News

New Release: Mills Reef Estate Syrah 2016

"Our eagerly awaited 2016 Estate Hawkes Bay Syrah was bottled late November.The grapes are from Moteo Vineyard located in the lower foothills nearby Puketapu. Drinking beautifully and judge dready for release, it has lovely rich colour, is medium bodied, with black cherry, blackberry fruits, damson plum and spice notes. A wine punching above Estate tier. Perfect with your summer BBQ-grilled steaks!"     

Posted on 14 Dec 2016

Whitianga Scallop Festival 2016

This hugely popular festival is an annual event for seafood lovers that’s not to be missed!  Held in early September, it’s a weekend-long celebration of seafood to welcome in the Spring season, featuring cuisine stands turning out mouth-watering dishes, along with cooking demonstrations by iconic New Zealand chefs, great entertainment, and of course fine wines. Mills Reef has been a regular at this event since its inception many years ago, pouring a selection of fine wines to pair magnificently with the fine seafood fare on offer. View below a selection of images from this fun-filled seaside event!                                   

Posted by Nick on 05 Oct 2016

Syrah Glitters for Hawkes Bay Wine Show

Reserve Syrah 2013 Wins GOLD at Hawkes Bay Wine Awards  Hawkes Bay grown Syrah has captivated the attention and admiration of international wine critics for its exciting and distinctively impressive expression. It therefore came as no surprise at our recent Hawkes Bay Wine Awards that the Syrah class featured so strongly, producing nine Gold medal-winning wines, more than twice as many Golds compared to all other red wine classes, and representing 23% of all Gold medals awarded at the Show. Among the Gold medal-winning Syrahs was our very own 2015 Mills Reef Reserve Gimblett Gravels Syrah, a wine we’ve been excited about since harvesting the fruit from our Mere Road Vineyard. True to typicity of the Hawkes Bay expression, it has lovely depth and refined supple tannins, intertwined with a medley of dark berry fruits, spice, and fine leather complexity.For more information on this stunning wine, click here

Posted by Nick on 05 Oct 2016

Look out for Mills Reef Wines at the following events

Upcoming events with Mills Reef Winery in attendance            NZ Beef & Lamb Ambassadors Dinner Victoria St Bistro, Hamilton Tuesday 11th October & 18th October https://goo.gl/CHmUxa Tairua Wine & Food Festival Tairua January 7th 2017 www.tairuawineandfood.co.nz Classic Red Symposium Hawkes Bay February 3rd & 4th 2017 www.nzwine.com/events/classic-reds-symposium                  Leadfoot Festival Coromandel February 4th & 5th 2017 www.leadfootfestival.com Tauranga Show Jumping Mills Reef Winery Thursday 23rd February 2017 https://goo.gl/ZHd9So  A Taste of Matarangi Matarangi April 8th 2017 atasteofmatarangi.co.nz          

Posted by Nick on 05 Oct 2016

End of Vintage celebrations

 

2 May 2016 

Another busy vintage comes to close holding great expectations. The 2016 harvest is showing some amazing promise and it looks like we will be blessed with our Elspeth range, fingers crossed, after a very warm and dry season.

Posted on 02 May 2016

New Zealand takes Syrah world title

Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2013 9 November2015  Another major international trophy has gone to New Zealand, with a Gimblett Gravels winemaker seeing off the more established Syrah/Shiraz wine regions internationally. Mills Reef Trust Vineyard Syrah 2013 was awarded Best Shiraz/Syrah Trophy [worldwide], and the Best New World Shiraz/Syrah Trophy (against Australia, the Americas, South Africa and New Zealand) at the Hong Kong International Wine & Spirit Competition last week. The Hong Kong awards are the Asian pinnacle for winemakers, aligned with and on par with the UK’s International Wine & Spirit Competition. Chief winemaker and Mills Reef director Tim Preston was already labeling his 2013 wines as "the vintage of a lifetime” after earlier international successes for the winery’s hand-crafted, Bordeaux-style reds. "After our recent international successes last month, I joked that it was like winning the World Cup three times in a row. This latest global award outstrips even that and I am struggling to adequately express its immense significance in terms of success for the Gimblett Gravels Wine growing District with the Rhone-varietal Syrah.” Prophetic testament to the district’s prowess came early on from noted Australia wine writer James Halliday who in 2008 proclaimed the Gimblett Gravels Wine growing District ‘not just a very special parcel, it is a sacred site’. The Trophy awards were collected at a gala evening in Hong Kong last week, with Tim and Linda Preston’s daughter Adele doing the honours. "The Best Shiraz/Syrah Trophy recognises the top wine submitted internationally, and we’re delighted the judges loved the powerful yet elegant styling of our Trust Vineyard Syrah,” says Tim.

