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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

A Growing Reputation Saint Clair Estate Wines

06 March 2006

A Selection of Saint Clair Estate Wines’ Trophies and Gold Medals Saint Clair Estate Wines is the only New Zealand winery invited to present a tasting at this year’s London Wine Trade Fair in May, on the International Wine and Spirit Competition stand.

Each year the International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC) presents a series of tutored tastings featuring past winners of significant trophies and their range of wines during the trade fair. Saint Clair left an impression during the competition last year after winning numerous medals and two trophies including the prestigious New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year.

Neal Ibbotson, owner of Saint Clair, comments, “This is an extraordinary opportunity to showcase our award-winning wines alongside internationally acclaimed wineries including all the IWSC winners from around Italy, Winemaker of the Year - Beltran Domecq and Australian Wine Producer of the Year – Wakefield Wines. Not to mention the audience who will be in attendance, which will, no doubt, consist of the finest and most critical palates in the industry. We are confident that we will remind the audience why we have been finalist in previous years and also took out the supreme award last year.”

And, on the subject of winning, Saint Clair has just won four gold medals at the Easter Show 2006 reinforcing the consistent top quality performance of their wines.

Saint Clair Omaka Reserve Pinot Noir 2004
Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Saint Clair Pioneer Block 3 Sauvignon Blanc 2005
Saint Clair Vicar's Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2005

This is a strong result for Saint Clair especially for the Saint Clair Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2005 which has now won three trophies and six gold medals since its release in September last year. This is an outstanding quality endorsement for a wine that retails for $19.95. These results also represent a significant milestone for Saint Clair Pinot Noir. Whilst the company won the Champion Pinot Noir trophy for the best Pinot Noir of the show at the London International Wine Challenge 2005 and has won international gold medals for Pinot Noir - this is the first gold medal awarded to a Saint Clair Pinot Noir in New Zealand.

Neal and Judy Ibbotson were two of Marlborough’s earliest vineyard pioneers – planting their first vines in 1978. Saint Clair Estate Wines began in 1994 and has received a multitude of prestigious awards and trophies from around the world. They now have five significant regional vineyard sites and an excellent knowledge of which varieties grow best at each site. They are preparing to open a new multi-million dollar winery in mid-March that will, in time, double current production levels.