Women in Wine

Discover the wines, culture and land of beautiful New Zealand. Meet Leigh Teece and the women of Mt. Beautiful.

 

 
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the WINEs

Mt. Beautiful wines are not only different from most New Zealand wines by way of their location in North Canterbury, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach, with harmony and balance. 

The grapes for Mt. Beautiful wines express individual character and complexity, as well as refinement and quality.  These wines capture the essence of Mt. Beautiful:  balance, harmony and, yes, beauty.

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The culture

New Zealand has a very unique and dynamic culture. The culture of its indigenous Maori people affects the language, the arts, and even the accents of all New Zealanders. Their place in the South Pacific, and their love of the outdoors, sport, and the arts make New Zealanders and their culture unique in the world.

Leigh chose the property of the Teeces' first New Zealand home in the artistic haven of Richmond/Nelson on the north shore of the South Island, after it captured the hearts of her and her four growing children. 

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the land

Mt. Beautiful lies in the heart of North Canterbury, on the South Island of New Zealand. The Kaikoura Seaward Mountains lie to the North, while the Wairau River borders us to the North as well. The vineyard rests under its namesake, Mt. Beautiful, which crowns the coastal range to the East, and protects the vineyards from the ocean winds. 

Leigh and David Teece sought out this new region because it shares many of the best qualities of New Zealand’s most admired wine growing regions.

 

 

The Land & Vineyard

 

Welcome to Mt. Beautiful, an island of beauty in the picturesque Cheviot Hills district of North Canterbury, New Zealand. It’s a stunning land where the hands of women lie easily on the natural world, one that is ideally suited to creating remarkable wines that are both charming and elegant.

Like much of the South Island, this is a rural region with a long farming tradition. Over the past few years we have carefully guided the transition from farmland to vines, slowly evolving our property into a colourful tapestry that nestles comfortably on the local landscape. Our goal is not to transform the land, but to honor it.  

We hope you enjoy exploring New Zealand's Mt. Beautiful, its culture and land, and that it gives you as much pleasure as it gives us. We hope you will join us in this journey, and try our Mt Beautiful wines. When you do, please let us know what you think of them!

 

 
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The Family Legacy

 

Forging a new path in premium winemaking in the country's undiscovered region of Cheviot Hills.

Inspired by the natural beauty of New Zealand, the idea to cultivate a farm and winery in New Zealand happened as an epiphany moment for Leigh. The importance of bringing her family story back to the home-country of her husband, David Teece, to build their legacy there, was realized in 2003.

As we nurtured this idea, we fell in love with the Cheviot Hills of North Canterbury, on New Zealand’s South Island, on the east coast just south of Marlborough.  

Our farm lies in the rural Cheviot Spotswood Basin, sheltered by Mt. Beautiful in the coastal range to the east and the Kaikoura Mountains to the north. This naturally protected bowl creates the perfect conditions for wine grapes to mature to full ripeness while still maintaining great freshness and character.

The vines are perched on a series of terraced tablelands, which are divided by a deep gully the locals call “The Chasm.” This deep channel draws away the cold air in the wintertime, naturally protecting the vineyard from frost. Each vineyard block is planted on a terrace to catch the optimum rays of the sun, and the gravelly soils are well-drained, creating ideal conditions for growing world class grapes.

Like the classic wine regions of New Zealand, our vineyard enjoys a temperate climate with warm, dry summer breezes ideal for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Riesling.
 

 
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Through the Eyes of Women Wine Lovers

 

Inspired by the beauty of New Zealand and its stunning wines, Leigh and David Teece founded Mt. Beautiful Wines in the North Canterbury region of New Zealand in 2004. Rather than settling in one of North Canterbury’s proven wine growing areas, the Teeces pioneered a previously undiscovered area of the region - the picturesque district of Cheviot Hills. Here they built one of New Zealand’s rising star wineries.

After earning first class honors in the subject at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, David Teece moved to the United States where he completed his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to being the Tusher professor of global business at the University of California Berkeley, David is a founder of the well-respected Berkeley Research Group LLC.

