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Elephant Hill's Salome Tops NZ Wine Tasting by Master of Wine & International Wine Critic Rebecca Gibb MW.

Elephant Hill 2019 Salome Chardonnay

Elephant Hill’s 2019 Salomé Chardonnay, from Hawke’s Bay, was awarded the highest score (97/100 points) by Rebecca Gibb, a respected UK-based Master of Wine, in her latest New Zealand white wine report and tasting of over 250 wines published March 15th in the prominent international publication Antonio Galloni ‘Vinous’

The Elephant Hill wine topped a long list of wines from many of New Zealand’s renowned producers, including Felton Road, Craggy Range, Pyramid Valley, Neudorf, Cloudy Bay, Dog Point, Escarpment and Greywacke.

Rebecca says 'The 2019 Chardonnay Salomé is a robust mouthful of a wine. It is a focused, taut and well-defined Chardonnay. While only medium in body the fruit from the coastal vineyard of Te Awanga and the warmer, more inland parcel in the Bridge Pa Triangle combines to make a rich, intense yet refreshing, salty yet savoury expression. The high-quality French oak provides toasted-hazelnut-like characters alongside ripe nectarine fruit and smoky bacon. Startlingly good.'

Salomé is Elephant Hill’s top tier Chardonnay, named after a well-loved ancestor of the family who own the boutique winery located on the Te Awanga coast in Hawke’s Bay. The wine is produced from meticulously hand tended, hand harvested, low cropped Chardonnay mostly from Elephant Hill’s coastal Te Awanga ‘Sea’ vineyard, blended with Chardonnay from their Bridge Pa Triangle ‘Earth’ vineyard. The highest quality fruit combined with an outstanding 2019 vintage season has resulted in this exceptional wine.

Only 1320 bottles/110 cases of 2019 Salomé were produced. It is ready to drink now or will age gracefully till at least 2030. The recommended retail price is NZ$75.00 per bottle

This accolade for Elephant Hill continues the growing recognition that the Hawke’s Bay’s wine region and its quality-focussed Chardonnay producers have been garnering at home and around the world. They are fast showing that New Zealand has much more to offer besides the already globally recognised Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough.    

Rebecca Gibb MW is an award-winning wine journalist, author of The Wines of New Zealand and one of only 409 Masters of Wine in the world. A former winner of the UK’s Young Wine Writer of the Year and the inaugural Louis Roederer Emerging Wine Writer of the Year, Rebecca became a Master of Wine in 2015. In a record class of 24 graduates, she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Madame Bollinger medal in recognition of her outstanding tasting ability. Having lived in New Zealand for six years (2010-2016), Rebecca has since returned to her roots in the north of England where she lives with her Kiwi husband and six-year-old son.

Vinous has subscribers in over 100 countries and is one of the most respected wine publications in the world.



Welcome to the 2021 release of our Icons and Limited Edition wines.

The 2018 and 2019 vintages are the first two in a run of exceptional years for Hawke’s Bay wines.

When we are blessed by Mother Nature, the stars align and we get the perfect combination of benign Spring weather, with no frosts to damage young buds or shoots, followed by a warm and dry summer with just enough rain, leading to an Indian summer for the critical Autumn ripening period where settled mild weather helps build up the layers of flavours and sugars in the grapes, before an ideal harvest in dry conditions. These conditions do not occur every year, but when they do, we are able to produce our top tiers of wines: Icon and Limited Edition.

In this offer we are pleased to release our 2018 reds, two in the Icon range: Hieronymus and Airavata which are the absolute pinnacles of Elephant Hill’s Bordeaux style red blends, and Syrah, respectively. These are the most hedonistic and refined expressions of these varieties that we produce.

And three 2018 Stone reds in our Limited Edition range: a STONE Syrah, and rare bottlings of STONE Cabernet Sauvignon and STONE Cabernet Franc. Our Stone wines all come from our Gimblett Gravels vineyard and they are wines that really reflect the place they were grown, they are a voice of the vineyard, distinctive and characterful. 2018 was a phenomenal year for the Cabernet varieties so we decided to bottle small volumes of the two single varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc separately, as the wines were simply so good we did not want to blend them all into the Hieronymus.

For Chardonnay lovers, we have our two 2019 whites; Salomé from the Icon range and the SEA Chardonnay. Both wines were produced in limited volumes this year with the Salomé being the ‘best of the best’ of our Chardonnay, our most luxurious bottling, While the Sea Chardonnay is a unique and distinctive expression of this variety grown in our coastal vineyard by the Pacific Ocean, with more freshness, saline and oyster shell characters weaved into the wine. Something for everyone…

Whatever might interest you, do take advantage of this offer while the wines remain available.

