The Pioneer
Chardonnay 2011

Region: Marlborough
Winemaker: Marcus Wright/Rebecca Wiffen
Alcohol: 14.5%  pH: 3.15  RS: 3.0g/L  
TA: 7.2  Brix: 24.8

Tasting Notes

A gentle, hands-off approach has produced a wine where the character of the vineyard shines through. Brioche and lemon flavours with subtle smoky, flinty notes show on the nose, whilst the palate shows grapefruit and lemon, complemented by nectarine and charred oak. This wine is elegant with a lovely texture and minerality whilst the bright acidity provides focus and length.

Winemaker's Notes

The grapes were whole-bunch pressed to stainless steel tanks and settled for twelve hours before racking to barrel (all French oak, 33% new) for fermentation with indigenous yeast. The barrels were allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation, but not stirred. The total time in French oak was fifteen months.

Viticulture Notes

This wine was produced from grapes from our own Chaytors Road vineyard. The site has free-draining pea metal and silt soils and delivers early ripening fruit. Our Mendoza Chardonnay is cropped low and produces clean ripe grapes with high acidity. The vines were shoot-thinned and lightly leaf-plucked before being hand- harvested.


This wine will continue to develop over the next ten years.

Food Match

Rich cheeses, creamy pasta and full flavoured seafood dishes.

Tasting Note & accolades (PDF)

Bottle Price: $35.00Buy Now
Case Price (6 bottles): $210.00Buy Now

Awards & Reviews

Bob Campbell MW - Five stars - 95 points

Pale gold, chicken stock, flint, touch of smoke and musk on the nose. Quite recital and interesting on the palate, minerally with a nutty, meal dimension. Perhaps a bit oak dominant, that being said it has acidity to counteract the richness. (12/2/2015)

Sustainable Winegrowing International Wine Competition Trophy Decanter International Trophy

Awarded the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc producer in 2013

Lawson’s Dry Hills is on Alabama Road, Blenheim, Marlborough.

Our cellar door is open daily from 10am until 5pm, seven days a week during the summer, we are closed on all Public Holidays and winter weekends during June/July/August/September. Call us on +64 3 578 7674 or email

Licence # 052/OFF/023/2016
exp. 03/07/2019 

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