Leigh Teece is quite accomplished as well, having graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the highly-acclaimed Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, and cum laude with a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from her father's alma mater, the University of Southern California. Leigh is a native Californian who grew up working in a real estate family in Southern California, followed by educational research in Michigan, international banking in San Francisco and venture capital in Silicon Valley. While raising four children, Leigh branched into mentoring, innovation and advising.

Needless to say, Leigh and David have been very successful in their various endeavors, so when they decided to start a winery in New Zealand, there was no question it would be something spectacular. Building the family winery was Leigh’s idea. She longed to participate in the artistic culture of New Zealand that embraces the vibrant wine industry, and she was inspired by the beauty of her family's new, second homeland. Entrepreneurs at heart and not wanting to follow in others’ footsteps, they brought together a team of experts and charged them with finding a new sub-region capable of producing premium wines. They decided that North Canterbury on New Zealand's South Island provided the ideal terroir.

The Cheviot Hills wine region of North Canterbury was thus born. Under the guidance of consulting viticulturist Murray Paterson and geologist Ron Sutherland, the first vines planted in 2004 were Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Riesling. The Teeces named their vineyard Mt. Beautiful after a remarkable nearby landmark and the new family business was on its way. Honored in the design of the labels for Mt. Beautiful was David’s father, Allan Teece, who served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in North Africa, Palestine and Italy from 1940 to 1945. The meticulous handwritten letters that Allan sent home during those precarious years served as the inspiration for the label and the lettering for ‘Mt. Beautiful’ was crafted from his precious, well-preserved letters. The first vintage of Mt. Beautiful fruit was harvested in 2007.

Mt. Beautiful's first vintage was released in September of 2008. The public immediately knew they had something special. Being the first of its kind in a new wine region, Mt. Beautiful realized a competitive edge on other New Zealand wines as they were honored country-wide. Much of the credit can be given to the exceptional team Leigh and David assembled to be the force behind the Mt. Beautiful brand. When they embarked on this new journey, the Teeces put together a group of local experts in every field needed and their efforts have paid off. From their veteran winemaker Sam Weaver and his son, Ben, to internationally recognized vineyard management, the quality of Mt. Beautiful’s wine and its team was as good as it gets.

Mt. Beautiful's quality is reflected in the beauty and character of the vineyard. Respect for the land and local community are of utmost importance at Mt. Beautiful. It is a paramount goal to achieve a sustainable functioning landscape that can be enjoyed and utilized for generations to come. All the ingredients continue to manifest at Mt. Beautiful, and no where is it more prevalent than in its consistent releases of award-winning, highly rated wines. It goes without saying that Mt. Beautiful wines, now sold in 40 states in the U.S. and several countries globally, have a glowing future around the world.

 

 
 
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A Handcrafted Approach

 

The grapes for Mt. Beautiful wines are grown on our own vineyard and crafted by renowned winemaker Sam Weaver and his son, Ben. They express individual character and complexity, as well as refinement and quality. These wines capture the essence of Mt. Beautiful:  balance, harmony and, yes, beauty.

Mt. Beautiful wines are not only different from most New Zealand wines by way of their location in North Canterbury, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach, with harmony and balance.

 

 
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Receive First Access to Exclusive Wines

 

Mt. Beautiful wines are not only different from most New Zealand wines by way of their North Canterbury location, but they are also different in style. The wine style captures the essence of New Zealand while embracing a more restrained approach, with harmony and balance:

 

• Sauvignon Blanc that restrains grassiness while playing up the decadent tropical flavors and crisp finish

• Opulent, round Pinot Gris showing apples, pears and a touch of honey

• Velvety yet crisp Chardonnay with notes of stone fruits and persistent minerality

• Riesling offering a textural adventure of bright acidity and off-dry floral and citrus flavors

• Subtle, sophisticated Pinot Noir featuring black cherry and violet aromas

• Traditionally made Rosé with hints of fresh-cut watermelon and pink grapefruit

Winemaker Sam Weaver describes the winemaking style as clean wines with "drive" and length of flavor. They show abundant fruit but “pull in the reins” to manage it with more balance.

 
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