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Brancott Vineyard celebrates its 40th anniversary

Brancott Vineyard celebrates its 40th anniversary

As the pioneers of the Marlborough wine region and its signature varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, Brancott Estate is excited to celebrate 40 years since the first planting of vines at Brancott Vineyard, home of world-renowned Brancott Estate wines.

On 24 August 1973, in front of a crowd of local media, politicians and business leaders, the Marlborough wine industry was born. At the time, the founder of what is now Brancott Estate, Frank Yukich made the statement that “wines from here will become world-famous” – and indeed they have, receiving many prestigious awards and accolades around the world.

“With all of the research and technological advances in the wine industry in recent years, it’s amazing to look back and see a real pioneering spirit infusing Marlborough, from using a gun-sight to lay out the rows in 1973 to getting the community to make paper cones to protect the young vines.” says Patrick Materman, Chief Winemaker for Brancott Estate.

The first vines planted were predominantly Riesling Sylvaner and Cabernet Sauvignon, and around 750,000 cuttings were planted in the first season. However, many were replaced in the first few years with other varieties including Sauvignon Blanc.

“A whole range of vines were planted in those early years, both of popular grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling and old-world varieties unfamiliar to New Zealand wine drinkers at the time, like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.” says Patrick. “Not everything we tried succeeded but the ones that did have been spectacular. What we’ve learned from that is to keep asking the question ‘what if?’”.

The recently launched icon wine, Brancott Estate Chosen Rows is a testament to their on-going commitment to Marlborough and the pioneering vision which created the original Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

While Brancott Estate is best known for creating the original Sauvignon Blanc, they were also the first to commercially produce Marlborough Pinot Noir and, more recently, Marlborough Sauvignon Gris.

Patrick says “It’s a rare opportunity to be part of pioneering a completely new variety in a region. After four decades, we are still exploring the potential of our vineyards and we are excited to see what we discover in the next 40 years.”


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