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Dog Point Vineyards, Ltd
Kathy Sullivan

Dog Point Vineyards, LtdSummary: Dog Point Vineyards, located near the northern end of South Island in New Zealand offers a laidback ambiance with delightful wines. The vineyards and winery are in New Zealand’s famed Marlborough region.

The Dog Point Vineyards name reflects the history of this area in Marlborough, New Zealand. Since fences were not used to fence in sheep, dogs were used to keep flocks of sheep within boundaries. Some dogs ran into the ranges and became wild. They gathered on a hill known as Dog Point. From there, the dogs came down into the valley to worry the sheep.

Families Ivan and Margaret Sutherland and James and Wendy Healy started Dog Point Vineyards considered an early vineyard in the Wairau Valley. The Sutherlands and Healys wanted to have a hands on winery where they would control everything from the vineyards to winemaking to marketing.

Dog Point Vineyards, LtdVineyards

Dog Point Vineyards' grapevines grow prolifically on both the plains and the hillsides. Small white wind machines dot the floor of the valley to prevent frost damage to the tender vines. The area is very photographic with the green vineyards, hills and mountains in the background.

Dog Point’s first vintage was in 2002. The vineyards at Dog Point are farmed organically and follow the New Zealand sustainable winegrowing program. This block of 80 hectares
(198 acres) has Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir grapevines. Some of the grapevines were planted in the 1970’s. The soils on the valley floor are different than the hillsides. The flats have silty clay that drains well. In contrast the hillsides have clay loam.

Dog Point Vineyards, LtdWhile focusing on sustainability, the owners of Dog Point also use low cropping methods and hand harvest all of the grapes.


The winery is located in a modular metal building. The tank and barrel area have an insulated ceiling. Barrels are stacked up to six levels. For a group wine tasting, two long tables were set up. One table featured the Dog Point wines and the other table had Greywacke wines. It was enjoyable to compare, contrast and talk about these quality wines.

Dog Point Vineyards, LtdWines

Dog Point Vineyards produces two Sauvignon Blancs, one Chardonnay and one Pinot Noir. Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a straw color. The wine offered citrus and mineral notes. The finish was crisp with citrus. Dog Point Section 94 Sauvignon Blanc 2008 was a light yellow. This wine offered aroma and taste notes of mineral and yellow fruit. The mouth feel was smooth. Dog Point Chardonnay 2008 was yellow. The aroma had notes of oak and pear while the taste also had pear notes. The finish was smooth with pear yielding to citrus. Dog Point Pinot Noir 2008 was a translucent dark ruby color. The aroma had notes of floral and cherry while the taste offered cherry and cinnamon notes. The finish had mild tannins with cherry and cinnamon nuances.

Dog Point Vineyards wines are available internationally. When you have the opportunity be sure to enjoy a Dog Point wine. In addition you can share your knowledge of why the winery is named Dog Point Vineyards.










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