Posted on 10 Nov 2015

Outstanding Mills Reef wine marks 2013 as special vintage

 Scoop.co.nz article - 8th October 2015  The phenomenal international award-winning run of Mills Reef Winery’s red wines is stamping 2013 as an exceptional vintage.Chief winemaker and Mills Reef director Tim Preston was already labelling his 2013 harvest as "the vintage of a lifetime” after earlier international successes for the winery’s hand-crafted, Bordeaux-style reds. Three new accolades have left him searching for words. The latest is from one of the world’s top wine magazines Decanter that is sold in 92 countries. Its judges awarded Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2013 "Outstanding” status and its Elspeth Syrah 2013 a "Highly Recommended”. "Clearly, this is an exceptional vintage – 2013 is the year to put wine away to age,especially the Gimblett Gravels reds from the Hawke’s Bay,” says Tim Preston. "Our prestige Elspeth reds will cellar for twenty to thirty years.” "Remarkably, we are winning international accolades for wines that are still affordable by New Zealand standards. Some of the wines we bettered are much dearer.”Earlier, another Mills Reef wine took one of only two golds awarded out of 174 Merlots entered at the 46th International Wine and Spirits Competition in England. The judges enthused about Mills Reef Elspeth Merlot 2013, stating: "Deep ruby hue; intense blackberry and plum aromas, exotic Indian spice, elegant use of wood; concentrated flavours on the palate balanced by good freshness and ample but supple tannins, lingering finish. Complex and layered. Lovely wine, New World fruit with Old World restraint”. The winning wines were made in Tauranga from grapes grown at the Mills Reef vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels Wine growing District within Hawkes Bay."It is hugely exciting that New Zealand reds are doing so well internationally,” says Tim Preston. "There is a growing tide of recognition among Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers, with Gimblett Gravels reds in particular being singled out for praise as ‘world-class’.” For example, notable New Zealand Master of Wine Bob Campbell has just named his top 12 New Zealand Bordeaux-style wines and included four Mills Reef wines –¬ all from the 2013vintage. He lists Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon, Elspeth Trust Cabernet Sauvignon, Elspeth Merlot and Elspeth Cabernet Merlot, all of which are on sale locally. And highly respected San Francisco-based wine expert Dan Berger is singing the praises of Gimblett Gravels reds, having visited the Hawke’s Bay region on several occasions. In his widely read electronic newsletter he rates all 2013 vintage Gimblett Gravels reds tasted as "Exceptional”, and singles out Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 for special mention. "This latest string of successes and individual endorsements is like winning a World Cup three times in a row,” says Tim Preston. "We are finding it hard to express our increasing delight as each amazing success is followed by another.” He says Mills Reef has now won more than 650 medals and 27 trophies, including Champion Trophy at this year’s New Zealand Royal Easter Show Wine Awards for their 2013 Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon,and has been New Zealand Winemaker of the Year twice. Wines are marked out of 100 based on colour, aroma intensity and characteristics, texture and length of the taste. A score above 94 is Gold standard and any comment,such as "Outstanding” by Decanter magazine, is an additional accolade.  While Tim Preston’s "vintage of a lifetime” tag for 2013 is proving to be particularly accurate, the coming season is mirroring 2013 so far,raising expectations for another special vintage in2016."Weather wise, 2013 had a cool flowering period– not cold, but cool enough to regulate for perfect fruit set – followed by an long, warm, even- growing season. We have been told we can expect a similar weather pattern this summer to what we had in 2013.”

Posted on 09 Oct 2015

Mills Reef red scoops major award

  A prediction by winemaker Tim Preston that Mills Reef Winery's 2013 vintage was a "vintage of a lifetime" has been justified by another major wine honour for the Tauranga-based winery.Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 won the Champion Trophy at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, taking out the Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot/Cabernet blend class at a gala dinner in Auckland last weekend. The winning wine was made in Tauranga from grapes grown at the Mills Reef vineyard within the Gimblett Gravels district in Hawke's Bay, adding to the three top awards won by Mills Reef's Reserve Merlot Malbec of the same vintage. Chief winemaker and Mills Reef director Tim Preston is savouring the moment. "We knew straight from harvest that this was going to be a fantastic vintage. As the winemaking goes on, it becomes more obvious how exceptional it is. "It's certainly a vintage of a lifetime for me. You make these statements before the wine is even in the bottle. It's fantastic that our Cabernet Sauvignon has lived up to what we believe it should be - an exceptional hand-crafted, Bordeaux-style wine." Tim says the key to its taste is the age of the Hawke's Bay vines, which are now 20 years old, adding to the depth and character of the wine. "The texture and flavours are unbelievable - it's a truly must try wine." Mills Reef General Manager Nick Aleksich says the 2013 vintage is enjoying remarkable success, with winery staff still celebrating an exceptional result in a massive Australasian wine challenge that involved the tasting of 10,000 wines. "We ended up with three of our wines in the resulting Winestate magazine Top 40 Best Buy list - our Reserve Merlot Malbec 2013, Reserve Syrah 2013 and Reserve Chardonnay 2013. Our Elspeth range was not entered as it was still being bottled at the time." From the same vintage, the Mills Reef's Reserve Merlot Malbec 2013 won the Tom McDonald Memorial Award for Champion Red at the Bragato Wine Awards in August 2014, and the Champion Red Blend and Champion Export Wine at the Hawke's Bay Bayleys Wine Awards in October 2014. - Bay of Plenty Times

