Giesen Wine | New Zealand Wineries

While Giesen will be best known to New Zealand wine lovers as the producers of one of the best bargain Sauvignon Blancs on the market, the company has used their commercial success in this arena to transition into serious fine wine production. While we love a good bargain as much as the next person, it's the $15+ end of Giesen's portfolio that we tend to focus on.

The key moment in Giesen's fine wine program was the acquisition of the iconic Clayvin vineyard, spearheaded by the single-minded Marcel Giesen. The man's fine wine credentials are beyond question, the case-in-point being his side project Bell Hill, which many international critics regard as NZ’s finest Pinot Noir AND its finest Chardonnay. While the wines are so ridiculously hard to come by that it’s tough to make a definitive judgment – the tiny production and his reclusive nature have made him an almost mythic figure in NZ wine circles.

Making some of the world’s finest wines keeps Marcel busy though and he has employed Nikolai St George, a 3-time NZ winemaker of the year to take the Giesen brand to the next level. Early results are encouraging, and have been led by their Fuder program of 1000-litre barrels the brothers import directly for their finest wines. The larger barrels mean the ratio of wine in contact with the barrel surface is less, reducing oak flavour that can dominate the fruit. The staves of the barrel are also thicker which means the temperature of ferment tends to be warmer, giving richness to the fruit characters and yet more complexity.

Anyone who has not tried the Fuder wines, be they Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs or Syrahs, should treat themselves. These are some of the finest wines on the NZ market and for the most part remain very reasonably priced.

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