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STONE PADDOCK BY PARITUA SCARLET MERLOT, CABERNET FRANC, CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013
Paritua Vineyards was established on Maraekakaho Road in the Bridge Pa Triangle district by Americans Brianne Bremer Fisher and Gary Fisher in 2001 who planted vines for their first release from the 2005 vintage. The company was purchased by a group of N.Z. Chinese citizens in 2011 who have had considerable success with the wines in the Chinese market. At present, approx. 80% of the wines are exported to China, the U.K. and U.S.A, but the owners are wishing to increase their domestic presence, which is primarily in Auckland at present.
Paritua Vineyards has 53 ha of vines, this made up of 19 ha Merlot, 8.7 ha Cabernet Sauvignon, 8.8 ha Cabernet Franc, 3.44 ha Syrah, 5.8 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, 5.6 ha of Chardonnay and 1.6 ha of Malbec. A small amount of Syrah is purchased from other Bridge Pa sites and Pinot Noir from Central Otago when needed. Paritua has a modern, well-equipped 450 tonne capacity winery, though at present an average of 300 tonnes is processed annually. There are facilities for a cellar door, which is planned to be opened in October this year.
The Paritua team is small, and is headed by Jason Stent who was involved with the making of the Paritua wine releases from 2005 to 2008 while he was at Sacred Hill. (Jason was with Sacred Hill for 13 years in total.) Jason came on board with Paritua for the 2009 harvest and became chief winemaker after Evert Nizjink in 2010. He has Teresa Lincoln in administration, and recently was joined for the 2017 vintage by Amy Farnsworth, following the departure of Daniel Brennan who was the assistant winemaker. Amy, a young Canadian, has worked with wine extensively in New Zealand and overseas. Jason oversees the viticulture with a consultant, and has a team assisting with the vineyard work. Organic viticulture is an aim. Jack Wu, the managing partner lives on site.
The wines are marketed under the accessible ‘Stone Paddock’ brand, the premium ‘Paritua’ label and there is a super-premium wine named ‘Paritua 21.12’ referring to the number on Mareaekakaho Road where the vineyard and winery are sited. Here, I review a selection Stone Paddock and Paritua wines, from the 2014 and 2013 vintages.