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Wines for the taste conscious!: The Winemaker’s Wife

The Winemaker’s Wife wines are the creation of husband and wife business partners, Simon McGeorge and Olive Hill.


Their back-label reads, ‘This wine celebrates our partnership and is a tribute to all that can be achieved by two people working together’.

Clearly their partnership works as they are into their fifth vintage. Simon is a multi-award-winning winemaker, with more than 20 years’ experience, making fine wines for international and New Zealand brands. Olive is a gregarious individual with a love of history, socialising and bright red lipstick.

Together they have created a fantastic range of Waipara wines that include a fabulous 2019 pinot rosé, contemporary-styled chardonnay, incredible riesling, crisp pinot gris and bright, fruity pinot noir. If you have not yet tried their wines, you must. You can purchase online (NZ-wide delivery), at Fresh Choice stores or from Liquor King, Carlton Mill Corner. Cheers!




What’s in the cellar?

There’s a gentleman at FreshChoice Merivale’s Wine Cellar, Andy Gutschlag, who has a real understanding and appreciation for finding the perfect partnership between food and beverages. We caught up with Andy about his top tips.




Can you tell us about yourself?
I have spent most of my life in Christchurch. After graduating as a primary school teacher, I lived in Taiwan for two years working for a New Zealand Export Company. Part of my role was based in Asia and Europe, where I developed a love of sharing wine and food. I really follow ‘when in Rome’.

How did the Cellar idea come about?
Craig, the store owner, has always dreamed of the day we could open the Cellar. He has been collecting wines for the last 15 years for the sole goal of sharing them with our customers. They have all been stored in an offsite cellar, under perfect conditions.

How do you choose what to purchase?
We taste a lot of wine and travel to different wine regions to find new products. Planning must be at least five years ahead to ensure we have the best wines to add to our cellar.

Tell us about the range. What are your favourites?
That’s a hard question! I am a big fan of shiraz, especially the Barrosa Australia, and the Rhône Valley in France. I’m also a bit of riesling freak. Now I’m enjoying chardonnay from around the world. I try to list wines that people can match with great food and share with friends. If I had to pick a favourite now it would be the Rockford Basket Press Shiraz.

What should laymen on the street know when buying a good wine?
Taste different wines and fine a style that you enjoy, then get out of your comfort zone and try something new every so often. Find a retailer that will listen to you, share what you like and give feedback on any suggestions they give you. Share your wines with friends, enjoy them with great food and create a few good stories!

What are your rules when buying wine?
Drink what you enjoy, not what someone tells you to enjoy. Share your wines surrounded with great friends and loads of foodie experiences. Every so often take a risk and try something new. Just enjoy the moment.



Twilight in the Vines: CharRees Vineyard

Good things have always been said to come in small packages and when it comes to certain things in life, it’s all about quality over quantity.



CharRees meets both these briefs in a small family owned boutique vineyard just off State Highway One on southern edge of Ashburton, just south of Tinwald. It’s the place to be on Saturday 23 November when this year’s Twilight in the Vines hits the social calendar. We’re sure you don’t need an excuse to sit amongst the vines with your favourite wine-drinking friends and savour the flavour that Ashburton’s only vineyard has to offer, but if you do, then this is it.

There will also be live music and you can indulge in an alfresco dining experience from local caterers. Turning their talented hands to top quality Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and Reisling wines, CharRees Vineyard also offers a world-famous (in Ashburton) Sparkling Pearl wine, which is a delicate combination of Reisling and Pinot Gris in a Sparkling form – a must try!

While Mid Canterbury might be a little off the winery radar, its regional climate helps the grapes mature slowly at a steady pace, creating an ideal ripening environment. With this in mind, the grapes from CharRees Vineyard are selectively hand harvested for optimum flavour from this terroir. But the best way is to experience it for yourself.

Find CharRees Vineyard at 22 Laings Road, Ashburton, phone 0800 2427 7337 or visit



On the grapevine

Raise a glass! It’s time to toast the most popular wine trends of 2019. Is more rosé on the way or is riesling the next big thing? We’ve got a sneak peek – after all, we heard it on the grapevine!



  1. Pink power
    Drumroll please… rosé is here to stay! Not only reserved for summer, the pink drink has quickly become a firm favourite among Kiwis over recent years, with a ton of options just a supermarket shop away. Local brands from Northland down to Central Otago will continue to put their own delish twist on this punchy wine – cocktail creations are on the horizon! Bonus: its rose-tinted hues make for super Instagrammable pics!

  2. Conscious consumers
    Wine is another product that’s quickly joining the sustainability train due to skyrocketing demand for organic, biodynamic and vegan-friendly bubbles – shock alert: most wines are not vegan, and this might be news to those who’ve adopted the vegan lifestyle. In 2019 we can expect to see dozens more environmentally friendly options on the shelves of the organic, biodynamic and/or vegan variety. Head to for a comprehensive vegan wine list.

