Saint Clair Family Estate was founded by Neal and Judy Ibbotson who are the directors of the winery with more than 30 years viticulture knowledge of the Marlborough region. The company is a family business with the next generation also involved. With quality as a company value it is essential that the very best fruit is sourced and utilised to make the best wine possible, and hence adhere to a core company value. From 1994 when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today.
A wide choice in Marlborough Vineyard sites, including the Wairau, Awatere and Ure Valleys as well as a vineyard in the Gimblett Gravels wine growing district in Hawke’s Bay, allows Saint Clair to specialise its plantings by grape variety in the sub-regions that provide the most suitable terroir for each. In 2001 Saint Clair introduced a ‘grading system’ for all its vineyards different wine batches and marks them out of 10 for quality each year. This provides valuable information with records now over a period of time showing which vineyards provide the best fruit and which varieties produce the best quality in each of the vineyards.
Saint Clair’s specialist Pioneer Block range comprises small-parcel wines handcrafted to reflect the unique influence of terroir on grape varieties grown within the same region. All Pioneer Block wines are numbered according to the vineyard from which the grapes are harvested. Each wine also carries a label name linked to the vineyard origin which tells its own unique story.
This vineyard site has proved to be the building block for some of Saint Clair’s finest wines. This is the vineyard where Saint Clair Family Estate first discovered the fruit to make their flagship Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc. Aromatic white currant and passionfruit with a hint of oyster shell on the nose. Luscious tropical fruit and fresh apple flavours combine with a wet stone purity. The palate is linear and focused with salty, mineral notes lingering on the finish. An ideal match with smoked salmon.