Mélange Wines, crafted by winemaker Harrison Eaton, is a micro-boutique producer in Marlborough that produces VERY small batches of wine. Read on to learn about Mélange from Harrison himself!
“The fruit we are working with across the various vineyards works out at about 1ha, so a very small amount! As far as the Mélange label is concerned, it was basically an idea that sprung from doing a small bottling of an experimental batch. A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir (now known as Rougir), only 90 bottles were produced & I decided to name the wine Mélange (meaning “mixture” or “mish-mash” in French). The opportunity arose to play around with a small batch of Sauvignon Blanc the following vintage. A few months after being tucked away in barrel and tank, the wine was assembled and looking so good on its own, so I decided to bottle a small amount of that off, as well as the next vintage of the Sauvignon Blanc/Pinot Noir blend. It was at that point that I decided that Mélange was going to be a very apt brand name for these wines to be a part of. The opportunity to be able to mix things up and play around with techniques that I had yet to utilise in the wines I helped make with Dad under the Eaton label. Mélange and Eaton both compliment each other in the sense that what Dad (Mike) brings to the fore is his many years experience in the wine industry and helping guide me through various areas where I have less experience. And for myself, I suppose bringing forward the knowledge I have gained from talking to and learning from many of the newer “Living Wine” producers throughout NZ and being able to rediscover/better utilise some of the more ancient methods being used by these producers, such as extended time of skins for white wines, the reduced use or complete removal of sulphur and many other approaches to how the wines are made, still maintaining the integrity of the grape and not doing any more work on the wines than is needed. Nurturing & observing the wines and the process they go through without unnecessary intervention.
The songs I pair with each wine under the Mélange label are generally ones that have been blasting at the winery whilst working away on the wines, whether it’s plunging ferments, pressing off or bottling them etc. But they are also songs that to me personally, reflect the journey of each wine from vine to bottle. Its characteristics, the high notes and low notes, the different tones and the individuality/personality of each of these wines is mirrored in the songs I have chosen for them.
The journey of these wines and the emotions conveyed through them change from individual to individual. Wine is its own art form & like all art, whether it’s music, poetry, a painting, it is all subjective. But that’s what makes the experience mean so much more, is that not one person shares an identical experience. It’s also what makes wines like these unique and stand apart from the money-driven, mass-produced, soulless wines that are ever prevalent, especially when you are surrounded by it in a place like Marlborough” – Harrison Eaton