this inspires Rosé drinkers to take a wine tour with us, so why not explore our tour options, go on treat yourself. Join us on a Blenheim wine tour in the Marlborough wine region.

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