Enjoy the wines now or cellar somewhere safe for years to come.




Father's Day gifting guide

Looking for some inspiration for this upcoming Father's Day? We have a few ideas for you.

Airavata Syrah Vertical $330
Power and finesse
Three beautifully aged Airavata from some of the finest vintages in Hawke's Bay. This vertical includes the 2013, 2014, 2015 vintages and a complimentary premium Teflon coated corkscrew. These wines still have many years to go so don't rush to open!

Salomé Chardonnay Vertical $220
Sophisticated and fragrant
This vertical includes the 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages. Salomé is a classic cellaring style, with great fruit purity and impressive complexity. 

Reds for Dad $110
Hawke's Bay Classic
 Full-bodied red blends might be the ultimate choice! This set includes the 2015 Merlot Malbec, 2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc & 2016 Le Phant Rouge

July 2020 Journal

June 2020 Journal

Click here to read the full version

"Elegance, refinement, purity: these are the watchwords at Elephant Hill"- Corney & Barrow

"Their philosophy respects the time-honoured approaches of the Old World, while harnessing modern techniques to refine them for the Hawke’s Bay.  There is no mistaking the appreciation for France’s classic fine wine regions and Elephant Hill honours them. This is particularly evident in the estate Chardonnay and Syrah, for which Elephant Hill is achieving increasing critical acclaim." 

"Classicists of the New World, Elephant Hill shines a light on the Hawke’s Bay, a fine wine region in its ascendancy."

Article by Rebecca Palmer – Associate Director & Buyer at Corney & Barrow
Click here to read the full article

Tom Cannavan reviewed Elephant Hill Wines

2015 Reserve Chardonnay
93 points
Salinity, flint and creamy minerality to spare in this lovely Chardonnay, smokiness and a little mint humbug buttery quality. The palate is beautiful, ripe pear and apple, a big thrust of lime and tangerine acidity into a long, balanced finish. 

2016 Salomé

93 points
Majority of the Chardonnay grapes came from the Te Awanga vineyard, with 17% from Bridge Pa Triangle. Matured in French oak, 34% new. A little more toastiness and buttery/oatmeally quality than the Reserve, a little Jack Daniel note, there is a fat lemony fruit and acid quality, and the phenolic grip and acid gives it fine presence and length, finishing with spice and nuttiness.

2018 Sea Sauvignon Blanc
90 pointsInspired by the coastal vineyards of Te Awanga, 50% was fermented in 500-litre oak puncheons and 50% in stainless steel. Peaches and stone fruits, passion fruit and star fruit, talcumy notes and then a big blast of orange and pink grapefruit on the palate with mouth-filling, ripe acidity. 

2016 Stone Syrah
92 points
Stone, represents the Gimblett Gravels, the source of the fruit for this Syrah, which has a lovely bold and plush appeal, ripe blackcurrant fruit with great juiciness, a hint of floral and peppery lift. Fruit is rich, tannins are silky, and the acidity balanced. 

2013 Airavata
94 points
From a great vintage, this is 99% Syrah with 1% Viognier, the fruit coming from Gimblett Gravels and the coastal Te Awanga vineyards. Creamy ripe black fruit on the nose, though plenty of pepper and spice, a crack of black pepper. The silkiness of the tannins and plush fruit gives a smooth, dense mouthfeel and great presence. 

2017 Airavata
93 points
In 2017 this is all Gimblett Gravels fruit, though still with 1% Viognier in the blend. This was bottled, but pre-release tasting of this vintage. Lifted violet and florals, more than the 2013 in this very young wine, such an intense kirsch-like fruit. On the palate it still has that cherry and red plum succulence, but there is cocoa and smokiness and good balancing acid. 

Your online experience is about to get even better!

Some of you might have heard it through the grapevines....
Yes, we have transformed the Elephant Hill website and you're in it now!

While we have kept the overall website design fairly similar, we have added some new functionalities which will make your shopping experience easier! We have also added features especially for our Wine Club members which offer more flexibility to tailor each shipment!

Tempted to join? 

Elephant Hill adapts to new trading environment, refocuses on wine

Dear friends of Elephant Hill,                                                            
We hope this email finds you safe and well, regardless of where you are during these extraordinary times. 

As you can imagine, COVID-19's impact on New Zealand's tourism and hospitality businesses is hitting hard. Here at Elephant Hill Winery in Te Awanga, Hawke's Bay, so much of our business is dependent on international visitors and wine sales to restaurants and bars across New Zealand and around the world. 

