Wines Made Without Recipes

"We very much believe in a minimalist approach, treading a path that incorporates both tradition and innovation, embracing both science and artistry. We feel philosophies should not trump sense of place or origin, which is paramount to the sincerity of the wine." 

Blank Canvas Core Collection

Our core collection focuses on four key varieties, produced every year.

Our two Sauvignon Blanc wines, from the coastal Holdaway Vineyard in Dillons Point, are very different in style. The classic Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is what we like to call ‘Sauvignon Blanc for grown-ups’. It has a near bone-dry palate profile and an oyster shell, saline character, fleshed out with passionfruit and blackcurrant.

Our ‘Abstract’ Sauvignon Blanc is handpicked, whole-bunch pressed and wild fermented in seasoned French oak puncheons (500L), portraying an alternative, savoury Sauvignon Blanc style, which we then bottle unfiltered. Both of these wines are Appellation Marlborough Wine™ (AMW) endorsed. 

Our Chardonnay is from the ‘Reed’ vineyard further inland in the Waihopai Valley to the west of the Blenheim township. This wine is also fermented with wild yeasts in large French oak puncheons. It goes through natural malolactic conversion and rests undisturbed throughout winter and spring, bottled unfiltered the following harvest. 

We like to show the differences in single site expression with Pinot Noir. The Upton Downs’ Pinot Noir is from the Upper Awatere in the Awatere Valley, while the ‘Escaroth’ Pinot Noir is from the unique, dry-farmed eponymous vineyard in the Taylor Pass. These both have varying degrees of whole-bunch fermentation as we love the perfume and fragrance this gives to the wine. Following our minimalist philosophy these wines are bottled unfiltered. From time to time we will also release one-off, limited edition Pinot Noir. 

Our Syrah is from the ‘Element’ vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels winegrowing district. This is unique for its co-fermentation with a small percentage of Gruner Veltliner skins – a world first. The Syrah has a high degree of whole bunch fermentation (~60%), and is a true cool climate Syrah expression focused on floral fragrance and savoury nuances, also bottled unfiltered. We are members of the Gimblett Gravels® Association. 

Blank Canvas Specialist Collection

Our Specialist Collection centers on alternative varieties and styles which may not be produced every year. This includes our Gruner Veltliner, recognised consistently as the highest scoring Gruner Veltliner outside of Austria, and has cemented Blank Canvas as New Zealand’s Gruner Veltliner specialist.

Our love of Pradikatswein German wines has inspired the remaining two wines, with the Riesling being a Kabinett-style with just 8.5% abv and ~25g/l RS, while the ‘Meta’ Riesling is a luscious Beerenauslese-style at 167g/l RS. The ‘Meta’ is only produced in exceptional botrytis years and because of the extraordinary conditions in 2018 yielding good stocks, we won’t need to make another for a good while yet.