  3. Prosecco passion
    Prosecco? I’ll take two please! Good news: these once-haughty bubbles are no longer just reserved for the Christmas banquet. A golden, sophisticated Italian beauty, prosecco is generally a lot easier on both the pocket and the palate than its better-known sibling champagne. These sparkling suds will continue to grow in popularity this year in New Zealand following its fashionable ubiquity overseas in 2018.


A Vintage Wedding: Cross Hares


The guests raise their glasses in reply to the toast just given by the best man, “To the bride and groom!” They sip their wine, they become silent, they sip again, they smile. The bride watches her guests chatting across the tables, hears their laughter. She murmurs to the groom, “Look, the Cross Hares Effect”.

The groom sees his mother quaffing her ‘Greenman’ pinot noir and flirting with the bride’s father. He nudges the bride. “Your Dad’s just finished his ‘Ahuriri Run’ pinot gris and now he’s signalling the waiter for the following year’s vintage.” His bride giggles, “Wait till he tries the ‘Ahuriri Run’ 2018!” They look at the happy faces around them.

“Clever you,” says the groom, raising his glass to his bride. “To Cross Hares wines,” she replies, raising her glass, “The best decision I ever made… apart from saying yes to you, darling!”

For more information email or visit

Cross Hares Winery

Year of the Hare: Cross Hares Winery

They may describe themselves as ‘accidental winegrowers’, but Natalie and Warrick Edwards, of Cross Hares Winery, have certainly proved that where there’s a will, there’s a way.


Cross Hares Winery


After the September 2010 earthquake saw the Edwards’ family having to farewell their irreparable home forever, Natalie and Warrick had to seriously rethink their lives. “So, we bought a rundown vineyard, as you do,” Natalie laughs. “We knew nothing about growing grapes, but we’re not afraid of hard work, so we rolled up our sleeves and got busy.”

Fast forward to 2014 and our stalwart couple found themselves doing the hard slog of tightening wires, mending broken poles, lifting irrigation lines and repairing irrigation leaks – all 100 of them! Next step was to get expert advice. Lincoln University lecturer and vineyard owner Glen Creasy was the man who helped regenerate and restore the neglected vines to their former glory; so much so that Natalie and Warrick felt confident to approach The Crater Rim Winery and re-establish a former connection whereby they would sell their fruit to them.


Cross Hares Winery

Their vintage 2016 saw a bumper yield of 6.9 tonnes of Pinot Noir and 7.1 tonnes of Pinot Gris harvested for The Crater Rim while later, another 3.5 tonnes of Pinot Gris were picked for themselves. ‘Ahuriri Run’ (named in tribute to the vineyard being formerly part of the Rhodes’ brothers Ahuriri Run) produced 2,800 bottles.

Torrential rain in February 2017 drastically cut their expected fruit yield, but taking it on the chin, as all good farmers must, they harvested the 4.0 tonnes in total that remained and produced their 2017 ‘Ahuriri Run’ Pinot Gris and 2017 ‘Greenman’ Pinot Noir.


Cross Hares Winery

In September, the vintage 2018 Pinot Noir will be bottled. Natalie says they can’t wait, but in the meantime, the very important decision of what to call it has to be made. Cross Hares may well be Banks Peninsula’s best kept secret, but with an increasing remote online sales presence, plus the projected launch of an onsite cellar door at year’s end, expect the name, just like those hares, to be crossing your path very soon.


Located at 7/1269 Christchurch Akaroa Road, Tai Tapu. For more information phone 027 724 3015 or email


The Monday Room

A partnership of perfection: The Monday Room

Creating the perfect marriage between cuisine and wine is a unique art and one which local institution The Monday Room has up its culinary sleeve.


The Monday Room


With Head Chef Eeva Torvinen turning her talented hand to creating a menu that utilises the techniques and flavours of her Finnish background to bring flavour to the table, the central city hotspot is a dining destination not to be missed.  “I want to create dishes that make people talk while they dine,” Eeva says.

Metropol catches up with Eeva about popular dish Three Little Pigs, while renowned Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong finds its perfect partnership in a local Waipara tipple that offers an exquisite complement.


Meal: Three Little Pigs
Three Little Pigs is a dish that has three different parts of pork, cooked in different ways, Eeva explains.
“Slow-cooked pork cheek, also known as pork jowl, is fatty and rich. It is wrapped in savoy cabbage leaves, which are blanched and glazed with syrup to add sweetness,” she says.
“Pork fillet is cured and then sous vide for four hours, producing a tender, lean fillet which is then pan fried for colour and flavour. Meanwhile, belly bacon is cooked slowly until it is crispy, bringing saltiness and texture to the dish.”
The pork combination is then combined with smooth and buttery parsnip puree and finished with a Nordic inspired tart, while sea buckthorn dressing gives a sweet and sour flavour profile.


