Longbush ‘Big River’, ‘Flax Series’ and ‘Bird Series’ Releases

The Thorpe family are a tight and interactive Gisborne family involved for many years in commercial and environmental endeavours that support the region. The family name their interests after the stretch of native forest that runs beside the Waimata River. John Thorpe has made wine for over 25 years and his Longbush Wine brand has an annual production of 30,000 cases which is marketed domestically and internationally. His twin brother Richard and his wife Carol have the Longbush Cheese Co. John’s sister Annie and her husband Jerry Salmond have restored the land beside the river into the Longbush Sanctuary for native bird and plant species. A percentage of the Longbush Wines sales supports the Sanctuary.

There are four tiers under the Longbush wines umbrella, the ‘Family’ label is the top tier, made from hand-picked Gisborne fruit and comprises Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Merlot, Syrah, St. Laurent and a Methode Traditionnelle. The ‘Bird Series’ is the premium brand with Merlot, Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer. The most widely available are the value ‘Flax Series’ wines, including Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, made from Gisborne fruit supplemented by other regions. The ‘Big River’ wines draw fruit from other regions, the wines being Gisborne Chardonnay, Hawkes Bay Merlot and Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Here, I review a selection of new releases under the ‘Big River’, ‘Flax Series’ and ‘Bird Series’ labels. www.longbush.com


  • Big River Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014
  • Longbush ‘Flax Series’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot 2013
  • Longbush ‘Bird Series’ Gisborne Gewurztraminer 2013

Latest wine reviews, news, events and more. 🍷
We respect your privacy.