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!
Using classic Bordeaux varieties and produced from the Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay, this Reserve label red is a little over half soft, juicy Merlot to just under half Malbec (which gives the wine a lovely dark colour and black pepper flavour). From a great 2015 vintage in Hawke’s Bay (the third in a row) – keep an eye on this one!