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"The ‘Pioneer Block' range arguably takes Saint Clair to greater detail and depth than any other producer with wines that express terroir."
Raymond Chan Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, 18 July 2011

Press Releases

Looking for the Perfect Addition to Summer

18 December 2008 Saint Clair - The Number One Choice

There is nothing quite like having a glass of good wine at the end of a long (summers’) day. Often the hardest thing about that can be choosing the wine from the hundreds of options available. Let Saint Clair Family Estate, a family owned winery that are passionate about creating world class wine, make the decision easy.

But don’t just take their word for it - the awards and industry experts speak for themselves.

Just on the shelf, the January 2009 issue of one of New Zealand’s most prestigious magazines, Cuisine, has announced Saint Clair Pioneer Block 7 Berry Block Sauvignon Blanc as the number one Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand. This is the third time Saint Clair has won this top award in the last four years. An amazing achievement.

Bob Campbell MW in Taste magazine December 2008 has rated Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 94 points and his top Sauvignon Blanc of the year alongside Cloudy Bay.

Campbell says “So big and gorgeous it’s like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in drag. Luscious, complex”.

Raymond Chan, from Regional Wines & Spirits, has nominated Saint Clair (again) as his premium Sauvignon Blanc for 2008, with the Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc (RRP $26.05), from the Wairau Valley.

Chan says this particular Saint Clair vineyard creates some of the most flavour packed Sauvignon Blanc grapes of the area, which is then expertly transformed into a very enjoyable drop.

“The wine has very powerful and intense passionfruit and blackcurrant flavours on a juicy and succulent palate with wonderfully refreshing acidity. The finish is extremely long and lingering. This is truly a brilliant Sauvignon Blanc that has the ‘wow’ factor,” says Chan.


These three awards are the latest for Saint Clair who have received numerous accolades not just this year, but since the Marlborough-based winery opened in 2004.

It is easy to understand why Saint Clair has such outstanding wine, when its wine makers are also taking out the top winemaking awards. The latest Wine Atlas of New Zealand, one of the most comprehensive books on New Zealand wine, lists Neal Ibbotson Saint Clair as one of eight New Zealand Winemakers of Distinction.

The award winning Wine Atlas of NZ written by Michael Cooper, one of New Zealand’s most respected wine commentator, who has written more than 30 books on New Zealand wine.

The Atlas comments “Neal builds a team, takes advice, listens and then gets on with it. Experience counts - Pioneer Block and Wairau Reserve have enjoyed striking competition success.”

Chief Winemaker, Matt Thomson, has also been awarded two of the most prestigious titles in the industry, being named:
 International White Winemaker of the Year at the 2008 at the International Wine Challenge in London in September
 NZ Winemaker of the Year at this year’s Winestate Awards announced in Adelaide in November

Labelled the rising star of Marlborough (by Wine & Spirits, Winter 2008), pick up a bottle of Saint Clair, knowing it is the perfect addition to your 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 wine@saintclair.co.nz