With Christmas fast approaching and 2013 drawing to an end, we are taking the opportunity to extend a huge thank you to all our customers and followers for their support during what has been another busy year for Saint Clair Family Estate.
The year got off to a great start, with the hot, dry summer conditions in Marlborough delivering a terrific vintage with high-quality fruit producing the beautifully concentrated wines we’re renown for.
All the hard work of our viticulture and winemaking team paid off, resulting in several accolades and awards across a great range of our wines in different shows.
Particularly noteworthy was being named NZ Producer of the Year 2013 at the AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge and Winery of the Year 2013 with Wine & Spirits Magazine USA. Our flagship wine, Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc picked up a Champion Sauvignon Blanc trophy at the 6 Nations Wine Challenge and the Easter Show Wine Awards. We also picked up 12 medals at the Sydney International Wine Competition and seven golds at the Air NZ Wine Awards.
Marlborough also celebrated 40 years since the first modern grape vine plantings this year, and it was a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the past four decades.
Saint Clair Family Estate has its roots firmly embedded in the region’s relatively short wine producing history, with founders Neal and Judy Ibbotson among the first locals to develop vineyards.
Neal says viticulture gave them the opportunity to increase the profitability of their small rural block, and it also provided plenty of work for the region’s women, for the first time in years.
Judy and “a great team of ladies” got stuck in and helped establish their first vineyard, he says.
Fast-forward to 2013, and Saint Clair Family Estate has continued to grow, with the purchase of more vineyards in Marlborough, and, for the first time, in Hawkes Bay in the famous Gimblett Gravels sub region.
2013 has not been without its challenges. Most people would have heard Marlborough and Wellington had a pretty scary wake-up call in July and August, when the centre of New Zealand was rocked by a swarm of quakes.
While the quakes caused some damage to buildings and infrastructure in Marlborough and Wellington, we are grateful no one was seriously injured as a result of the quakes, and all our staff were safe and sound.
After a relatively mild spring with little frost risk and a positive start to flowering, the vineyards are looking vibrant and healthy, and all our staff are keeping their fingers crossed for a sunny and warm Kiwi Christmas.
Wherever you are in the world, we wish you and your family a wonderful and safe Christmas and happy New Year.