The Monday Room


Wine match: Black Estate Damsteep Riesling 2017
According to Wine Consultant at Wine Sentience, Stephen Wong, Riesling which is often overlooked, yet infinitely versatile, could have been purpose built for Three Little Pigs; a dish which delivers rich, fatty sweetness sandwiched between savoury, saline austerity and fresh crunchy astringency.

“It resonates with the kaleidoscope of Riesling’s varied expression in much the same way that a classic chypre perfume is composed of a trinity of interlinked but contrasting vertices.” Thankfully, Canterbury is home to some of New Zealand’s most celebrated expressions of Riesling – with the complex patchwork of soils; from gravel to clay to limestone allowing this noble grape to display its riches fully.

“Black Estate’s minimal-interventionist Damsteep Riesling 2017 hails from an organic vineyard at the foot of the Omihi saddle, planted during the previous millenium.  “Perceptibly dry and racy yet powerfully built and arrestingly perfumed, it is as refreshing as it is profound; weaving a narrative of cloudy skies over bleak rolling hills, yet tinged with a honeyed stonefruit sweetness of nostalgia and finishing on a note of stoic pithiness and chalky resilience.”



Rossendale Vineyard

Only the best! Rossendale Vineyard

Only the best is good enough for the team at specialist wedding and event venue, Rossendale Vineyard. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their already consummate service to clients.


Rossendale Vineyard


“We have made a small change to our name to make it trip off the tongue more easily,” says manager Graham Jones. “We’re now Rossendale Vineyard rather than The Vineyard@Rossendale. Many people used to refer to us as that anyway.”  Now too there is a stunning video of the venue and its surrounding environment online at

Much of the footage was shot from a drone and the aerial views only serve to reinforce just how picturesque the rural vineyard setting is. It would be very difficult not to fall in love with the place immediately and say “That’s where I want to have my wedding. Nowhere else will do.”

There are also shots of the interior of the elegant specially-designed venue itself, superbly dressed for a sumptuous wedding feast. “The video complements the 360-degree tour of the venue that we have had online for some time. We have found that to be extremely useful, especially for potential clients from overseas so they can see what we have to offer.”

The team from Rossendale Vineyard will be at the Great New Zealand Bridal Show at the Addington Events Centre on Sunday 31 March between 9am and 3:30pm. Graham will show you how Rossendale Vineyard can turn your wedding ideas into reality. Otherwise you can contact him on 03 322 7780 or email



Pegasus Bay Vine Run

Supporting a good cause: Pegasus Bay Vine Run + Win with Metropol

If you fancy a run/walk amongst the picturesque hills, valleys and vineyards of Pegasus Bay followed by live music and a glass of wine all while supporting a worthy cause then you won’t want to miss out on the Pegasus Bay Vine Run.


Pegasus Bay Vine Run


After a successful inaugural event (earlier this year) the second Pegasus Bay Vine Run will be held on Sunday, 27 January 2019.
Created to raise funds for the New Zealand Brain Research Institute and organised by the Donaldson family of Pegasus Bay Winery, registration for the event is now open. “My father, who is the driving force behind it all, practised as a neurologist in Christchurch for 30 years, while also setting up the winery,” Mike Donaldson says.


Choose to run or walk a 6km or 10km option.


“As a founding member of the institute, he decided on a fun family event to raise funds for the cause, where people can choose to run or walk a 6km or 10km option, bring a picnic and enjoy a day out.”

Tickets are $75 each and include a bottle of trophy wine to take away. Register for the event on or email Mike at


Win With Metropol

Metropol has two double passes to the Pegasus Bay Vine Rut to giveaway to some lucky readers. Enter at Winners will be drawn Monday 3 December.


Explore Waipara

Toast to tours: Explore Waipara

Kaye Souter’s passion for wine is infectious and extends beyond just drinking it.


Explore Waipara


As the owner of Explore Waipara Wine Tours, Kaye prides herself on offering unique winery tours individually catered to her clients.
“The point of difference with our business is we aim to make our wine tours as fun and as memorable as possible by adding those little extra details that make a big difference,” she says. Explore Waipara’s full day wine tours depart Christchurch and travel through the beautiful wine region of Waipara.

Clients enjoy incredible scenery and plenty of photo opportunities, delectable wine tasting at a minimum of four wineries along with a luscious lunch, topped off with entertaining stories about the wine producing region. Water and snacks and your own tasting booklet are also provided and all tour guides hold current first aid certificates.

Tours range from the lead-in Explore Waipara Tour to the Ultimate Waipara Experience which includes a helicopter ride, truffle demonstration, private winemaker’s tour, award winning restaurants and of course, delectable wines. Learn about the history of wine in New Zealand and travel through the beautiful rugged landscape of Canterbury to explore the best wines of the region.

Raised in Christchurch, Kaye’s background is in hospitality, liquor retail and she has recently spent four years in Central Otago working at a prominent winery. She has a passion for wine and spirits and she never stops learning.  “We don’t just drink wine, we live wine.”


Visit and enter the code Metropol for $40 off tours in November.