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Nautilus Estate of Marlborough
Kathy Sullivan

Nautilus Estate of MarlboroughSummary: Nautilus Estate winery’s name derives from the nautilus seashell. The shell represents balance and balance is the goal for the winery’s wines. The winery has two separate areas for producing wines. One facility is for producing white wines and the other for Pinot Noirs. The tasting room has a warm ambiance with a number of wine related items available.

Nautilus refers to the Nautilus seashell. It is a symbol of balance, a quality that is the focus of Nautilus Estate’s attention. These seashells are available in the tasting room, a perfect memory of a visit to the winery.

The winery tour group began their visit to Nautilus Estate winery with a tasting of NV Sparkling. This wine was produced with 75 percent Pinot Noir and 25 percent Chardonnay. The grapes were handpicked when they were between 19 and 20 brix.

Nautilus Estate has two winemaking areas for producing wines. The Nautilus Pinot Cellar was built in 2000. As its name implies, this facility is for producing Pinot Noir. The other is the Nautilus White Winery devoted to producing Chardonnay, Cuvee, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc. This winery was built in 2006.

Nautilus Estate of MarlboroughIn the winery the winemaker uses tipping tanks. These special stainless steel tanks are used for skin contact for the Sauvignon Blanc and to experiment with Pinot Noir. Nautilus Estate produces 160,000 cases of wine. During the tour of the winery, the tour group tasted two Sauvignon Blancs from tanks. One was from estate vineyards and another was from a grower who crops more heavily than the estate vineyards were cropped. Both wines offered lemon grass and some tropical fruits. The estate wine was drier and the Washington State University group preferred the drier wine. The finish was crisp with some olive nuances.

The winery uses 100 percent French oak barrels. The barrels used are one and two years old. Four hundred barrels age Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The tour group also had the opportunity to barrel taste Pinot Noir from different vineyards. The colors were ruby to purple. These were 2010 vintages of Pinot Noir. The nuances were red cherry with floral notes and mild tannins.

Nautilus Estate of MarlboroughThe Nautilus Estate vineyards have 400 hectares (988 acres) of grapes. Many of these hectares are located in six vineyards: Renwick, Awatere River, Opawa, Kaituna, Clay Hills and Lanark Lane Vineyards.

Cellar Door

Visitors will enjoy the cellar door with its lightwood tasting counter and wood trim that accentuates the white walls. A large window allows visitors to see into the barrel room. One can also glimpse large stainless steel tanks. The shelves in the tasting room have an assortment of wine related items. These include stemware, decanters and books. Also available for purchase are various New Zealand cheeses and cheese platters. In addition a number of shirts with quotes are for sale. Quotes include “Wine with a sparkling personality,” “Attractive, full-bodied, feisty, with a crisp fruity and plenty of character.” Best of all is a shirt with a Nautilus shell includes “the coming together of art, science and nature.”

A blackboard behind the Cellar Door tasting counter offered a quote by G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936.) “I don’t care where the water goes if it doesn’t get into the wine.”

Nautilus Estate of Marlborough

White Wines

Opawa Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was produced with five percent new French oak. The wine was a pale yellow with an aroma and taste of tropical fruit. The finish began with tropical fruit notes and yielded to citrus. Chardonnay 2009 offered apple and pear nuances on the aroma and taste. The taste had a smooth mouth feel. The fruit yielded to citrus on the finish.

Red Wines

Pinot Noir 2009 was a light ruby color. The aroma and taste were of red cherries. There were mild tannins on the finish. Pinot Noir 2007 was a red to ruby color. This Pinot Noir had cherry nuances on the aroma and taste, finishing with soft tannins.

Enjoy a visit to Nautilus Estate’s cellar door. Take time to view the barrel room, and while in the Cellar Door browse the giftware.

Nautilus Cellar Door
12 Rapaura Road
Renwick, Marlborough
New Zealand










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