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“This recent success clearly recognises the ability of Saint Clair’s winemaking team, led my Mat Thomson and Hamish Clark, to produce quality wines of world-class excellence – a remarkable achievement for the family-owned Marlborough winery.”
Tamara Rubanowski Editor FMCG, August 2011

Press Releases

Saint Clair Scoops its Second Winemaker of the Year Award

28 November 2008

Winestate Awards Honour Saint Clair’s Chief Winemaker

A winemaking team is fundamental to the success of any winery and the quality of its wine.

Saint Clair Family Estate can rest easy, knowing it’s in fine hands, after it’s Chief Winemaker, Matt Thomson (B.Sc and M.Sc Biochem, Otago) was awarded the esteemed title of NZ Winemaker of the Year at this year’s Winestate Awards.

The Winestate Awards, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, is one of the largest and most respected wine awards in Australasia, run by Winestate Magazine.

Matt attended the announcement in Adelaide last night (27 November 2008) to receive his illustrious award.

"It is an honour to receive this trophy, knowing how many fantastic winemakers there are in Marlborough and New Zealand. I might be the guy picking up this trophy, but it's been won by the entire Saint Clair winemaking and growing team. We are passionate about wine and at Saint Clair, if we are not busy making wines, then we are probably trying someone else’s!"

"We are lucky at Saint Clair where Neal and Judy give us the freedom and support to make wines of the highest standard," says Matt.

Winners were announced at a lavish five-course degustation dinner, matched with this year’s award-winning wines (over 10,000 wines were entered and tasted) from Australia and New Zealand.

Two wines from Saint Clair Family Estate were finalists in its categories, and were consequently included in this selection:
Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Marlborough Chardonnay 2007
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008

In addition to featuring at the awards dinner, these wines will be part of the Winestate National and International road show conducted by revered Editor and Publisher, Pete Simic.

This is the second high profile accolade for Matt in 2008, who has been with Saint Clair since its first wines were produced in 1994. In September of this year he was awarded International White Winemaker of the Year at the 2008 International Wine Challenge in London in September.

Managing Director Neal Ibbotson, is thrilled Matt has been recognised for his outstanding winemaking abilities.

“Like Saint Clair, Matt’s aim is to produce great wines, that are uncompromising on quality and people enjoy drinking. These two awards have reinforced our belief, that Matt and his team, supported by our vineyard site selection, and comprehensive viticultural management, are up there with the best winemakers from around the globe,” says Ibbotson.

Passionate about creating wine that exceeds expectations, Saint Clair Family Estate is the wine to look out for this summer.

Prepared on behalf of Saint Clair Family Estate by the pr shop. For further information please contact Neal Ibbotson on (03) 57 88695 or Pippa Lekner on (09) 368 1078 or email Neal