Reviews & Accolades
History of Awa Valley Vineyard
Awa Vineyard was first established in 1970 to supply locally grown grapes to Kumeu River. In 1981 the vineyard was sold to Charlie Bazzard who produced wine under the Bazzard Estate banner. In 1999 Stewart and Colleen Cameron purchased the vineyard and after contract growing for the first three years, started making wine from the vineyard once again in 2002.
Situated in the Awa Valley in Kumeu, west of Auckland the vineyard enjoys a unique climate. With a lower than average rainfall and a mean temperature range of 10°. The site offers ideal conditions especially for Merlot and Chardonnay grapes.
A total of 5 hectares is planted, the yields from the clay soils are low and the wines reflect the unique berry flavours produced from the combination of cool weather and the clay soils. Currently 1 hectare is planted in Chardonnay, 2 hectares in Pinot Noir, 1 hectare in Merlot and the balance in Cabernet Franc and Malbec.
The winemaker is Shayne Cox who is producing some exciting wines using traditional French methods.
Rex Sunde has been retained as the viti-culturalist and under his guidance two blocks have replanted, one in Merlot and the second in Chardonnay.
Awa Valley James Reserve Single Vineyard Merlot Malbec 2008 ****
Offering great value, the 2008 is estate-grown,Kumeu blend of Merlot and Malbec, hand picked and barrel aged for a year. It is a powerful, full-coloured wine, sweet-fruited, with concentrated plum, spice, liquorice and nut flavours, firm underlying tannins and the structure to age. Poen mid 2011+
Awa Valley Merlot 2009 ***1/2
A good buy, the 2009 vintage was grown in West Auckland and oak-aged for a year. Medium to full bodied, it is a slightly Bordeaux-like red, full-coloured with smooth plum and spice flavours, a hint of dark chocolate and some savoury noted add complexity.
Awa Valley Chardonnay 2004 ****
Awa Valley Merlot/Cabernet France/Malbec ***1/2
Grown at Huapai in West Auckland the 2004 vintage is a full bodied blend of Merlot Cabernet France and Malbec. It is vibrantly fruity, plummy supple wine, finely balanced and showing good depth of flavour.
Romeo Brigato 2008Bronze Medal - Chardonnay 2007
Bronze Medal - Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 07
Romeo Brigato 2007
Bronze Medal - Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 06
Romeo Brigato 2006
Bronze Medal - Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 04
Merlot/Malbec/Cabernet Franc 06
Cuisine MagazineAwa Valley recognised in Cuisine Magazine
The first vintage of Chardonnay from this established vineyard receives four star rating in cuisine magazine.
Cuisine Magazine August 2005
"It's not often a Chardonnay grown in the Auckland region wins a four-star rating in Cuisine, but Colleen and Stewart Cameron have achieved just that with their Awa Valley Chardonnay 2044. The pair bought Bazzard Estate, near Kumeu in 1999. After selling grapes for the first three vintages they changed to Awa Valley Vineyard and their first wine was a reasonable Merlot Cabernet France, but the 2004 Chardonnay is far more attractive.
Wine make Shayne Cox has in-depth experience and it shows in the fullness of body, strong crisp, slightly minerally flavours and staifying complexity. Awa Valley Chardonnay is a steal at $19.95
Cuisine Magazine July 2005 4 Stars
"Elegant West Auckland wine with strong, crisp, slightly minerally flavours. Ripe, vibrant fruit characters with good body, smoky oak influence and satisfying complexity. Fine value." ****