Three ways to celebrate Methode Marlborough Day

Held on the last Friday of March each year, Methode Marlborough Day celebrates the conclusion of the harvest for sparkling wines, which happens earlier than that for still wines. It champions the methode traditionelle wines crafted in Marlborough by the 12 wineries comprising the Methode Marlborough group.

Don’t expect to see the fruits of this year’s labours for a while yet though, as the methode traditionelle process is one of time and patience: we should see the first releases from this vintage beginning to appear in 2026. My best laid plans to taste the featured wines on the day went to custard, but like me you can still delve into the widely available current releases, including these three fine exemplars above.

Dunedin Urban Wine Walk

A bit of a heads-up in case you haven’t spotted it — the Dunedin Urban Wine Walk takes place on Saturday, April 27. Eight local venues are collaborating with eight South Island wineries (including five from Central Otago) to create eight urban cellar doors for the day.

The ticket price includes your tasting glass, three tastings at each venue, a food voucher and a voucher towards purchases on the day. There is no set route; you can start at whichever venue you prefer and amble on your own self-guided tour from venue to venue. Further info on social media with tickets available from Eventbrite.

Rifters Gin Cellar Door in Arrowtown

Taking time out in Arrowtown in the future? There is a new "must visit" opportunity if you are a gin lover. Local award-winning craft distillery Rifters has opened Arrowtown’s first gin-only tasting room. Situated in the historic Dudleys Cottage (by The Dishery, for those that know it) it opens Wednesday to Sunday year round. A great option to be able to try before you buy.

2018 Daniel le Brun Blanc de Blancs Methode Traditionelle

Price RRP $39.99
Rating Very Good to Excellent
Immediately fresh and 
inviting, bready/yeasty 
notes, citrus, 
nectarine. In the 
mouth, zesty contrast 
between fruit 
sweetness and racy 
tanginess. Fruit to the 
fore, nectarine, apple 
and citrus nuances 
with a nutty underlay. 
Heart on it’s sleeve 
stuff, bright, fresh, full 
of appeal with a little 
bittersweet quality on 
the close adding to the 

NV No 1 Family Estate No 1 Reserve Methode Traditionelle

Price RRP $96
Rating Outstanding
Lovely, engaging nose, 
a deeper timbre, 
savoury qualities, 
toasty/biscuity notes, 
dry honey, with a zesty 
backdrop. Fills every 
corner of the mouth 
with flavour, candied 
lemon, warm baguette, 
something akin to 
vanilla bean, lovely 
balance and poise, the 
flavours hanging on the 
close. Clearly serious, 
real drive and energy to 
this as the acidity kicks 
into gear.

NV Hunter’s Miru Miru Methode Traditionelle

Price RRP $31.90
Rating Excellent
A waft of smoke shifts to attractive 
bready notes, fresh 
fruit influences and a 
savoury twist. 
Generous in the 
mouth, leading with 
red apple and 
stonefruit influences 
with those bready, 
toasty notes neatly 
in support. 
Wonderful balance 
and integration here, 
beautifully poised. 
Fresh, vital, the 
flavours resonating 
nicely on the close. 
Lots to enjoy.