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2017 Picnic Riesling

About the wine

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Featuring the Proprietor’s Grandfather, Sydney Neill – Wine Merchant, on the label, Picnic Riesling is our perennial favourite and a wonderful introduction to the pleasure of Central Otago Riesling.  We think it is just as much a dinner wine as a luncheon – equally enjoyable at home outdoors, as at the Captain’s Table. Organically grown on two small blocks at Two Paddocks home vineyard (HQ), The Red Bank Farm & Vineyard, in Earnscleugh Alexandra. Hand harvested and crafted in to a delicious off-dry fresh style appealing to just about everyone on the planet…

Tasting Notes

Vintage Comment:

After a very mild winter the soil temperature at the beginning of Spring was warmer than usual resulting in a solid growth start with reasonable bud burst conditions. The fruit set (bunch formation) was in the first week of December and was relatively consistent.  This set up a reasonable and balanced crop load on the Red Bank Vineyard Riesling blocks. After this period ‘The Wind’ started and was relentless until the start of March, when thankfully the more typical warm and dry late summer weather patterns of Central Otago were experienced until harvest in April.

Vineyard Management:

Own roots – cane cuttings from Felton Road. Single cane, one bunch per shoot and very close planted at 5500 vines per hectare.  Both shoot and lateral thinned to reduce crop load. Leaves that expose the grapes when ripening are also plucked off to increase sunlight exposure in to the vine canopy. Hand harvested on the 15th of April 2017.

Soil: Schist parent soil material. Gravelly loam silt topsoil.

Winemaker’s Notes:

White flower, frangipani, kaffir, lime and spice aromatics, leading to a textural mouthfeel showing brightness, minerality and drive.  The wine finishes with a lithe balanced persistence.


pH: 3.00                      TA: 8.7 g/L                   Alc: 12.5 %                   R/S: Off dry, 10-12g/L

Proprietor: Sam Neill              Viticulturist: Mike Wing             Winemaker: Dean Shaw    

Bottled: September 2017         Total Production: 570 cases      Cellaring: 2017 – 2022

Picnic by Two Paddocks Riesling 2017



Award / Reviewer Date Rating Review
Michael Cooper, The Listener Jun 2019 4.5 Stars

Grown near Alexandra, this is an attractively scented, medium bodied wine (12.5% alc/vol) with excellent intensity of vigorous, citrusy flavours, a sliver of sweetness and a long, crisp finish.

Decanter, November 2018 Anne Krebiehl MW Oct 2018 Full marks

For sheer fun, enjoyment, exuberance and levity this just off-dry Riesling gets full marks. It is light and fresh with vivid green apple and bright lemon notes. The palate is zesty and oh so juicy. Underneath is serious intent and enough stuffing to allow for some bottle age – but don’t let that hold you back. Drink 2018-2025 Alc 12.5% Nick Stock Contributing Editor Oct 2018 90 Points

Quite bright lime and green-apple aromas with a light, herbal overlay. The palate delivers bright and easy apple and elderflower flavors. Really attractive. Drink now.

Michael Cooper's NZ Wines 2018 Buyer's Guide Jun 2018

Certified organic, the 2017 vintage (4.5* ) was estate-grown and hand-picked in the Red Bank Vineyard, at Earnscleugh, near Alexandra. Made in an an off-dry style, it is pale lemon/green, with excellent intensity of vigorous, citrusy flavours, a sliver of sweetness and a long, crisp finish. Already drinking well, it should be at its best 2020+.

Cameron Douglas, MS Feb 2018 94 Points

The aromas, textures and flavours derived from a wild fermentation show well with wild flowers, wild fruits and white fleshed pears; some honeysuckle, a touch of 'funk' and old wood or lees notes. Buy! Very nice wine