Nature, Nurture, Knowledge. This is the mantra adopted by ‘Dry River’, one of New Zealand’s most iconic wineries who have established themselves as somewhat of an institution in the New World of wine. Originally established in 1989 by Dr Neil and Dawn McCallum, the vineyard gained new ownership in the form of Julian Robertson and Reg Oliver in 2003. Lucky for everyone involved, head winemaker Neil stayed on at the helm as to ensure quality was not compromised in this transitory time. Though he retired in 2011, his work was instrumental in creating the legend that is ‘Dry River’ today.
‘Dry River’ is based in Martinborough in the lower north island of New Zealand whose name very aptly describes the gravely, free draining site where the vines are planted. Like many other leading producers in New Zealand, ‘Dry River’ believe that making high-end wine is a combination of looking after the earth that feeds it and a steadfast attitude and knowledge of how to get the best out of the site.
Their philosophy is to preserve rather than enhance and to show wines that truly reflect the site and vintage with minimal intervention. The team at ‘Dry River’ is intimate, which really shows in their hands-on approach.
The first of their wines that were bottled in 1984 were Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris. Since then the more common grapes that were planted were Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah. The vintages of these wines vary as production is rather small, so get your hands on what you can as these wines are not to be missed.
To find out more about Dry River and their wines, you can visit their website here.