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The single vineyard ‘Pioneer Block’ wines of Saint Clair require separate handling, the winery using 250 small tanks to manage this. The amount of detail for winemakers Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark and their team is considerable, but the result is a fascinating range of wines that express their origin and site. In essence Saint Clair is bottling ‘terroir’ for keen wine enthusiasts to ponder and enjoy. The quality per se of the ‘Pioneer Block’ wines has been extremely high as well, reflecting the identification of superior as well as individual vineyards by Saint Clair’s owner Neal Ibbotson.
Raymond Chan www.raymondchanwinereviews.co.nz
"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."
Peter Simic Winestate Press Release

Press Releases

50th Trophy Awarded to Family Winery

25 November 2007

Louise Smythe from The Huka Retreats presents Neal Ibbotson with the Champion Pinot Gris trophy at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2007 Saint Clair Marlborough Pinot Gris Announced As Trophy Winner

Saint Clair Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007 has been awarded the Champion Pinot Gris Trophy at the 2007 Air New Zealand Wine Awards, announced Saturday 24 November in Christchurch.

This is a significant milestone for Saint Clair Estate Wines, as the trophy is the 50th it has been awarded since 2001, and is also its first ever trophy for a Pinot Gris.

Saint Clair Estate Wines has previously won trophies for Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Merlot, showcasing the team’s winemaking expertise across all variants. This was also demonstrated with its first ever gold medal for a Gewürztraminer for the Saint Clair Pioneer Block 12 Lone Gum Gewürztraminer.

Owner of Saint Clair, Neal Ibbotson, says, “We are delighted to have been recognised for our Pinot Gris, as its popularity is growing rapidly and we feel that there is a strong future for this variety. This trophy is recognition for hard work of the viticulture and winemaking team, and demonstrates that we don’t just produce great Sauvignon Blanc.”

Pinot Gris is the fastest growing wine variety in New Zealand, with sales doubling in size in the last 12 months, and export sales starting to show good potential with 119 percent MAT growth.

Ibbotson continues, “We continue to experiment with the Saint Clair Pioneer Block range, giving our Chief Winemaker, Matt Thomson and the rest of the team a great opportunity to push the boundaries in their winemaking.”

Toast Saint Clair’s success this summer with a glass of the trophy-winning Saint Clair Marlborough Pinot Gris 2007, available through leading fine wine stores nationwide and the Saint Clair Cellar Door and Café, retailing at approximately $20.95 per bottle.


Prepared on behalf of Saint Clair Estate Wines by the pr shop. For further information please contact Pippa Lekner on (09) 368 1078, 021 500 760 or email pippa@theprshop.co.nz