Introducing the Gold medal-winning Allan Scott Family Winemakers Marlborough Riesling 2014.

Move over Sauvignon, Marlborough has another wine varietal making waves in the white wine category.

Stepping up to the winner’s plate at the recent 2015 Air New Zealand Wine Awards with two gold medals, Allan Scott Family Winemakers (ASFW) is proving that everything happens for a Riesling.

Gold in colour with a balance of citrus and spicy floral characteristics that resonate on the palate, the Allan Scott Family Winemakers Marlborough Riesling 2014 is the perfect accompaniment to contrasting savoury or spicy dishes, hard cheeses or even on its own.

The grapes, harvested from the site’s “Moorlands” block which directly surrounds the winery, contain some of the oldest Riesling vines in Marlborough and were the first variety planted by Allan and his wife Catherine upon establishing the vineyard. Due to the vines maturity (over 30 years in age) this vineyard consistently produces quality fruit year after year.

Head winemaker Josh Scott believes New Zealand Riesling, or as he fondly calls it ‘terrace wine’, is now having its moment in the sun.

“Rieslings can be a hard sell with many people thinking that their German heritage make them overly sweet. We’re seeing quite the opposite here in Marlborough with our aromatic wines increasingly becoming more dry as the vines age,” Scott says.

“These older vines’ grapes tend to sit well with the local palette, producing wines you can find yourself quite easily sipping away while sitting in the sun – why wouldn’t that be appealing?”

The Allan Scott Family Winemakers Marlborough Riesling 2014 is harvested in the coolness of the early morning and fermented in steel tanks while being tasted until it reaches its optimum residual sugar level and fermentation is stopped. The varietal is available at most leading supermarkets and selected liquor outlets.

Mixing Grape and Grain in Marlborough

Becoming a Cicerone is a lot of work, but Josh Scott is up to the challenge. Josh Scott talks beer snobs, supermarket wine, and reaching “peak hop”.

By Don Kavanagh – wine-searcher.com



If you need something done, ask a busy person, they say. If that’s the case, feel free to pass on any important tasks to New Zealander Josh Scott.

The son of well-known Marlborough wine figure Allan Scott, Josh not only looks after the winemaking for the family winery but he is also the founder and brewer of Moa Beers, one of the biggest craft breweries in New Zealand.

He is also one of 200 Certified Cicerones around the world, a beer qualification similar to wine and sommelier education courses. Add in a couple of kids and a fondness for multisport events and it’s a wonder he has any time at all to stop and chat to Wine-Searcher.

He is happy to talk, of course. Moa has just released its latest beer, a Belgian-style IPA in the company’s Festive series, and Scott is keen to talk up the brewing side of his life.

Founded in his father’s winery in 2003, Moa hasn’t always had the easiest of rides. A public float was followed by a dismal share-price drop and the company has also attracted criticism from craft beer aficionados who don’t think it is ideologically pure enough.

Scott, however, is bullish.

“Sales are phenomenal; we’re exporting to the U.S., U.K., Australia and Asia, and Brazil really likes our beer, too. I think we worked out that, every five seconds, someone around the world is drinking a Moa beer. We’re easily the fourth-biggest brewery in New Zealand, we brew a million liters of our special reserve beers and then there is the core range as well.”

He admitted that the company had learned some valuable lessons from the aftermath of its public float, but said it was something they were getting over. The more snobby end of the craft beer spectrum’s disdain for his beers – seemingly based on the perception that a successful brewer is somehow suspect – is something you feel hurts him more than any financial blow.


Moa is one of New Zealand’s largest craft brewers, but has taken some heat.

“Are we pioneers? I think so. When I was selling my first beers 12 years ago, there were no craft beers on the supermarket shelves, now there are plenty. We were there before there were craft beer nerds! We’ve had some criticism and I think it has been unjustified – size has nothing to do with craft beer. If you go to the U.S. there are breweries there that make huge quantities of beer, but they are still considered craft beers. The craft beer snobs remind of the wine snobs of a few years ago – over-pretentious people who thought they knew best. Wine snobs had suits, craft beer snobs have beards. I’m a bit of a beer nerd myself, but I think I’m allowed to be.”

Some of the suspicion of Moa could also be down to the more sensible approach to the use of hops that Scott and fellow brewer David Nicholls have taken. The Hop-ocalypse approach of cramming in as many IBUs as possible is not for them.

“In the US, it’s just nuts; it’s like an arms race with people trying to pack in more and more hop flavors. I can’t believe how hoppy beer has become in the past five years, but balance is the key – the hop hit is fine, but you need some malt and alcohol to back it up. You can’t make a lower-alcohol beer, for example, and pack in so much hop flavor; the beer just won’t support it. I hope we do reach peak hop soon, though, because it’s getting a bit silly.”

The brewing game is close to his heart, naturally, but the winemaking is genetic. His father started the winery and Scott Jr and his two sisters were involved early. Scott started making his own wine aged 12 and was trying to market his own label at the age of 15.

“Winemaking and brewing are about 50/50 at the moment. There’s been a bit of a generational change at the winery with Mum and Dad moving out. It’s busy at the winery; we’re trying to strip things back to a pure quality focus. I know everyone says that, but it’s true. I’m sick of seeing our wines on the supermarket shelf for $15, I know they are better than that.

“You get fly-by-night supermarket brands, based outside of Marlborough, buying grapes cheap and cranking out a Sauvignon Blanc for the supermarkets. Two vintages later the brand has disappeared. That forces down everyone’s prices and there’s just no margin in it for the winery. After all a winery is a business and needs that margin to survive.”

As the old saw goes, the best way to make a small fortune out of wine is to start off with a very large fortune.

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Scott is trying to reestablish a quality focus for Allan Scott Wines.

“It’s not a very profitable endeavor, to be honest, but it’s a bit like in France – it’s a lifestyle thing, tending the vines, picking grapes, making wine. Land prices in Marlborough have gone off the chart. There’s not much land left to convert to vineyard down here, so prices are going crazy. It might help in the long run, by weeding out some of the fly-by-night operators.”

So not content with making beer and making wine and all the other things he does in his busy life, he decided a couple of years back to complicate his life still further by entering the Cicerone program. Even worse, it meant he had to drink beer as part of his research.

“The Cicerone is quite a challenge. You need to know the history of beer, the different styles, you need to know about food matching, beer systems, everything about beer. I heard about the program and thought I’d give it a try. It’s been heaps of fun – I got to try thousands of different beers as research – and it’s given me a bit more credibility in the beer world.

“There are three levels, so the next stage for me is the Master Cicerone, which is like the Master of Wine for beer. You need an encyclopedic knowledge of beer and you face a two-day theory and practical exam. I would like to do the MW myself, but I need to nail this first.”

Holding the MW and MC qualifications would put him in a pretty singular group, but he has always been about combining his two major pursuits.

“We’ve experimented with a hopped Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Noir with chocolate and coffee flavors; we’re always looking to innovate and everyone is quite excited about it. We’re experimenting with aging our methode underwater and at altitude up on top of a mountain. I’ve been taking a leaf out of the brewing book and trying different things out in the winery.”

Craft Wine By Allan Scott Family Winemakers

craft wine


Looking for something a little more adventurous to choose from the wine list?

Spring clean your palate and say cheers to the new range of Craft Wine by Allan Scott Family Winemakers.

Created with the ingenuity and sense of adventure Kiwis are known for, Craft Wine by Allan Scott Family Winemakers is an exciting new craft keg project that celebrates experimentation and a sense of fun. Produced exclusively in kegs, and in limited batch lots, craft wine breaks the traditional winemaking mould and, through the use of brewery techniques, turns it on its head!

Challenge your sense of traditional Sauvignon Blanc and savour the unique hop punch delivered by the Gooseberry Bomb. This crafty drop boasts world-famous Sauvignon Blanc wine fermented with secret beer yeast, cleverly green hopped with Sauvin hops then lovingly nurtured in a craft keg.

Think you know all there is to know about Pinot? Phat Jam Pinot Noir will blow your predictions – and your palate! Rich, ripe Pinot Noir blends with fruity sweetness and gorgeous complexity, providing a delicious variety of flavours to tease and delight.

And add some spice to your Riesling repertoire with Razor’s Edge – Riesling at its most electric. Beautifully bold aromas of zesty lime and mandarin will tantalise your senses before they’re inundated with luscious flavour and sparked with a cunning bang of chilli.

Josh Scott says the new Craft Wine range aims to provide a unique experience for consumers.

Craft wine is made with the very different but unique mind-set of a craft brewer. From this, we have created an excitingly different drink that also maintains the high level of drinkability and product quality that a discerning, educated drinker expects

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to give Kiwi wine drinkers an innovative experience that challenges their traditional notions of which wines they enjoy – and what our new flavour combinations and crafting methods can offer them and their palate.”

Craft Wine by Allan Scott Family Winemakers is exclusive to the on-premise market.


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Looking After The Environment

Warm Up Your Dinner Table this Winter with Allan Scott Pinot Noir

With chilly wind and rainy skies settling in, there’s no better time to plan some cosy nights in with family and friends to enjoy a mouth-watering home-cooked meal, and share a delicious bottle of wine.

Rug up and relax no matter what the occasion with a bottle of Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013, the perfect accompaniment to a hearty dinner or long lunch this cold season.

Intense aromatics of ripe red fruits, strong raspberry and cassis are supported by a well-integrated oak scent, while the delicious ripe strawberry flavours on the palate are accompanied by a touch of cherry and hint of dried herbs to make this wine an all-round winter warmer.  Concentrated and powerful, the Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 will be a match made in heaven with your favourite winter meals such as a succulent roast beef or lamb, a slow-cooked game stew, or a decadent chocolate or fruit dessert.

One of the most popular varietals in New Zealand thanks to its versatility and broad flavour appeal, Pinot Noir is sure to please any guest, and the team at Allan Scott have ensured their Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 is distinctive and delightful.  Allan Scott Winemaker Matthew Elrick says the elegant layered aromas and palate-pleasing flavours are the result of years of refinement and dedication to producing the very best bottles of this drinkable and delectable wine.  “A cool climate grape, Pinot Noir is particularly suited to the Marlborough region, and we produce this wine from our Pinot Noir vineyard which was established in 1995,” says Elrick.  “The aging of our vines, and the greater understanding we gain as growers with every season, has enabled us to further develop our Pinot Noir style each year and this vintage is no exception.”

Allan Scott Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013 and the full range of Allan Scott Wines are available from Glengarry Wines and online at www.allanscott.com.

Local Winemaker Appoints New GM Sales to Continue Global Growth

Allan Scott Wines and Estates Limited have announced the appointment of Mitchell Gardiner as General Manager Sales to help continue the company’s growth strategy both internationally and locally.

A widely-experienced sales manager, Mr Gardiner joins Allan Scott Family Winemakers after 9 years as a senior sales manager with Toops Wholesale, a key subsidiary of the Foodstuffs North Island Co-Op Society Limited.

During his tenure at Toops, Mr Gardiner drove hospitality sales 450% to become the largest company category, while also achieving growth in otherwise declining markets and restructured regional liquor distribution.  Prior to this, Mr Gardiner made his mark with Hawkes Bay Liquor Ltd, initially managing Key Accounts and On Premise before being given responsibility for their Wholesale Division.

His appointment will allow Allan Scott Family Wines to continue a growth strategy which has been enhanced by record harvests for volume and quality during recent years.  “To achieve that strategy, the sales team requires additional experience, vision, skills and determination, with Mr Gardiner’s appointment reflecting all those attributes,” says Victoria Scott, director of marketing for Allan Scott Family Winemakers.

“Global prospects for Allan Scott Estate wines remain of high potential with good demand indicators, and it is important that we carefully capture such opportunities to ensure that market demand remains sustainable, and to add value to our carefully crafted varietals and continuing innovative blends meeting modern market norms.”

In addition, the domestic market remains very important to the company. While Allan Scott has a loyal and substantial following from those seeking consistently high quality wine, the market is now more demanding with some supply overhang including rising lower-value imported wines.

“Maintaining growth in our domestic market penetration and working with national distributors will be a key priority for Mr Gardiner,” says Ms Scott.

