Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Pioneer of NZ Sauvignon Blanc Stands Down

Media release – December 6, 2006

Marlborough winery board farewells the pioneer of NZ sauvignon blanc Ross Spence

Marlborough winery Rapaura Vintners this week farewells from its board Ross Spence, the man responsible for bringing sauvignon blanc to New Zealand.

The Rapaura board meet in Blenheim on Thursday which ends Spence’s formal ties with the company. He has also stood down from his commitments to Matua Valley.

Spence was the first person to grow and produce sauvignon blanc in New Zealand with the first commercial wine produced in 1974.

He has arguably done more for New Zealand and its wine industry than anyone else, because sauvignon blanc established New Zealand’s reputation in the international premium wine market.

``I was interested in aromatic varieties when I returned to New Zealand after going to the University of Fresno in California to study oenology and viticulture,’’ Spence said today.

``I trialled a few varieties that had impressed me in California and sauvignon blanc was one that was a hit producing quite aggressive varietal characters.

``I have personally planted some new and interesting red varieties and am looking forward to making wines from them vintage 2007.

``It is probably unfortunate that sauvignon blanc has been so successful as there has been a reluctance to seek new varieties that will provide an equally exciting future to sauvignon blanc.’’

Spence said he loved the challenge and experience being involved with Rapaura since its inception.

He hoped that the future of the NZ wine industry would not have to rely only on sauvignon blanc and that winemakers would consider trialing some new varieties to New Zealand.

Ross bows out after a long and happy illustrious career in NZ’s wine industry. He was a foundation member of the New Zealand Grapegrowers Council and has been a senior wine judge at the Royal Easter Show and Air New Zealand Wine Competitions for years.

He was chairman of the New Zealand Wine Institute Board 1997 - 1999, deputy chairman 1990 - 1996, and a board member for many years before that.

Ross was awarded the QSO for services to the New Zealand wine industry in June 2000.

Ross first planted sauvignon blanc vines in his Matua Road vineyard in Kumeu, north of Auckland, in the early 1970s.
He still lives in Matua Road.

Rapaura is a major player in the Marlborough wine industry, a region that produces 62 percent of New Zealand’s wine.

They are one of Marlborough's largest wineries either making and/or bottling Marlborough wines for many labels, in addition to the shareholders’ brands - Babich, Goldwater, Vavasour, Shingle Peak and Matua Valley.

Premium New Zealand brands such as Nautilus, Twin Islands, Sacred Hill, Clifford Bay, Kathy Lynskey to name but a few, are included in the client list that Rapaura is proud to service.

Established in 1995, Rapaura was the first contract winery in New Zealand offering a full range of winemaking, bottling and warehousing services and now operates at their re-developed former Corbans Stoneleigh Winery on Jacksons Road, in the heart of Marlborough’s wine country.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Budget 2022

At base, the political biffo back and forth on the merits of Budget 2022 comes down to only one thing. Who is the better manager of the economy and better steward of social wellbeing – National or Labour? In its own quiet way, the Treasury has buried a fascinating answer to the “who’s best at running an economy during a crisis?” question, at page 57 of the Fiscal Strategy section...


Government: Helps Supermarket Shoppers Get A Fair Deal
Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said... More>>

Budget 2022: A Secure Future In Difficult Times
Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures... More>>


Budget: Climate Investments Provide Path To Economic Security
The Government is investing in New Zealand’s economic security by ensuring climate change funding moves away from short-term piecemeal responses and towards smart, long-term investment... More>>


National: Jacqui Dean To Retire From Parliament In 2023

Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has announced that she will not be seeking re-election at the 2023 election. “I have advised the President and Leader of the National Party that I have decided not to put my name forward... More>>

Classification Office: Following Decision To Ban Manifesto The Buffalo Mass Shooting Livestream Is Now Banned
The livestream video of yesterday’s mass shooting in the United States has now been banned, Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced this morning. The decision follows on from his decision yesterday to call in and ban the ‘manifesto... More>>

Borders: New Zealand Poised To Welcome International Students Back
New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today... More>>




InfoPages News Channels