Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ Marlborough Releases

The concept of regionality has yet to be properly explored in New Zealand. While many growers, winemakers and consumers understand and accept the philosophies behind regional expression, there are only a few wine producers who demonstrate it. Ideally, this involves having the same varietal wine sourced from different sub-regions, but grown and made in very much identical ways. The strongest proponent of expressing regionality in my opinion is Grant Taylor of Valli Vineyards with his Otago Pinot Noirs.

However before one attempts this, the concept of differing regional expression must be promoted, by their identification. Several wine producers have done this, these generally being the larger companies with the resource of many vineyards located in many areas. Brancott Estate has attempted this with their ‘Terroir Series’, but this has been done with a broad range of varieties, rather than the same grape. Saint Clair is another proponent with their ‘Pioneer Block’ wines, but the vinification for each of these wines, though the same variety, can vary.

Joining this small group exploring regionality is Mud House with their ‘Sub Region Series’ wines, a collection of five different varieties and styles from different sub-regions, highlighting the strengths of the area as well as putting them on the sub-region map. The viticulturists and winemakers at Mud House have two decades of experience in Marlborough to identify the consistent expressions of fruit and wine from various sub regions. Here they identify and share their findings with the consumer, the range made by Mud House winemaker Cleighten Cornelius, the wines carrying the Mud House nomenclature for the sub regions.

The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc demonstrates "the overt lift and pungency, and phenolic textures” of Rapaura where bony braided river soils meet alluvial silts. The 2016 Pinot Gris comes from the Grovetown area, which is closer to the coast, but has warmer, finer and fertile soils, producing wine "with depth and texture, and bright fruit aromatics”. Fragrance and lightness is the character of the Pinot Noir fruit from the clay and silt soiled Burleigh district between Middle and New Renwick Roads. The clay-influenced soils of the Omaka region, where the 2015 Chardonnay comes from gives "delicacy, depth and poise”. The 2015 Pinot Noir comes from the region that Mud House calls ‘The Narrows’ in the Upper Wairau Valley where the riverstone and clay soils provide "elegant tannins and focused acidity”. My reviews of these wines follow. The wines seem to display the sub-region characteristics as described by winemaker Cleighten Cornelius.


  • Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ ‘Rapaura’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016
  • Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ ‘Grovetown’ Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016
  • Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ ‘Burleigh’ Marlborough Pinot Rosé 2016
  • Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ ‘Omaka’ Marlborough Chardonnay 2015
  • Mud House ‘Sub Region Series’ ‘The Narrows’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2015

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