Charles Mills – sea captain, gold miner and former Member of Parliament and Minister of Trade & Custom 1890-1908. He’s a bit of a legend in the family tree of the name behind this iconic Hawke’s Bay producer, so you can see why they ended up naming their wines after him. As for the reef bit, nothing to do with anything he smoked but everything to do with how he spent his days – watching for reefs at sea and mining for reefs of gold.
Although their vineyards are mostly based in Hawke’s Bay their vineyard is actually just out out of Tauranga – and it’s flash as! Twenty aces of landscaped grounds, wine making and bottling facilities, an underground cellar, 150-seat restuarant and conference centre – and quite the spot to get hitched at!
This is their Mills Reef Reserve Chardonnay and it’s the style of Chardonnay that’ll float the boats of those who like ’em a little bit more rich and full bodied. Using the best grapes from two of their Hawke’s Bay vineyards, it’s had partial barrel fermentation and 10 months in oak. All in all she’s a rich, buttery style that’s just the drop to crack open with big, rich white meat and fish dishes. If seafood’s your thing try it with lobster, scallops or crab.