Posted by Marketing on 23 Mar 2015

Mills Reef Press Release

You may have read the recent article in the Bay of Plenty times regarding future development of the Mills Reef site, and we have received a number of phone calls and emails from concerned customers worried that this will affect their upcoming function or wedding. Unfortunately what was omitted from their article was to sayis that we have purchased the neighbouring property of 3.1 hectares to be in control of any future development and protect our Mills Reef business as we know it today. At this stage we do not have any application in to council.We do envisage an application to be filed early next year. However, if successful, all plans are for the neighbouring property to be developed first.We imagine it will take 3 or 4 years to fill this neighbouring site with low level housing before it even encroaches on the Mills Reef site. We have a tall shelter belt between the two properties which will remain,therefore leaving our large field in front of the winery intact for quite some time. Please be assured any bookings  for 2015-2017 at Mills Reef will be unaffected by any development that may or may not happen on the neighbouring property over the next two years.  The only reason we have allowed the media to do any reporting on this is to try and dispel the rumours that we have sold. Mills Reef is 100% family owned and has no plans to sell the wine business nor winery land  to a developer.  It  is inevitable we will have to re-locate in the future due to urban pressure, however please be assured that Mills Reef winery will be continuing at its existing location for some years. Below is the latest Press Release:  11 December 2014  MEDIA RELEASE: Urban pressure squeezes winery  Mills Reef Winery in Tauranga is being squeezed off its site by urban sprawl, but it is determined to maintain business as usual. Directors of the multi-award winning winery have accepted that future growth will be constrained on the site now the city has grown out to meet it, and have started long-term planning to relocate to a fresh site in the Western Bay.  When Mills Reef opened on Moffat Rd in 1995 it was an oasis of activity in a rural landscape. There was ample room for its full winemaking and bottling facilities, two underground barrel cellars, an aged-wine cellar, and spacious wine-tasting areas, as well as its celebrated 150-seat restaurant and function venue. "We are looking to expand the business to take advantage of our continuing success in the industry,” says director Tim Preston, "but our advisors warn us that our plans will come under increased pressure now the site is surrounded by houses. "We have already had constraints placed on our use of our functions venue and lawns to lessen our impact on our neighbours, even though most of them are sympathetic to our plight. "Our business expansion calls for more overnight production, with an increase in heavy-traffic movements. Clearly, we will outgrow this site and to secure the future of the winery and our functions venue, we must start to look for a new home of a comparable standard somewhere near Tauranga." As an immediate buffer, Mills Reef recently purchased an orchard block on its northern boundary so it could try to slow the advance of urbanisation. This site has since been cleared and married into the original site.  A subsequent high-level investigation of the whole site's potential suggests it should be made available for housing, in keeping with prevailing use, and this is now the preferred option for the directors. The proposed blueprint calls for the winery to make way progressively for modern, low-level houses in the style of a lifestyle precinct, subject to resource consent. The park-like qualities of the 12.5 ha site will be retained and it is envisaged the restaurant complex will serve as a focal point. The directors expect the process could take up to 10 years to complete, with the winery staying put for perhaps the next five years. "Regardless of where we move to, and when, we'll still be Tauranga's premier winery and functions venue,” says Tim Preston. "The land has not been sold, and the winery is in expansion mode. "We will ensure the relocation is seamless and it is really exciting to think we can now design a stunning venue from scratch, incorporating all we have learned here over the past 20 years." Mills Reef is but the latest winery to uproot from its traditional site to make way for urban sprawl. Other famous relocations include Corbans, Villa Maria and Soljans in Auckland, and Vidal in Hastings, in what has become a trend internationally.   Tim Preston Nick Aleksich Directors

Posted by Marketing on 19 Jan 2015

3 Wines make the TOP 40 best Buys for 2014

WINESTATE MAGAZINE Annual Best Buys for Australia and New Zealand:  Mills Reef Winery has 3 wines that make the list: Mills Reef Reserve Merlot Malbec 2013  Click HERE to PURCHASE  Mills Reef Reserve Syrah 2013             Click HERE to PURCHASE   Mills Reef Reserve Chardonnay 2013    (2013 is sold out) Click HERE to PURCHASE 2014  

Posted by Marketing on 02 Dec 2014

Reserve Merlot Malbec 2013

From the vintage of a lifetime... Accolades to date  TROPHY/GOLD- Bragato Wine awards 2014- Champion Classical Red Wine TROPHY/GOLD- Hawkes Bay Wine awards 2014- Red blends- Merlot dominant TROPHY- Hawkes Bay Wine awards 2014- Champion export wine of the show  To purchase this award winning wine click here Want to taste this award winning wine? Click HERE  Below is Tim Preston- Chief Winemaker giving his view on this amazing wine. (as featured in the weekend sun- Nov 14) Close your eyes and imagine relaxing in the sun sipping on a silky smooth glass of red.Picture a lasting palate of mouth-filling black currant and raspberry flavours. The taste is award-worthy.From the very beginning Mills Reef winemakers knew their 2013 Merlot Malbec would be award winning - and it is. The fruitful red wine is the winner of three prestigious awards, making the tasty blend a "vintage of a lifetime". Winning the Tom McDonald Memorial Award for Champions Red at the Bragato show in August, and the Champion Red Blend and Champion Export Wine at the Hawke's Bay Bayleys Wine Awards in October, the Merlot Malbec is a must try.They say a fine wine gets better with age - and winemaker Tim Preston says that's exactly what the Merlot Malbec is. "We knew straight from harvest that it was going to be a fantastic vintage; and as the wine making goes on it becomes more obvious of what a fantastic vintage it is."It's certainly a vintage of a lifetime for me. You make these statements before the wine's even in bottle. It's fantastic that it has lived up to what we believe it is."Tim says the key to taste is the age of the Hawke's Bay vines that are now 20 years old, adding to the depth and character of the wine."The texture, flavour and tannin of the Merlot Malbec is unbelievable -a must try."Wine enthusiasts are encouraged to visit the Moffat Rd winery for free tastings. By: Zoe Hunter 

Posted by Marketing on 21 Nov 2014

5 STARS Elspeth Chardonnay 2013

YVONNE LORKIN Awards Elspeth Chardonnay 5 stars Mills Reef Elspeth Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013 $39.95 5 STARS  Exotic aromas of grilled grapefruit, toasted almonds, tangelo and all sorts of tropical tastiness lead to a beautifully balanced, elongated and elegant, intensely concentrated stonefruit-soaked palate. A seam of spicy oak adds an extra layer of deliciousness.    Click here to buy 

Posted by Marketing on 18 Sep 2014

5 STARS Elspeth Chardonnay 2013

Elspeth Chardonnay has been awarded 5 STARS from Raymond Chan,  Full Review below: Brilliantstraw-yellow colour with pale gold-green hues, light on edge.  The nose is elegant, tightly bound and finelyexpressed with an intense core of ripe, savoury citrus and yellow stonefruitaromas with subtly infused nutty oak, unfolding complexing nuances of cream,nuts and toast.  Medium-full bodied, thepalate is tightly concentrated, the fruit a little restrained but showingintegrated and harmoniously entwined flavours of yellow stonefruits, ripecitrus fruits and nuts.  The mouthfeel iscreamy from the barrel-ferment, and guided by a very fine textural thread and fresh,lacy acidity.  Lovely mealy notes andtoasty detail carry through to a very long and sustained finish.  This is an elegant and stylish Chardonnaywith complex stonefruit and toasty detail. Match with roasted poultry and pork, and with rabbit or veal over overthe next 5+ years.    

