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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

Awards & Accolades

Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2007


  • