Tim and Judy Finn planted their first vines in 1978, alongside the tiny hamlet of Neudorf, established by German settlers in 1842. While the Finns initially earned an international reputation for their concentrated, mineral Chardonnay and taut, racy Riesling, it is their elegant and complex Pinot Noir which has attracted recent attention.
The vines spill down a gentle north-facing slope overlooking of the Moutere Valley, at the top of New Zealand's South Island. Shallow sandy loam overlays a draining clay subsoil based on the weathered gravels of an ancient river system. The virgin soil is of naturally low fertility and the gravely clay retains enough moisture to support grapevines through the dry summer months.
In the vineyard a combination of high plant density (up to 5000 vines/hectare) and low production (down to one kilo/vine) produces the fruit concentration and palate length characteristic of the label. Shoots are thinned, and fruit is dropped at veraison to achieve the required crop level and uniformity of ripeness. Neudorf Moutere Vineyards are organic and dry farmed (not irrigated). Neudorf Moutere Chardonnay, Neudorf Moutere Pinot Noir, Neudorf Moutere Riesling, Neudorf Moutere Albarino are all Bio-Gro Certified with Rosie's Block Chardonnay as the most recently certified addition to the list.
Neudorf consider their wines fit into the natural wine category if a smidgeon of sulphur is included in the ever wavering definition (and yes, the wines are vegan). 'We strive to create wines that respect (and celebrate) the idiosyncrasies of site, season and person. Therefore our philosophy is to allow the wine to express itself, effectively having the courage to stand back and doing very little until it asks us to intervene. Generally speaking it is indigenous ferment, natural spring malo (when required), un-fined, and in the case of the Pinot Noir un-filtered. In short we refer to it as non-interventionist. Of course, and more importantly, underpinning all of this is great sites, careful organic viticulture and exceptional raw material.' Todd Stevens, winemaker.