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Quality Wine Rises to the Top

04 February 2009 Marlborough Drop Still Top of the Crop

Managing Director for Saint Clair Family Estate Winery, Neal Ibbotson, continues to see Marlborough as producing some of the best quality wines in the world, despite the regions huge 2008 harvest resulting in an over flowing winery capacity.

Ibbotson comments, “The international thirst for Marlborough’s stellar sauvignons has seen Marlborough wine production grow significantly over the past 20 years. The 2008 harvest was up a staggering 60% on the previous vintage, putting wine production into temporary over supply.”

“With this dramatic increase in competition, some wineries have been forced to discount prices, especially those without established brands or those at the lower quality end. This has subsequently caused people to question the quality of the 2008 harvest and the wine produced.”

However, Neal Ibbotson points out that this has been caused not by a decrease in the quality of the wine itself, or by competition from another wine producing country, but rather by a profitable industry getting ahead of itself with excessive new vineyard plantings.
“Marlborough continues to arguably produce some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world, however the 2008 harvest saw an over abundance from too many vineyards. “

“As we move toward the 2009 vintage the Marlborough wine industry is acting very responsibly, limiting tonnages to be harvested, which along with lower grape prices, will result in a slowing of vineyard plantings. This will provide a period of consolidation for the industry, which in time will allow the demand to catch up with the supply.”

“The other good news is competition in the market place resulting in lower wine prices especially for slightly lower quality, is allowing wine buyers all around the world (some for the first time) to taste and enjoy 2008 Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. These new buyers will increase the demand and will in time, trade up in both quality and price.”

Despite the huge harvest of 2008, Saint Clair Family Estate Winery is positive and is benefiting from the berry abundance. With flourishing grapevines, the masterful Saint Clair wine making team was able to utilise its 27 years of grape-growing experience to produce a 2008 drop of sensational quality.

But don’t just take their word for it.

Saint Clair’s recent success at the 2009 Sydney International Wine Competition is testament to the winery’s ability to consistently produce bright, vibrant wines that are winning on a world stage.

In the awards, Blue Gold was awarded to the Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008, the Vicars Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2008, and the Marlborough Pinot Noir 2007. The Marlborough Pinot Gris 2008 also received recognition with a Highly Commended.

With international success over an impressive array of varietals– Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris - Saint Clair continues to wow its audience with its capabilities.

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