Posted by Marketing on 12 Sep 2014

Great Reviews By Cameron Douglas MS

Mills Reef Winery 'Elspeth' Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2013   Bold, rich and powerful bouquet with a very sweet vanillin, spices and roasted fruits, brazil nut and cashew complexity; suggestions of butterscotch, caramel and even popcorn come to mind as well.  On the palate  - very dry, and as powerful as the nose suggests - baked and roasted fruits, some zesty citrus peel appeal; noticeable oak spices and flavors with new oak, vanilla, caramel and baked custard flavors. Balanced with medium+ length and a richly flavored finish.  Drink now and through 2016.  4.5 Stars   Mills Reef Winery Reserve Chardonnay Hawke's Bay 2013   Lots of oak and oak spice laden stone fruit aromas with roasted peach and nectarine, yellow apple and baked pear; there's also a nuttiness from the oak that is appealing and adds complexity; medium+ complexity overall and a bouquet that Chardonnay fans will identify with a lot.  On the palate - dry, creamy, oaky and rich with flavors that reflect the nose; lots of oak spice laden apple and lemon; baked and roasted stone fruits. After a while the flavor of creme brulee emerges adding further complexity and depth; that nutty note comes back; balanced with a long(ish) finish and medium+ complexity. Drink now and through 2015.  4 Stars Mills Reef Reserve Merlot Malbec Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay 2012   Ripe, sweet and instensley fruity red and black fruits centering on dark cherry and plums with wild raspberry then brown spices of oak; moderate+ complexity, youthful and fresh.  On the palate - dry yet very fruity with flavors of tart and fresh black cherry, poached and fresh plums, wild raspberry and a little blackberry; The moderate alcohol works really well in this example; medium+ acidity and tannins with the tannins firm and youthful; medium+ length and a taut focused finish.  Delicious!  4.5 Stars   Mills Reef reserve Syrah Gimblett Gravels Hawke's Bay 2012   Lots of varietal signature in the bouquet with dark, slightly broody red fruits of dark berries and wild raspberry, almost burnt raspberry; violets, a little dried herb and plenty - but not too much - oak spices then suggestions of a little black forest chocolate; medium+ complexity.  On the palate - dry and quite fruity and complex with the flavors of dark forest berries dipped in a little milk chocolate; savory broody notes with wild berries and oak spices; medium+ acidity, medium+ tannins; long finish; very well made example.  5 Stars                 

Posted by Marketing on 27 May 2014

Mills Reef Reserve Chardonnay- Reccomended by Cuisine Magazine

Our Reserve Chardonnay has been recommended by Cuisine Magazine. This New Release will get even better, here's what Cuisine had to say: Theres no shortage of oak in this version, as its rich, cedary aromas declare. Intense, fleshy fruit fills the mouth, orange-peel notes mingling with spice and vanilla. Its a classic, bold style which would pair well with creamy bacon and mushroom fettuccine. Buy now via our online shop click here    

Posted by Marketing on 12 May 2014

Reserve Chardonnay 2012 named NZ Wine of the Year for 2013!

M2 Magazine has just held its exclusive black tie 2013 awards event, in The Great Room at Aucklands Langham Hotel. The winners were revealed to a star-studded group of notable New Zealanders, including media personalities, esteemed business leaders and sportspeople during a night to remember. Outstanding New Zealanders Dean Barker and Eleanor Catton have been named the Lexus M2 Man and Woman of the Year for 2013 while Mills Reef had the honor of winning the Wine of the Year with Reserve Chardonnay 2012. As well as this, the Reserve Merlot Malbec 2012 was named the category winner for Merlot Malbec.  Mike Wheeler, Mills Reef Auckland and Upper North Island Account Manager, attended the awards evening and says of the just announced success "To make the finals of the M2 wine awards is a big deal in itself, but to win Wine of the Year with our Reserve Chardonnay 2012 and also have a category winner in our Reserve Merlot Malbec 2012 is quite remarkable! The night was a grand occasion with all the glitz and glam of a black tie event and one that I will remember for a long time.  The Reserve Chardonnay 2012 was Best Chardonnay of the year and also Overall Winner for Wine of the Year and was described as Rich flavours aged in quality oak barrels. Intense grapefruit nectarine and mandarin aromas creating a long refreshing palate.   The Reserve Merlot Malbec 2012, winner for the Best Merlot Malbec blend was succinctly described as Elegant and full-bodied with boysenberry and blackberry fruits, lightly dusted with cinnamon, appetising dark chocolate and savoury olive notes. Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, was delighted with the awards, saying "M2 Magazine is certainly a leading publication in New Zealand and to be recognized by this magazine on a night where other leading people were also acknowledged is quite special. We have already seen a spike in sales as a result which is great but more importantly, we are just happy that the Chardonnay style which Mills Reef has a reputation for has been appreciated in such a way! For further information or comment, contact: Nick Aleksich General Manager Mills Reef Winery Email: nick@millsreef.co.nz Ph: +64-7-576-8800

Posted on 10 Dec 2013

And the medals keep coming for Mills Reef Winery - Hawkes Bay Wine Awards 2013.

