We rounded off September in the Vintner Tasting Room with a fantastic visit from James Leary & David Coulston the grower & winemaker of our Ward Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2013. James bought land in Ward, Marlborough back in 2007 and soon after started working with David Coulston to produce terroir-driven, interesting wines that are a testament to Marlborough as a world-class wine making region.

Marlborough sits at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and is divided into three districts – the Wairau, Awatere & Southern Valleys. With a long, consistent growing season and cooling pacific sea breezes, Sauvignon Blanc is famous for being the region’s principal grape variety but expressions of Riesling and Pinot Gris are also emerging and have great promise.

IMG_2925-1.JPG

For the Ward Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc, James explained how he harvests fruit from three different ‘blocks’, one in each valley, to create this ‘Triple Block’ Sauvignon. Each of the blocks contributes different characteristics to the blend and what results is a deliciously complex wine that typifies the Marlborough Sauvignon style. Interestingly, most of the fruit is grown on clay-type soils that are usually best used for Pinot Noir, though in this case it helps to achieve wonderful ripeness and body in Sauvignon Blanc.

David makes the wine in a fantastic, shared winery alongside other Marlborough wine-makers. They divide resources such as tanks and presses meaning that young, modern winemakers can get into the game without crippling upfront equipment costs – a brilliant concept. As well as his impressive technical knowledge, David passion for creating the ultimate example of Marlborough Sauvignon is clear and this is exactly why we love working with him at The Vintner and continue to enjoy the Ward Valley Estate Sauvignon Blanc as a stalwart of our 100 Wines.