Allan Scott Family Winemakers was established in 1990, and is a leading local producer of quality wines. Along with the core range of Allan Scott Estate wines, there is a single vineyard selection of prestige wines, and a Methode Traditionelle range which includes five bubbles.

Mr Gardiner will commence his new role on 20th October 2014.

Drink in Summer Days with Allan Scott Sauvignon Blanc

With sunny days and warm nights just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about picnics by the water and lazy nights in the back garden with friends and family. At Allan Scott Family Winemakers we know these delicious summer days go best with some casual snacks or a no-fuss dinner, plus a bottle of delightfully tasty Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014

Perfectly balanced with fresh citrus and nettles, plus hints of irresistible passionfruit and dried herbs, the Allan Scott Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 is a stunning example of New Zealand’s favourite white wine varietal for the warmer months.

The clean and delicate flavours make it an ideal bottle to share with friends at your next summer barbecue, or keep all to yourself for a romantic picnic with your loved one. Easily paired with many of your favourite seasonal dishes thanks to its light and fruity nature, we recommend trying it alongside some hot, crispy fish and chips!

Dine In this Winter with Allan Scott Pinot Noir

As the weather cools and the patter of rain on our windows becomes an almost daily occurrence, it’s easy to see why many of us favour a cosy night in, complete with a hearty meal and our favourite bottle of wine by the fire. At Allan Scott we know that winter nights in, need to be cherished and celebrated and what better way to do it than with a bottle of our delicious Allan Scott “Hounds” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012.

Carried on a rich oak base with soft aromatics in dark cherry, ripe berry fruits and cocoa, the Allan Scott “Hounds” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 flows beautifully onto the palate creating a warming winter wine with plenty of life. Perfectly matched to seasonal favourites, roasts of red meat, slices of strong cheeses and sizzling cuts of wild game, the Allan Scott “Hounds” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 epitomises the versatility a great Pinot Noir presents while bringing its own eloquence to your heart-warming winter cuisine.

Allan Scott Winemaker Matthew Elrick, credits keen attention and hard work for the unique and impressive character of the Allan Scott “Hounds” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012. “It’s a concerted team effort starting at pruning and every small step through to selection of only the best oak barrels of Pinot Noir from our  “Hounds” blocks.

“We want the Hounds Pinot Noir to reflect the best of both the vineyards and the vintage from which the grapes have come, 2012 was cooler than usual, this particularly suits Pinot Noir grapes because they can hang out longer allowing flavours to develop and strengthen without getting too high a sugar (hence alcohol) level,” he says.

Allan Scott “Hounds” Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012 (RRP $31) and the full range of Allan Scott Wines are available from Glengarry Wines and online at www.allanscott.com

Celebrate In Sophisticated Style This Mother’s Day – with Allan Scott!

Polish your best champagne glasses, pop the cork and propose a toast in sophisticated style this Mother’s Day, with Allan Scott Cecilia Brut NV!

Fun and fruity, Allan Scott Cecilia Brut NV is a Methode Traditionnelle style wine that expertly blends Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, adding a deliciously silky sparkle to Mum’s day. With its pale straw hue, wild white strawberries and stone fruit flavours, Allan Scott Cecilia is the perfect aperitif partner for a creative Mother’s Day antipasto – think creamy brie, exotic dried fruits, rich garlicky crostini and beautiful rustic homemade dips. Boasting a voluptuously long lasting and creamy finish, Allan Scott Cecilia can be enjoyed late into the evening.

Owner of Allan Scott Family Winemakers, Allan Scott, says Cecilia is produced on site in a purpose-built Methode Traditionnelle facility, creating bubbles using time honoured methods. “A Methode Traditionnelle style wine, Cecilia is a blend of fruit from three different vineyards, with each vineyard prepared meticulously to ensure flavoursome crops that express themselves individually in a blended wine,” says Scott.

“What better way to celebrate Mums this Mother’s Day than to pop the cork on a bottle of Cecilia – a sophisticated drop that says a fun, fruity thank you to all the Mums out there.”

Allan Scott Cecilia Brut NV (RRP $29) and the full range of Allan Scott Wines are available from Glengarry’s and online at www.allanscott.com