Archived News

Browse all our archived news below, sorted by year.




Dear Friends of Bell Hill,

Hoping this newsletter finds you well and in positive spirits since we last touched base with you. Trapped inside by a rainy day today so a good time to write our annual release letter but with some preoccupation of thought towards yesterday’s earthquake event in Marlborough. I guess we can say this is part of the canvas of being in New Zealand now. Another year gone by and casting the mind back it never ceases to amaze where the time has gone…we can carve it up into the cycles and elements of the seasons and what we do – end of winter pruning, frost protection, a very warm but still moist first half of the growing season, a great hot summer, Pinot Noir 2013 in Wellington, more heat, harvest starting moderately early and finishing about normal, 2012 wine out of barrel, 2013 wine into barrel and back to the start of pruning again…It has been a quick twelve months and this winter we have been able to add the colours of some travel to the palete of life at Bell Hill, including at trip to Vietnam and Cambodia (eye-opening) and Singapore for trade visits and a Bell Hill dinner at Les Amis. Just recently we were in the US for the International Pinot Noir Celebration in Oregon where we participated as a guest winery. This is a very engaging and relaxed event with some 600 attendees and wineries from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Australia and NZ. This three day event has been going for many years and the NZ Pinot Noir event held every three years as well as the Central Otago Pinot Noir Celebration are somewhat modelled upon IPNC. The balance of our time in the US can be described as a bus driver’s holiday focusing on driving within wine regions in Oregon and California, catching up with colleagues, sommeliers, retailers and journalists – busy but stimulating and always a great energy booster to have people in other parts of the world behind you in what you do. The last day was spent at Pier 29 in San Francisco watching the final race between Prada and Artemis which was great to see, not as much public interest as there would have been in NZ we think but I guess we just have to bring it all home…Back home for a week and still with a little pruning to do over the next ten days and hopefully some truffle hunting if the weather allows and Rosie the beagle (our new best friend) has time. We found a few before leaving and can’t help being hopeful there is a little more to come. Next on the agenda is our Bell Hill dinner at Kauri Cliff’s in Northland on the 7th of September, please go to for further details. We have been amassing a good little team at Bell Hill but have no big developments to speak of since last year, certainly not in the volume of 2010 wines available to all. This very small vintage is a misery in itself (the wine is good though) and we can only apologise for the strong arm of nature and how it influences what we can do – this time being centred upon a cool spring and compromising weather during flowering and fruit set, coupled with our major planting effort in 2009 including replanting the Limeworks Pinot Noir with Chardonnay - hence an extra reduction of Pinot Noir volume. Therefore we have had to restrict the amount of wine available to all. Looking forward, as we must do, the volumes for 2011 are much more what can be expected with the 2007 and 2008 plantings giving us their first small crop. The 2012 is down again for similar climatic conditions to 2010 but with the added benefit of young fruit coming on-stream from the 2009 plantings and 2013 has brought us to the next stage of volume for Bell Hill. We will never make a lot of wine there but we are getting closer to our goals of fruit and block complexity as well as volume over time.

We wish you well for the coming year and thank you for your continued interest in Bell Hill.

With best regards,
Sherwyn and Marcel




Awarded No. 1 - 2009 Bell Hill Pinot Noir

One of the most exciting Pinot Noirs I have tasted outside of France for a very long time. This winery, whose vineyards were planted in 1997, has come a long way in a short space of time. Charming sweet fruit and an electrifying acidity all marry to produce a wine of graceful intensity.
To review this article go to here

Will Lyons, The Wall Street Journal June 2013

Kauri Cliffs, Matauri Bay, Northland

Enjoy Chef Barry Frith's superb menu alongside Bell Hill wine pairings for an unforgettable wine dinner at Kauri Cliffs to be held on 7 September 2013, an event that both of us will also be attending.

Saturday 7th September at the special event rate of NZ$800+15% GST per person per night based on double or twin occupancy*

* Tariff includes accommodation in a suite with pre-dinner drinks and canapes, dinner by Kauri Cliff's Executive Chef Barry Firth on Saturday night will be matched with Bell Hill wines, full breakfast, complimentary mini-bar (excludes liquor and wine) and use of lodge facilities including your choice of either a day of unlimited green fees OR a 50 minute massage per person during your stay.

For further information, please visit Kauri Cliff's website
For Reservations, please contact Kauri Cliffs at or phone +64 9 407 0010.


International Pinot Noir Celebration (IPNC)

We will be participating in the International Pinot Noir Celebration and presenting our Bell Hill Pinot Noir in the Grand Seminar.  IPNC is to be held on 26-28 July 2013 in Oregon and the last time we attended was in 2005 so we look forward to returning.  The seminar will be moderated by Eric Asimov of the New York Times and author Terry Theise and one winegrower from each major Pinot Noir growing region in the world will present their wine.

Awarded Best NZ Pinot Noir - 2009 Bell Hill Pinot Noir

This tiny outpost and labour of love has delivered a pinot noir that really reflects the potential of the site and the dedicated attention to detail both in farming and winemaking.  This is a rich, complex and utterly thrilling pinot noir, with power and finesse walking hand in hand.

Nick Stock, Good Wine Guide 2013