Wine Not?

A New Kiwi Red Hits The Market

O’Dwyer’s Creek Pinot Noir is delicious and won't break the ol' bank

A new and welcome great addition to the world of kosher wine comes to us from New Zealand, from the Rapaura Marlborough wine growing region, where O’Dwyer’s Creek Vineyard is situated.

Owned and operated by Lindsay and Trish Dahlberg, the brand name O’Dwyer’s Creek is named after their sustainable- certified vineyard on O’Dwyer’s Road, near the town of Blenheim. New Zealand’s leading wine region, Marlborough, is widely considered one of the premium wine regions of the world, particularly for Sauvignon Blanc. Established in 2002 as a grower supplying grapes to other wineries, they decided to launch their own brand in 2010. Though not Jewish, the Dahlbergs actually began by producing kosher wine.

As Lindsay Dahlberg explained via a skype chat a couple of years ago, some of their Jewish friends “wondered whether we could produce kosher Marlborough wines to match the premium Marlborough non-kosher wines. We decided we could, with their assistance in getting the kosher expertise we needed, provide a quality product to what we saw as a niche market.”

As O’Dwyer’s Creek is a vineyard that makes wine in a nearby contract winemaking facility rather than an estate winery, it cannot rightly be called a fully kosher winery even though it produces only kosher wines (certified by the OU and the local Kiwi Kosher).

“We started doing kosher at the same time we moved into producing our own wine in 2010, and all wine is put on the kosher path initially,” Dahlberg noted. “In fact any non-kosher product is only a by-product of our kosher production, where for efficiency sake it is easier to have those few liters that can’t fit into kosher tanks moved to [unsupervised] non-kosher [tanks]. This is then sold off as juice to other non-kosher wine companies.”

All O’Dwyer’s wines are kosher 100 percent single estate Marlborough wines. The sauvignon blanc ($15-$19 depending on the market) is consistently a delightfully bracing and refreshing wine vintage to vintage, though best when consumed within one to two years of the vintage. The Dahlbergs also produce a chardonnay which is not exported. Starting with the 2013 vintage, they began producing pinot noir at the request of their Australian importer; the pinot noir is now being imported into the United States. It was well worth the wait.

O’Dwyers Creek, pinot noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2014 (mevushal; $30): This single-estate grown pinot is fabulous. It is beautifully fresh and refreshing, almost beguilingly breezy, with clean, robust, bright, and cherry, sour cherry, raspberry, and strawberry aromas and flavors, lean floral notes, hints of oak and traces of mocha. It is wonderfully balanced, lightly tannic with nice acidity, all seamlessly integrated, making this a real pleasure to drink—or quaff! Excellent now, but should continue to develop a little over the next 3 years or so. Served slightly chilled.  L’Chaim!


Kosher Wine

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