Snapper Rock WInery has been on our portfolio from the first day we started shipping our own wines into Ireland. So it is fair to say that they are now considered part of our extended family. When I first met James Leary, founder of Snapper Rock Winery, I was immediately impressed by his relaxed approach to the wine industry. “Make good wine and get it into peoples glass. The rest looks after itself”.  His viewpoint perfectly matched his easy-going manner, and we hit it off right away.

Even more interesting was his family connection to Ireland. Descended from King Loegaire (many spellings) 425-428 AD. The original family name of Laoghair, changed to Leary. Even though his family has never had any connection to wine until James purchased his first land in Marlborough in 2007. He says that he has yet to meet a Leary who doesn’t enjoy wine!

I have been importing many New Zealand wine brands throughout my career, but I had yet to find a winery that could provide me with a very high quality, well priced selection. Once I tasted through their wines I knew I had found a perfect balance for my needs.

Marlborough’s rolling valleys carved by ancient riverbeds and bright, long summer days with cool nights are ideal for the production of crisp, zesty whites and suave cool climate reds. Sauvignon Blanc propelled Marlborough onto the international stage and has ensured rapid growth over the last twenty years. Snapper Rock Winery is one of a small bevy of boutique producers tending special blocks within the valleys, always looking to unleash Marlborough’s potential, and crafting wines of the land, pure, taut and focused.

Snapper Rock Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – is sourced from their famous block ‘O’ in the Omaka subregion of the Wairau Valley. 100% single vineyard fruit from block O delivers slow consistent ripening and fruit forward characteristics, whilst still retaining a backbone of minerality. The result is a perfect balance of fresh fruit notes and fine minerality and crisp acidity.

Paul’s tasting noteFresh and attractively fragrant bouquet of white peach and lime zest. The aroma has that “Hmmmnnnn” effect when you put the glass to your nose. You just know it’s going to be a winner. The palate is just ‘wow’! Fresh, crisp and packed with melon and citrus notes, juicy acidity with mineral tones and lengthy crisp finish. This wine is generous and delivers in every area.


Snapper Rock Marlborough Pinot Gris – Grapes are harvested in the early hours of the morning to preserve fruit purity. The grapes are slowly and gently pressed and after a long fermentation the wine was aged on fine lees (grape sediment) for 6 weeks to allow the natural grape yeasts to infuse into the wine and the body weight of the wine to develop.

Did you know?  Pinot Gris is the same grape as Pinot Grigio, however the 2 wines have completely different styles. Most Pinot Grigio is light bodied and medium dry in style and is mainly found in Italy and northern & eastern Europe.

Pinot Gris has it’s origins in the Alsace region of northern France. Wines made from this grape typically have a fuller body and more fruit concentration, and would range from dry to medium dry. This style is achieved by ageing the fermented wine on its ‘lees’ (grape sediment) to extract the natural yeast characters which give body and texture to the wine. Nowadays Pinot Gris has found a new home in Marlborough, New Zealand, where it has gained a global reputation for its dry and intensely fruity style.

Paul’s tasting note – A refreshingly dry Pinot Gris with great concentration. Attractive aromas of apricot mingle with fresh fig. The palate has a rounded core with flavours of ripe stone fruits, entwined with delicate notes of tropical fruits and exotic flowers. Great wine for sipping as well as pairing with fish and Asian seafood dishes.


Snapper Rock Marlborough Pinot Noir– Sourced from a single vineyard in the new sub-region of Ward Valley, southern Marlborough. Deep clay loam soils with traces of limestone. Hand picked and hand sorted, the grapes were gently de-stemmed and then fermented in small open top fermenters and hand plunged 4 times per day. Very gently pressed, the wine was aged with French oak for 4 months prior to light filtration before bottling.

Paul’s tasting note – Bright garnet red in colour. Perfumed nose of fresh cherries, cinnamon and all-spice with savoury undertones. Spicy tannins are matched with fresh crushed red berries and dried herbs on the palate. Packed with fruit flavour with a light oak influence. This is a great example of a modern New Zealand Pinot Noir. Fruit driven and delicious.


Published by Paul Flynn – Wine Department, MCM Brands.

Check out our Wine Brochure for more details on Snapper Rock Winery and other wines.