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"Saint Clair not only won the prize for Wine Company of the Year for best overall performance in the tastings, but its chief winemaker Matt Thomson was named Winemaker of the Year for the second time in three years."
Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994.
The Saint Clair name originates from the vineyard property, first settled by the Sinclair family. Pioneer James Sinclair built one of the first homes in Blenheim and was closely associated with the early development of the town. Over time the name of the property reverted to the original Saint Clair.
The company's mission is to create world-class wines that exceed their customers' every expectation. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive viticultural expertise plus Marlborough’s mix of climate and soils with the talent of one of New Zealand’s leading winemaking teams, led by Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark.
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. Top International accolades include the trophy to Matt Thomson of Saint Clair for White Winemaker of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge, September 2008 and the coveted trophy for Best New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2005. Saint Clair Family Estate also has the distinction of being the first New Zealand wine company to win major international trophies for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in the same year.
Neal & Judy Ibbotson
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.
Son Tony is responsible for the design of all Saint Clair’s packaging, promotional material and advertising. He owns a design consultancy business, the Creative Method, in Sydney. Tony designed the original Saint Clair labels back in 1994, when he was a student. He has been refining and expanding the range of Saint Clair labels ever since.
Daughters Sarina and Julie both work within the business in sales and marketing after studying wine business marketing at Adelaide.
THE IBBOTSON FAMILY
Sarina, Tony, Julie, Neal and Judy