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If you're a Chardonnay fan, this is a must try. It's big on flavour and small on volume. Just 586 bottles of this big creamy Chardonnay were made from the sun drenched, north facing Wrekin Vineyard in Marlborough. 

All grapes were hand picked and whole cluster pressed into barrels for fermentation on solids, which provide all the delicious depth of flavour and complexity that come through in this savoury, dry, full bodied white. Its creamy notes come from both the barrel ferment and it has pronounced yeasty flavours, known as autolytic characters; the same as those sensational notes found in good champagne and top end sparkling wine. 

The story of Astrolabe

Diversity, history and family ownership are among the reasons to try the outstanding range of wines from Astrolabe, which was founded in 1996 in Marlborough by winemaker Simon Waghorn and his partner in life and wine, Jane. 

Simon has forged a reputation for being one of New Zealand's most respected producers of aromatic white wines after winning an almost embarrassingly long string of awards for his Sauvignon Blancs. He has also forged a name for adventurously diverse winemaking - he produces dry flinty whites from the most southern vineyard in Marlborough at Kekerengu on the coast about an hour's drive south of Blenheim. He is the only winemaker to produce wines from here. 

He is also one of the few in this country to make Albarino, Chenin Blanc and a consistently outstanding range of wines from the organically certified hillside sloping site that is the Wrekin Vineyard in Marlborough. 

The winery remains family owned and is now run by two generations, including Simon and Jane as well as their adult daughters. 

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