The judging of the 2013 Hawkes Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards Competition has just concluded and Mills Reef are pleased to announce a total haul of 5 medals (2 Golds, 1 Silver and 2 Bronzes). Elspeth Syrah 2011 and Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 both received gold medals; Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2013 received a silver medal while Mills Reef Pinot Gris 2013 and Mills Reef Merlot Cabernet 2012 both received bronze medals.  This unique regional awards is the largest regional wine competition in New Zealand. Entries are only accepted from wineries with wine made from 85% Hawkes Bay Grapes. Entries are received from over 90% of Hawkes Bay Wineries which also includes multinational wine makers with vineyards in and out of Hawkes Bay. Nick Aleksich, Mills Reef General Manager, says of the just announced medal success "Mills Reef Winery has always been a passionate Hawkes Bay wine producer so naturally we are really pleased with this result from our local wine awards competition. We carefully craft wines to fit into each of our 3 tiers (Elspeth, Reserve and Mills Reef) so to gain medal recognition in each of them is quite special and shows the quality that exists within all the ranges.  The Mills Reef ranges are; Elspeth (ultra-premium) - fondly named in honour and memory of our Founder's loving mother. Their boutique nature is reflected in limited volumes, from extremely low yielding vines in only outstanding vintages.  "Benchmark wines. Reserve (super-premium) - for the discerning wine lover, fabulous food wines, embracing complexity and approachability. Distinctively stylish. Mills Reef (premium) crafted for intense varietal fruit definition, full, yet supple and approachable in their youth. Perfect for everyday enjoyment. Mills Reef Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, was happy with the awards, saying "It is an extremely satisfying reward for the meticulous effort we put into the vineyard and winemaking of each of these wines. Our team works tirelessly to deliver quality wines so we are all rapt with the news! For further information or comment, contact: Nick Aleksich General Manager Mills Reef Winery Email: nick@millsreef.co.nz Ph: +64-7-576-8800

Posted on 24 Oct 2013

Mills Reef takes Gold at Six Nations Wine Challenge 2013.

Mills Reef has just been announced as the winner of three gold medals at the renowned Six Nations Wine Challenge 2013 held in Sydney, Australia. Elspeth Trust Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 received a double gold medal (Runner-Up for its class), Elspeth Syrah 2011 a gold medal and Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2010 a gold medal.  Entry of wines into the Challenge is exclusively by invitation from the judges, representing New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Chile and the United States of America. "Because the wines are all pre-selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world says esteemed Six Nations judge Bob Campbell MW. These latest gold medals continue the dream run for Mills Reefs Elspeth red wines, in which an incredible six trophies have been bestowed over the last 12 months.  Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, says of the just announced gold medal success "Its another excellent result for Mills Reef on the global stage, of which were extremely proud, and reveals again the pedigree of Mills Reefs Mere Road and Trust Vineyards in the renowned Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay. The objective of the challenge is to discover the New World Champions so it is exciting to see Mills Reef Winery amongst these leading New World wineries.  Mills Reef Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, was delighted with the news, saying "Its a great result for the Gimblett Gravels appellation within the Hawkes Bay. We have known for years that this region is consistently producing some very good New World wines, but to have this recognised on an International level through the Six Nations Wine Challenge is certainly rewarding. These gold medals also give a great sense of achievement to the vineyard and winemaking teams that work so hard to produce fine wines. Along with the 1 Double Gold and 2 Gold medals Mills Reef gained the kudos of being the top performing NZ winery at this years challenge and was the only NZ winery to gain a medal in the Cabernet Sauvignon class. For further information or comment, contact: Nick Aleksich - General Manager Mills Reef Winery Email: nick@millsreef.co.nz Ph: +64-7-576-8800  

Posted on 10 Sep 2013

Mills Reef Restaurant wins Trip Advisor Award

Mills Reef Restaurant has just won the prestigious 'Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence' award. This certificate is only awarded to businesses who rank in the top 10% worldwide for traveller feedback and provides recognition to the tireless Front of House team, led by Ryan Halbert and the Kitchen team, led by Head Chef, Attila Kovacs (both shown in picture, Ryan on the left and Attila on the right). Ryan Halbert, Restaurant Manager said "The award is great for Mills Reef and we will display it proudly. We are constantly seeking ways to improve the food, service and ambience of Mills Reef and to have the most influential, customer-driven, review website recognise all the hard work and effort we put in, is very satisfying." Head Chef, Attila Kovacs who is known for his creative, tasty, and ever changing menus was also happy with the award saying "We work hard in the kitchen to provide customers with an experience on the plate that is memorable. This makes that hard work worth it!" Mills Reef's art-deco style restaurant is purpose designed for dining in an ambience which compliments fine wine and cuisine. Seating up to 150 guests in comfort, the restaurant also offers relaxed outdoor dining on glorious sunny Bay Of Plenty days. The award-winning cuisine is best described as Antipodean/Pacific-rim style, blending the best of local produce and latest culinary innovations. Thanks to all those who have shared their experience with Mills Reef on Trip Advisor. 

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 12 Jul 2013

Mills Reef Wins Two Trophies in London!

