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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

Press Releases

Saint Clair Rated Top NZ Winery

11 May 2009

Saint Clair ranked internationally as New Zealand’s top winery

Saint Clair has consolidated its rising reputation as New Zealand’s premier winery by topping the list of the New Zealand wine producers in the list of the world’s best 100 wineries.

The prestigious list, compiled by the World Association Wine and Spirit Writers and Journalists, placed Saint Clair at an astonishing number 66 internationally, extraordinary status for the New Zealand winery. This remarkable ranking is especially impressive when you consider that no other New Zealand winery made a mention in the top 100.

Saint Clair has long been regarded as producing some of New Zealand’s finest wines and this latest recognition supports previous top International accolades including the trophy to Saint Clair/Matt Thomson 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.

This latest ranking, based on results from across 150 international competitions, is indicative not only of Saint Clair’s consistency in winning awards on a worldwide stage but also the viticulture expertise of the Saint Clair wine making team. It is this exceptional skill and the adherence to a philosophy of providing premium quality wine at a range of price points, which has seen the winery achieve such sensational success since its inception in 1994.

Despite Saint Clair’s remarkable record, owner and viticulture pioneer Neal Ibbotson remains humble in the face of his latest, and perhaps greatest, success. He comments: “We are all simply delighted with this accolade – it is truly a testament to the continued commitment to quality and enduring dedication of our wonderful wine making team. We could not do it without them!”

Whatever it is, the family owned and operated winery - which embraces a family oriented approach in all aspects of its business - certainly have the right recipe for world class winning wines!

For full list of World's 100 Best Wineries according to WAWWJ please visit

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, 021 500 760 or email