KGB Wine Club hosts Nabygelegen

July 19th, 2011 by karen

The first time I came across Nabygelegen was during the Wellington Harvest Festival this year.  I was really impressed by James Mckenzie for several reasons.  The first reason was that James was manning the table he had set up in the cellar himself and guiding people through their experience of his wines.  The second, third, fourth , fifth etc etc reasons were his amazing wines.  Every single wine I tasted, from both his Nabygelegen and Snow Mountain ranges, impressed me – both my palate and my wallet:)

James refers to himself as a “late bloomer” as he entered into the world of wine a little later in life.  He got very involved in harvests internationally and still consults on winemaking in New Zealand.  He bought the farm in 2000 and has gone about upgrading the land, the vineyards and the buildings since.

You can take a pictorial trip around the farm by looking at the photos above.  James has added a new tank and barrel cellar but still utilizes the old barrel cellar for storage and for intimate group tastings.  He has recently upgraded the magnificent guest house which sleeps 4 people, and is in the process of building a new tasting room with 360 degree views.  I cannot wait to see the finished structure as he is utilising doors from the old stable, old historical pieces which have been found on the farm, and is including a kitchen to cater for light lunches as required.

I was delighted that James was interested in joining in the fun of KGB Wine Club.  The first evening we followed up the tasting of a range of 7 wines with a couple of curries. The wines paired beautifully with the various styles of curries, the Pinot Noir & Chenin Blanc firm favourites.  The second tasting was hosted at a rustic ceramic studio in town and attended by a large group of fabulous twitter friends!  Several of the attendees, being a little more involved in the industry, invoked some great conversation around the wines.  The vote on favourites was pretty split.  Those looking for something a little “serious” raved about the Seventeen Twelve and the Chenin Blanc whilst the “easy drinking” crowd were madly enthusiastic about the white blend Lady Anna, and the red blend Scaramanga.  Personally I believe there is an occasion for each:)

Its no secret I am a wooded Chenin Blanc fan and I think Jame’s example of Chenin from old bush vines is everything I could ask for.  The Rose as well as the Lady Anna (a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and a splash of Semillon) have taken up permanent residence in our fridge as a crowd pleaser and the latter pairs with a wide range of food as well.  The Pinot Noir remains my hubby’s favourite, by a mile, and having included this in the cases I sent out in my Monthly Favourites Packs this month it was certainly the wine I received the most praise and feedback about.  The Scaramanga, apart from a memorable and intriguing name, caught my attention with its inclusion of Tempranillo in the blend, along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec.

I’m hosting another tasting on Friday and look forward to what the next crowd of wine passionista’s have to say about James’s creations

2 Responses to «KGB Wine Club hosts Nabygelegen»


  1. July 19, 2011 at 4:01 pm, Sam said:

    Looks like I missed a lovely tasting, but luckily to have been drinking a bit of nabygelegen recently anyway.


  2. July 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm, karen said:

    Thanks Sam. I could picture you in your element in that beautiful kitchen:)

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