Mud House New Zealand Pinot Noir is a touchdown, not a punt

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NZVE are the producers of well-known brands Mud House and Waipara Hills. Mud House’s award-winning wines are produced from New Zealand's best grape growing soils including Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, Pinot Noir from Central Otago and Aromatics from the Waipara Valley.  The extreme natural environments of the mountains, hills and valleys of the South Island give Waipara Hills wines intensity, character and complexity – wine that expresses the true soul of the south.


In an effort to be more environmentally friendly, dovetailing with the release of 2012 Mud House Chardonnay, NZVE is one of New Zealand’s first wineries to partner with O-I Glass using a new lightweight 407g bottle. The lightweight 407g bottle is approximately 10% lighter than the previous bottle, with a total reduction of up to half a ton per container of wine exported.  The lightweight bottle retains its premium look and NZVE is using the lighter bottle across all their brands including Mud House, Waipara Hills, Dusky Sounds and Haymaker. 


Wines in these new lightweight bottles will be hitting the market in the coming weeks. FYI: Mud House Wines now operating as New Zealand Vineyard Estates


I received a sample and my interest peaked. I especially was pleasantly surprised with the Mud House Pinot Noir, Central Coast Otago. The single vineyard souced wine was made with the new glass. Not only was the bottle lighter than its pinot noir competitors, the punt was curiously missing and the bottle easily opened with a screw cap. For those that need a "punt" definition, the Burgundy-style bottle has less-pronounced shoulders and is commonly used for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It often has a punt, an indentation in its bottom or dimple, if you will. The design stems from the Old World use of a pontil stick which held the bottle at its base, during the ancient times, when artisan glass blowers handmade each and every wine bottle. A punt also causes the bottle to be heavier, was said to be more stable and comes most often in dead-leaf green with sloped-shoulders.


The move to a lightweight bottle complements other initiatives within NZVE as part of a broader sustainability program.

Food & Wine Blog  “Our Sustainable Responsible Business program recognizes that true sustainability means not only looking after our business and shareholders, but also our staff, business partners and the environment, industry and communities we operate in.” says NZVE CEO, MJ Loza.

Now, the taste was also a great surprise. Delicious with deep red notes of fruit and a wee bit of spice. Soft, silky tannins gave the swallow a fruitful finish. I would drink this pinot any day. Their website sells the pinot noir for $199/case of six or $33/bottle.

Other Sustainable Responsible Business initiatives underway at NZVE include:

  • Reducing power use through optimising operations and using efficient equipment and by benchmarking against other local and international winegrowers to achieve best practice.
  • Accurate monitoring of water use, reducing water used throughout the vineyard and winery.
  • Composting grape marc.  New Zealand Extracts, one of NZVE’s sister companies in the Mud House Wine Group, adds value to this winemaking byproduct by extracting bioactives from grape skins and seeds for sale to dietary supplement, functional food and cosmetic companies.
  • Involvement in ‘Greening Waipara Project’ – using NZ native plants in and around the vineyard as natural alternative to pest and disease management.
  • Conversion of selected blocks at one of the company’s Waipara Vineyards to organics.
  • Recent plantings of native trees and shrubs on company vineyards in Waipara.
  • Matching charitable donations made by staff dollar-for-dollar.


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