Described as The Oscars of the wine world, the International Wine Challenge (IWC) has just announced the full list of 2013 Trophy winners, with Mills Reef Winery awarded, not one, but two celebrated trophies for its top-label Elspeth wines; the GIMBLETT GRAVELS TROPHY for Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2009, and NEW ZEALAND SYRAH TROPHY for Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2011. Acclaimed as the most meticulously judged wine competition around, only a fraction of the wines entered are bestowed with a Trophy accolade, each undergoing rigorous tasting on at least six separate occasions by a minimum of ten of the finest wine tasters in the world. This latest double-Trophy success continues the dream run for Mills Reefs Elspeth red wines, in which an incredible four trophies were also bestowed in as many months in the latter half of 2012, including the New Zealand Syrah Trophy at last years IWC too. Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, says of the just announced trophies "Its a fantastic result for us on the global stage, of which were extremely proud, and reveals again the pedigree of Mills Reefs Mere Road and Trust Vineyards in the renowned Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay. Mills Reef Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, was delighted with the news, saying "Its a great result for the Hawkes Bay region, receiving all four Bordeaux-varietal / Syrah gold medals awarded to New Zealand wines, and Mills Reef picked up two of them. To then go on and win the two trophies is hugely satisfying to reward the dedicated efforts of our vineyard and winemaking teams. Tim continued, "These Trophies give a tremendous sense of achievement, and importantly are an independent benchmark to affirm the high standing of our wines at a truly international level. For further information or comment, contact: Nick Aleksich, General Manager, Mills Reef Winery Email: nick@millsreef.co.nz Ph: +64-7-576-8800

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 31 May 2013

Five Nations Success for Mills Reef!

Continuing Mills Reefs dream run for its 2010 Elspeth red wines, a fourth Trophy was bestowed in as many months, with their 2010 Elspeth Merlot receiving the Merlot & Carmenere Trophy at the Five Nations Wine Challenge presentation dinner held in Sydney last Saturday night. Entry of wines into the Challenge is exclusively by invitation from the judges, representing New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina and Chile.  "Because the wines are all pre-selected by each of the judges the standard of wine quality must surely be higher than any competition of this size in the world says esteemed Five Nations judge Bob Campbell MW. The Wine Challenge comprised a total of 540 wines, with renowned Australian judge Huon Hooke announcing the trophy winners to a crowd of 250 at the presentation last Saturday. Mills Reef Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, was in attendance and was both humbled and excited to receive the Trophy from amongst such a distinguished line-up of wines, its a great honour said Tim. Judge Huon Hooke said of the Trophy-winning 2010 Elspeth Merlot "A delicious pure-fruited medium bodied style of wine with lots of energy and grace. Very good colour, aromas of blueberry and spice, hints of chocolate and a subtle touch of oak, finishing with great balance. This latest Trophy also serves as further endorsement of the stature of 2010 vintage for Gimblett Gravels wines, with all four Trophies received for the Mills Reef Elspeth reds (Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Merlot wines) being grown in their prodigious 18 hectare Mere Road Vineyard. "Its a phenomenal vintage, arguably our best yet, with beautiful fruit purity and physiological balance says Tim. The three preceding trophies for the 2010 Elspeth reds include the NZ Syrah Trophy for Elspeth Syrah at the London International Wine Challenge, the Tom McDonald Champion Classical Red Wine Trophy for Elspeth Cabernet Merlot at the Bragato Wine Awards, and the Alan Limmer Champion Syrah Trophy for Elspeth Syrah at the Bragato Wine Awards. For inquires and imagery, contact: Nick Aleksich, General Manager, nick@millsreef.co.nz

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 28 Oct 2012

Mills Reef's Mere Road Vineyard Takes Two Trophies at Bragato Awards

Mills Reef-owned Mere Road Vineyard in the renowned Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay has again proven its pedigree by claiming two Trophies at this years Romeo Bragato Wine Awards. Grown by vineyard manager, Paul Mcevoy, the Mills Reef Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2010 and Mills Reef Elspeth Syrah 2010 respectively won the Tom McDonald Champion Classical Red Wine Trophy and Alan Limmer Champion Syrah Trophy. The Bragato Wine Awards is unique with its emphasis on the vineyard, and submission rules tailored to allow judges to evaluate the wines in terms of viticultural excellence and site expression. The Mere Road vineyard is comprised of free-draining gravel soils, and the grapes for the Trophy winning wines hand-harvested from vines planted between 1994 and 1997 inclusive. "The benefits of stony soils and mature vine age are now being seen in excellent balance and physiological ripeness of the fruit coming forth says Paul Mcevoy. The Trophy wins were also noted by Paul as "a tremendous endorsement of 2010 vintage in the Gimblett Gravels, where a long even growing season, needing every last day to reach optimal ripeness, produced stunning fruit. Mere Road Vineyard has proven to be a consistent source of Trophy-winning wines for Mills Reef, so much so that wine writer Michael Cooper bestowed it with the designation of Notable Vineyard in 2002, a distinction enjoyed by only a select-few vineyards, in his book Wine Atlas Of New Zealand.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 27 Aug 2012

Mills Reef Awarded 2012 NZ Syrah Trophy at IWC in London

Mills Reefs Elspeth Syrah 2010 has taken the NZ SYRAH TROPHY at the 2012 International Wine Challenge, just announced in London. Mills Reef Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, was elated with the news, saying "Its a tremendous endorsement for a wine weve long known has super-star qualities. The Elspeth Syrah is handcrafted from grapes grown on the Gimblett Gravels, within the winerys own Mere Road Vineyard, in the eastern block where 29 rows were planted in 1996. Since the very first vintage, the stunning quality of grapes coming forth saw the wine receive high praise and rise to instant fame. The inaugural 1998 vintage received 5 Stars from Australian judges and a Trophy in New Zealand, the 1999 vintage two 5-Star awards and a Blue-Gold in Sydney, the 2000 vintage four Gold medals and two Trophies. That stellar success has continued with every vintage since, earning the wine elite status in 2005 as a CLASSIC New Zealand wine, following a rigorous review of five consecutive vintages, by leading wine writer Michael Cooper, in which he gave all five vintages 5 stars. This latest IWC Trophy is resounding international endorsement of that status, which Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, says is "hugely exciting and rewarding to receive. He also commented that "vine age in the Eastern Syrah block has now hit the magic 15 year mark, so were super-excited to see the new highs this wine will reach in future vintages.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 22 Jun 2012

Mills Reef Elspeth Reds 'strike' Gold at London.

