Tinpot Hut – Welcoming NZ to the Women’s Wine Alliance


Fiona Turner – Owner/Winemaker Tinpot Hut Wines and Lauren Koenig – Copa Fina, Wine Importer & Distributor

This week I had the pleasure of attending the Women’s Wine Alliance lunch at Herringbone with Fiona Turner, owner and winemaker of Tinpot Hut Wines from Marlborough, NZ. I felt honoured to sit beside Fiona and hear her story of how she became a winemaker.

Fiona completed her Masters Degree in Chemistry and became intrigued by the wine industry. She spent time in Napa mastering her craft and travelled back to New Zealand to develop her home block in the Awatere Valley, which is part of the Marlborough region. She and her husband Hamish purchased the land in 2003.

Tinpot Hut is known as a boutique sustainable wine producer. As this land was originally part of a sheep farming station, the winery is named after Tinpot huts, where sheep farmers found respite from nasty weather.

I was impressed by Fiona’s humbleness about receiving the equal highest score ever for a Sauvignon Blanc – a 98 point score from the UK Decanter Magazine. This winning vintage was the 2016 Tinpot Hut Sauvignon Blanc.  An interesting fun fact is that Jamie Oliver always carries Tinpot Hut wine in his cellar!

The four wines we tasted from Tinpot Hut were:

  • 2017 Pinot Gris
  • 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2016 Grüner Veltliner
  • 2015 Pinot Noir

The 2017 Pinot Gris had a nice floral aroma with a hint of pear. You could taste the pear with a hint of spice. Very drinkable. 

The 2017 Sauvignon Blanc had the typical grassy aroma – very fresh. You could taste the fresh fruit flavour of passionfruit and grapefruit and minerality. This wine was so delicious and I’ll be buying some soon! 84% of this wine is exported. What might be one of the success factors of this wine, is that floods cause the rich soil to come down, creating a more rich volatile soil for growing.

The 2016 Grüner Veltliner had a floral scent, with a taste of apples, and a hint of pepper. Again, another very drinkable wine! This wine was grown on 7 acres producing 500 cases. 

Our last wine during our lunch was the 2015 Pinot Noir. This wine comes from three vineyard sources, from clay based soil. This is a widely planted grape for this region. This is a light to medium bodied wine with some tannin. I found this wine was more earthy than fruity. Again – very much enjoyed. 

During our lunch, I did see most people drinking their glasses of wine, versus a taste or spitting it! This to me is a great testament to the quality and enjoyment of Tinpot Hut Wines.

Let me know what you think if you try a bottle. To get a bottle of any of these amazing wines in the U.S., check out Copa Fina as they are the U.S. importer and distributor!