Church Road Winery creates wine to celebrate founder

Chris Scott. Photo by Charmian Smith.
Chris Scott. Photo by Charmian Smith.
Church Road Winery in Hawkes Bay has introduced a new series of wine to celebrate its founder, Tom McDonald.

McDonald (1907-1987) was a leader in the New Zealand wine industry in the 1960s and 1970s, making the first serious cabernet sauvignon and other varietal table wines which opened the eyes of the Australian and New Zealand wine industries to the potential of Hawkes Bay.

While Church Road's most prestigious wines, a cabernet sauvignon merlot and a chardonnay are called Tom, the McDonald series of wines, priced at $33, sits between the regular and the reserve Church Road ranges.

There's an integrated, creamy chardonnay, a well-structured pinot gris, a textural sauvignon blanc, a plush merlot, a rich, focused cabernet sauvignon, and three wines only available in restaurants and at the cellar door: a fragrant sauvignon gris, a peppery syrah and a rich-fruited but rustic marzemino - a red variety from northern Italy that did particularly well in their trials of various Italian varieties, according to winemaker Chris Scott.

- Charmian Smith