That is why we are reorganising our business with plans to strengthen and grow our wine business and our winery, creating a more immersive wine experience for visitors (when you return) and exploring ways we can connect with you, our loyal friends and fans, in new ways.

Our restaurant is currently closed under COVID-19 Level 4 restrictions and safe and responsible trading is likely to be some time away. Reluctantly, we made the decision it will not re-open. Regrettably, this means job losses in our restaurant team. 

Much thought has gone into our decision, and we are very sad to be losing great people who have contributed so much to Elephant Hill and the unique experience we offer our visitors. Please know that we are doing everything we can to support them at this difficult time. 

Looking toward to the future, we are committed to evolving the unique Elephant Hill wine experience and showcasing the philosophy of excellence and innovation that is at the heart of everything we do. We very much look forward to welcoming visitors, local and international, back to the Winery in the not-too-distant future.

In the meantime, you will be pleased to know you can still order your favourite Elephant Hill wines and have them delivered right to your door. We look forward to being of service to you!

Stay safe,

The Weiss Family
Elephant Hill Winery
24th April 2020

The secret is out!

We are thrilled to share this news with you! 

The 2015 Airavata Syrah and 2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc Cabernet Merlot have been awarded a Double Gold Medal and our 2017 Salomé Chardonnay also picked up a Gold Medal from 2019 Six Nations Wine Challenge

The Six Nations Wine Challenge is one of the most prestigious annual wine shows in the world. The challenge engages one of the leading wine critics in each of the six nations: Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Chile and South Africa, inviting the top 100 wines the country offers for judging. The 6 critics then form the panel of judges that assess the 600 wines in Sydney, across 16 classes, to find some of the greatest wines of the new world producing nations. Bob Campbell MW is New Zealand’s representative Judge.

Elephant Hill picked up two spots at Gimblett Gravels Annual Selection 2017

Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers District is home to some of New Zealand's finest full-bodied red wines. And for the challenging 2017 vintage, both our Airavata and Stone Syrah were selected by Sydney based Master of Wine, Andrew Caillard MW to represent the growing district. 

Although the two selected Syrahs are not available for purchase yet, current vintages are available online 2015 Airavata , 2016 Stone Syrah

Since the 2008 vintage, a range of twelve Gimblett Gravels red wines have been independently selected to represent the winegrowing district and it is our pleasure to be listed with other great Gimblett Gravels producers.
Click here to find out more about Gimblett Gravels Annual Selection

Michael Cooper reviewed Elephant Hill's latest Icon release

2015 Airavata Syrah

An emerging star. The very classy, stylish 2015 vintage (5*) was estate-grown and hand-harvested in the Gimblett Gravels (71 per cent) and at Te Awanga (29 per cent), co-fermented with a splash of Viognier (1.7 per cent of the blend), and matured for 26 months in French oak casks (40 per cent new). It has deep, bright, youthful colour, with a beautifully fragrant, fresh, spicy bouquet. A full-bodied, graceful, supple red, it has concentrated, plummy, slightly peppery and nutty flavours, savoury notes adding complexity, and a very harmonious, finely textured, persistent finish. Already delicious, but still unfolding, it should break into full stride from 2022 onwards.

2015 Hieronymus

The powerful, sturdy, rich 2015 vintage (5*) is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (41 per cent), Merlot (22 per cent), Cabernet Franc (17 per cent), Malbec (12 per cent) and Tempranillo (8 per cent), estate-grown in the Gimblett Gravels (58 per cent) and the Bridge Pa Triangle (42 per cent). Matured for 26 months in French oak casks (50 per cent new), it is a boldly coloured, fruit-packed red, with a fragrant, spicy bouquet. Still youthful, it is full-bodied, with dense, well-ripened blackcurrant, plum, spice and nut flavours, hints of pepper and licorice, good tannin backbone, and a long, very harmonious finish. Best drinking 2022+.


2017 Salomé

The very youthful, tightly structured 2017 vintage (5*) was estate-grown at Te Awanga (principally) and in the Bridge Pa Triangle, and fermented and matured for a year in French oak casks (33 per cent new). Bright, light lemon/green, it has an inviting, complex, fragrant bouquet. Intensely flavoured, it is vibrant, peachy and citrusy, with well-integrated, biscuity oak, good acid spine and a persistent, harmonious finish. Full-bodied, crisp and highly concentrated, with obvious potential, it's well worth cellaring to 2022+.