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Auntsfield Estate


‘Méthode Ancestrale’

Muscat   |   Marlborough - New Zealand


This wine pays tribute to David Herd, who established Marlborough’s first commercial vineyard and winery at Auntsfield in the 1870s. Using David’s original vineyard site and specific Muscat clone, this wine is made by applying the Méthode Ancestrale technique, which can be traced to production of the first sparkling wine “Blanquette de Limoux” in 1531. As in the 153os and 1870s, fermentation with natural yeast is completed in bottle. Ben sees the result as a wine that honors the foundational work of his family’s ancestors and celebrates continued discovery and pleasure.

After whole bunch pressing, the juice is put into tank until natural fermentation begins. Once fermentation gets close to finishing, the ferment is chilled, racked and clarified. This slightly sweet wine is bottled under crown seal. For a couple of weeks, nothing happens, then slowly, the remaining yeast begin their second fermentation in bottle. This is completed in early spring. Unlike a Méthode Traditionnelle (Champagne), the yeast is left in the bottle, and no further additions or manipulations are made (i.e. no filtration and no SO2), allowing further bottle development.


  • Grapes: 100% Muscat
  • Vineyard: Auntsfield Estate Vineyard
  • Vine Age: 10-years-old
  • Soil Type: Loess clay
  • Viticulture: Practicing organic
  • Fermentation: Native - small stainless-steel tanks (100% whole-bunch pressed)
  • Skin Contact: None
  • Aging: None
  • Alcohol: 12.5%
  • Residual Sugar: 15 g/L
  • pH: 3.35
  • Total Acidity: 6.9 g/L
  • Total SO2: None added
  • Total Production: 53 cases
  • UPC: None

Tasting Notes

This méthode ancestrale wine, made from a rare Muscat clone, is a cheerful alternative to the more traditional offerings from Auntsfield. The nose bursts with fresh apple, pear, and elderflower. An ample and balanced palate gives classic Muscat florals and white peach, underscored by a hint of mint. There is a very distinctive leesy mouthfeel, which lends texture and rondeur, and the mousse is supple and creamy. Beautifully made.

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