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International Pinot Noir Success for Family Owned Winery

23 June 2009 Traditionally producing some of New Zealand’s best Sauvignon Blanc, it is Pinot Noir that is the shining varietal for Saint Clair Family Estate at the recent International Wine Challenge in London. A show of more than 9,500 entries arguably makes the International Wine Challenge (IWC) the best and biggest blind tasting in the world.

The Saint Clair Pioneer Block 15 Strip Block Pinot Noir 2007 has been awarded the prestigious New Zealand Marlborough Pinot Noir Trophy. The pristine grapes originate from Saint Clair’s clay strip vineyard at the mouth of the Waihopai Valley, a vigour-moderating environment conducive to growing top quality Pinot Noir.

The IWC show judges commented that the “wine has a bright cherry red hue, good fruity nose showing some style with lovely rich, deep fruit”. Wines of such strong fruit expression are what Saint Clair Family Estate is proud of and produce across its entire range.

The Pinot Noir success story just gets better as 2007 has proven to be an exciting vintage for the fickle grape variety from Saint Clair Family Estate. The Saint Clair Pioneer Block 5 Bull Block Pinot Noir 2007 was also recently awarded a Trophy for the New Zealand Pinot Noir over 10 pounds at the Decanter International World Wine Awards 2009. Two trophies at two prestigious international awards is an exceptional accomplishment.

Saint Clair owners, Judy and Neal Ibbotson are proud of their winery’s consistent achievements through international wine shows. Neal comments, “It is overwhelming to be recognised internationally for both our Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines. We are fortunate to have great vineyard sites, skilled contract growers and a quality winemaking team led by Matt Thomson.”

The award success follows further international achievement from Saint Clair Family Estate at the recent San Francisco International Wine Competition where the following results were achieved:

Saint Clair Pioneer Block 9 Big John Riesling 2007 DOUBLE GOLD
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 18 Snap Block Sauvignon Blanc 2008 GOLD
Saint Clair Wairau Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2008 GOLD
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2008 GOLD

Managing director Neal Ibbotson is thrilled that Saint Clair is internationally recognised for outstanding wine quality. The family owned and operated winery is renowned not only for their award winning wines, but also the family oriented approach to all aspects of their business. The latest achievements strongly reinforce Saint Clair’s philosophy and passion about creating world class wine that exceeds expectations.

For further information please contact Neal Ibbotson on (03) 57 88695 or email