Crazy by Nature and Millton Vineyards 2017 – 2015 Releases


In 1984, James and Annie Millton established their wine venture on the banks of the Te Arai River, Manutuke, Gisborne. In a time when the region was primarily supplying bulk fruit and juice, theirs was a boutique operation which added to only a handful of others in their size, What made them different to all other winegrowers was the path of organic and then biodynamic regimes, which labelled them as ‘crazy’. Nowadays, of course, the wine world and the world in general respect organics and is growing to accept biodynamics as being as natural as possible and expressive of terroir and provenance. The Milltons were the first to achieve certification with both regimes in this country. Not only are the Millton Vineyards wines organic and biodynamic, but they are extremely good.

Here, I review two ‘Crazy by Nature’ wines, the label referring to the feeling of both the Mittons and observers on their approaches, and a selection of Millton Vineyards wines, ranging from 2017 to 2015. As with some of this country’s most adventurous and innovative winemakers, James Millton is incorporating skin contact and fermentation on skins, along with subtle blending adjustments employing other varieties in making his wines more interesting, balanced and complete. The Millton Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Viognier are due for release in October. The other interesting point with this selection tasted is that the fully-sweet ‘Clos Samuel’ wine is bottled in 750 ml, which is far more useful for varied dining situations (not just dessert), and in this format, its price is extremely good value www.millton.co.nz


  • Crazy by Nature ‘Shotberry’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2017
  • Crazy by Nature ‘Cosmo Red’ Gisborne 2016
  • Millton ‘Te Arai Vineyard’ Gisborne Chenin Blanc 2017
  • Millton ‘Opou Vineyard’ Gisborne Chardonnay 2017
  • Millton ‘Riverpoint Vineyard’ Gisborne Viognier 2016
  • Millton ‘Clos Samuel’ Gisborne Viognier ‘Special Berry Selection’ 2015

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