Mills Reefs flagship Elspeth red wines have long enjoyed a reputation for world-class quality, endorsed by independent critics and wine shows alike. Their latest accolades come in the form of two highly prized GOLD medals at the prestigious International Wine Challenge in London, arguably the worlds largest and most influential wine show. The GOLD-awarded Mills Reef wines were 2010 Elspeth Syrah and 2010 Elspeth Merlot, representing half of the four Golds awarded to red wines entered by Hawkes Bay producers. Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, says of the just announced medals "Its a fantastic result for us on the world stage, of which were extremely proud, and endorses our view of 2010 as an outstanding vintage. Chief Winemaker, Tim Preston, commented that "Its always an absolute thrill to receive such recognition at this show. Our first IWC Gold was in 1997 for Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 95, and the sense of excitement in receiving these latest Golds is every bit as much as it was back then. He further added "These Golds give a tremendous sense of achievement, and importantly are an independent benchmark to affirm the high standing of our wines at a truly international level. Mills Reefs Elspeth Syrah is no stranger to fame, being rated as one of NZs finest examples. It enjoys the enviable designation of "Classic NZ Wine, bestowed by leading NZ wine writer Michael Cooper only after a wine and its vineyard site has demonstrated consistently excellent quality over successive vintages. Mills Reef Elspeth Merlot is also a star in its own right, with numerous gold medals and five star reviews over the last decade, including the 2009 vintage recently being awarded Top NZ Full Bodied Red Of Tasting by a leading NZ wine publication. The IWC Gold medal-winning Elspeth wines were handcrafted from grapes grown in the winerys Mere Road Vineyard, located within the renowned Gimblett Gravels which comprises 800 hectares of deep free-draining gravel soils and a warm maritime climate, an area rapidly garnering an international reputation for elite Bordeaux-varietal reds and Syrah. Mills Reef also received three further medals at the International Wine Challenge, rounding out a showing that they described as "extremely gratifying.

Posted on 24 May 2012

Sam Kim tasting has Mills Reef seeing stars

A recent tasting by acclaimed wine critic Sam Kim, director of Wine Orbit Reviews, has seen Mills Reef Winery run rampant with a host of 5 stars and 4.5 stars achievements. Sam Kim himself described the collection of wines he tasted, the majority of which were red wines, as "one of the most impressive collection of reds Ive tried!  The full list of wines tasted and the star rating they achieved are as follows:  Elspeth Malbec 2010 5 Stars Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 5 Stars Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2009 5 Stars Elspeth Merlot 2009 5 Stars Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2010 5 Stars Reserve Merlot Malbec 2009 5 Stars Reserve Merlot Malbec 2010 5 Stars Elspeth Chardonnay 2010 5 Stars Reserve Syrah 2010 4.5 Stars Reserve Merlot 2010 4.5 Stars Reserve Chardonnay 2010 4.5 Stars  These results again reinforce just how good the renowned Gimblett Gravels are for producing exceptional quality red wines. The region is internationally regarded for its prime stony free-draining soils and warm maritime climate ideally suited to growing world-class Bordeaux-varietal reds and Syrah wines, and is where Mills Reef Winery source the majority of their red grapes. 

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 14 Feb 2012

WineNZ Mag Nov 2011: Elspeth Merlot 2009 #1 Full Bodied Reds Tasting Over $30 Retail

The Mills Reef Elspeth tier is once again in the spotlight with a recent accolade from WineNZ Magazine. This time it was the single variety Merlot impressing the judges more than any other wine in the Full-Bodied Red, over $30 category. Elspeth wines are the most elite produced by Mills Reef Winery. The grapes are sourced exclusively from vvineyards in the Gimblett Gravels, Hawkes Bay. The fruit is exceptional quality and hand-picked to ensure the gentlest of handling. The winemaking team then employ a hands-on, precision approach to produce the finest possible wines. The Elspeth Merlot 2009 is described as a dark, opulent and luscious red exuding intense plum and blackberry fruits, leather, cigar box, liquorice and dried leaf notes. The palate is richly textured with beautifully integrated tannins, quality oak seasoning, fine acidity and a lingering satisfying finish. Highly enjoyable now, it also shows magnificent aging potential.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 11 Nov 2011

Air New Zealand Wine Awards lead to two silver medals

The Air New Zealand Wine Awards have once again led to Mills Reef receiving national recognition for their Hawkes Bay wine. With a focus on promoting the Mills Reef range (the soft rounded style tier which has an emphasis on natural fruit character and earlier approachability), the four wines in the range were entered and two came away with silver. Mills Reef Riesling 2009 picked up Silver, while Mills Reef Merlot Cabernet 2010 picked up Pure Silver, (pure silver being awarded to wines with grapes sourced from a sustainable registered vineyard). These wines are drinking superbly and will not last long. They represent great quality and value and suit any occasion.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 29 Oct 2011

