Ant Moore

Ant Moore wines Vineyards

who? what? when? where? why? how?

who grows the grapes at Ant Moore? who makes the wines?

Anthony “Ant” Moore is a grape grower, a wine maker, and an entrepreneur through and through. He reminds us a bit of Charlie Barra in his ability to see an opportunity and then build a company to capture it.  An Australian outsider in New Zealand, Ant has built not only his own winery but saw a need to add a custom crush facility to help other small growers, making him a central figure among independent winemakers in Marlborough.

Ant oversees everything on his properties from initial site selection to farming to harvesting to work in the cellar.  He is rather unique in that so many estates in the region are run by large companies while he and his family maintain control of their venture.

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what wines do they make at Ant Moore?

Ant produces Sauvignon Blancs, Pinot Gris and a Pinot Noir that are available from Candid Wines.  For the Sauvignon’s we like the subtle, but clear shift from the Estate to the Reserve where the clean fruit of the Estate deepens and takes on a more defined minerality in the Reserve bottling.

The Pinot Gris is unlike anything we’ve tasted in Alsace, leaning more towards the bright acids of Ant’s Sauvignons, without losing a rich mouth-feel that moves the wine into a very different world in terms of food pairings than his other whites. Finally, the Pinot Noir captures the combination of power and finesse that is available to growers in Central Otago.  If you are accustomed to diving the old an new worlds between France and the US in terms of Pinot, this is a bottling to try as it offers a different, intriguing direction to consider.

Wines of Ant Moore in CandidWines

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when did Ant Moore start?

Ant moved to New Zealand in 2002 after working a few vintages in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. In 2004 he enlisted the help of his brother and the best tractor driver and  they knew, and quickly started digging in and planting for what would become Ant Moore Wines.

Since that time they’ve established vineyards in prime locations around Marlborough, starting with a vineyard that sits on a ridge in the Waihopai Valley and building from that rather secluded spot.

Organic vineyard Ant Moore


where is Ant Moore?

In Marlborough Ant is growing Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, and little bit of Riesling. Further south, just over the fault line and into the Schist rich soils of Central Otago, Ant is sourcing Pinot Noir grapes from his favorite sites to blend together for his Central Otago Pinot Noir.

Ant Moore production

We love Ant’s description of his home vineyard: “My first land purchase was on a hidden ridge in the Waihopai Valley. Considered by some to be too harsh and cold for grapes, I knew it was perfect from the moment I serendipitously set foot on it, and then did all I could to ensure it was mine. My first vineyard is called Ant’s nest, and is my home. The animals depicted on my label all reside here, and give hours of pleasure and excitement to my children, who roam the vineyard in search of adventure. Bounded on one side by the Omaka River, and exposed to the prevailing north westerly winds on the other, it is a fantastic site, and a place of which I never tire and constantly marvel at the changing of the seasons and sunrises and sunsets.

why is Ant Moore a Candid Wine?

 Gabrielle Simmers of And Co recommended Ant Moore and his tremendous wines to us.  The underlying nature of the vineyard is present, and Ant Moore tries to preserve this. The “house style“ is typified by lemon lime, stone fruits and citrus, with minerality and tightness on the palate.

In addition to the style of both the whites and the Pinot Noir, we like that the estate is a counterpoint to the mass production typical in the area.   There is more to Marlborough than cat pee and grassy notes…

Aluminium Fermentation process Ant Moore

how is the wine made at Ant Moore?

Whites and red are destemmed but each will stay in contact with lees for an extended period.  The whites are gently pressed in a bladder press and then left to sit on their lees for a number of days before being racked.  There is a particular focus on this stage for the Pinot Gris where mouthfeel is central to Ant’s conception of the wine.  Oak aging is minimal with, only 8% on the Reserve Sauvignon Blanc.

The Pinot Noir is hand picked and then destemmed, but left to macerate for an extended period before and then during fermentation.  It is aged in a mix of new and used oak with an emphasis on preserving fruit, not adding weight from the barrel.

Wine Production Ant Moore