Three Best in Class awards high praise on a global stage

Mills Reef Winery is proud to announce that three of their Elspeth wines have achieved Best in Class awards at The International Wine and Spirit Competition 2011. The competition was held in the UK and saw Wineries from all over the world enter their finest wines. Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2009, Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 and Elspeth Syrah 2009 all achieved the remarkable feat of being the Best in Class which was high praise from such a renowned competition. General Manager of Mills Reef Winery, Nick Aleksich, mentioned that "to have 3 more of our elite wines pick up significant accolades from an international event is great. It is satisfying for the winemakers to see all their hard work acknowledged and it continues to show to the world that the little appellation know as the Gimblett Gravels in the Hawkes Bay, is producing world class red wines. The Elspeth Cabernet Merlot 2009 is an opulent and classic blend that presents the very best from our Mere Road vineyard. It exudes a medley of berry fruits pervading the palate, with white pepper over mocha and cigar box notes. Exceptionally smooth, it is immediately enjoyable and will cellar superbly. The Elspeth Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is a rich full-bodied red that has intense blackcurrant, boysenberry and blackberry flavours, complexed with leather and spice, cigar box notes and hints of aniseed. Powerful yet elegant, it shows beautiful poise and balance, a supple palate and integrated quality oak, with a refined lingering finish. The Elspeth Syrah 2009 is rich and full-bodied and yields intense and lingering boysenberry and blackberry fruits laced with spice, dark chocolate, mocha and cigar box notes. The palate is deliciously supple and silky, complemented with fine cedary oak and a lingering finish.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 23 Sep 2011

Mills Reef Trust Vineyard Syrah Wins Gold in London

Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2009 continues the award-winning success story of this relatively young vineyard in the famed Gimblett Gravels of Hawkes Bay, winning a highly prized Gold medal at the 2011 London International Wine Challenge. Judges commented on the wine as "Cool pepper and mint on the palate, intense with red fruits, spice, acidity and persistence ". Winemaker for the Trust Vineyard wines, Paddy Preston, said "a Gold medal at this show is particularly special as its high praise of the wines quality on a truly international level. Its also extremely satisfying reward for the meticulous efforts we put into the vineyard and winemaking of these wines. He also added that "it reinforces our belief in the potential for Gimblett Gravels Syrah to become a global benchmark for this variety. Trust Vineyard is a special four hectare block, planted in the perfectly suited varieties of Syrah (82%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (18%) over the winters of 2003 and 2004. Its stony free-draining soils, warm mesoclimate and a vineyard design that embraces the French philosophy of intensive planting (6300 vines per hectare) for low vine yields, ensures grapes of exceptionally high quality. The first vintage of 2007 has gone on to receive significant critical acclaim for both wines produced, amassing six 5-star awards, three gold medals and a coveted Trophy for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The recently released 2009 vintage wines are equally showing great promise early on, from a first class vintage and receiving 5-star reviews for both the Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, topped off by a prized Gold medal at the London International Wine Challenge.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 24 May 2011

Mills Reef's Trust Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Wins Trophy

Mills Reef's Elspeth Trust Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 won the coveted Champion Cabernet Sauvignon Trophy at the Romeo Bragato Wine Awards Dinner held last Saturday evening in Blenheim. Mills Reef General Manager, Nick Aleksich, acknowledged in his acceptance speech the diligent work of vineyard manager Paul Mcevoy in producing tremendous fruit for winemakers Paddy Preston and Paul Dawick to craft this great wine. In addition, at this year's Romeo Bragato Awards, Trust Vineyard also yielded a Gold medal for its 2007 Syrah under the Mills Reef Elspeth label. Trust Vineyard owner, Paddy Preston, said he was over the moon' with the Trophy and gold medal accolades for the Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah respectively. The vineyard's terroir was identified as being eminently suited to these two varieties, and planted accordingly during the early 2000's with the aim of producing ultra-premium wines. Paddy commented that the 2007 vintage is only the second from the vineyard, and is already achieving to the highest levels, this latest Trophy following hot on the heels of two recent five-star awards and a gold medal for the wine. He said "the vineyard's future is extremely exciting as the vines attain even greater age". Trust Vineyard is located within the renowned Gimblett Gravels, internationally regarded for its prime stony free-draining soils and warm maritime climate ideally suited to growing world-class Bordeaux-varietal reds and Syrah wines. The preeminence of the district is reflected in the Bragato results, scooping 2 of 3 golds awarded in the Cabernet Sauvignon predominant class (of 18 wines entered) and claiming all four golds awarded in the Syrah class (of 48 wines entered).

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 30 Aug 2010

Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah TOP 5 in Cuisine Magazine

The highly regarded Cuisine Magazine (July issue) recently conducted its annual NZ Syrah tasting and awarded Mills Reef Elspeth Trust Vineyard Syrah 2007 a Top 5' placing and Five Star award.Says Cuisine Magazine, "This tasting confirms that New Zealand Syrahs at the top level are not just exciting - they're exhilarating". The Trust Vineyard Syrah was described as ".... ripe, swashbuckling, masculine style. Concentrated dark fruit is laced with nutmeg oak spice, with a slight gunflint note adding interest. Such a big, ripe, velvety wine would be a worthy partner for a hearty beef dish". In addition to the Cuisine award, 2007 Elspeth Trust Syrah has also earned 5 Star awards from Australia's Winestate Magazine and Michael Cooper's 2010 Wine Buyers Guide. The Mills Reef Trust Vineyard is a four hectare block, sited on stony free-draining soils within the renowned Gimblett Gravels district of Hawkes Bay. The vines are close-planted and pruned for extremely low yields, ensuring grapes of exceptionally high quality. The 2007 vintage represents only the third from Trust Vineyard, being planted relatively recently during the early 2000's. Grape and wine quality early on is proving to be exceptional, pointing to a great future for the site.

Posted by Thomas McAuley on 23 Jun 2010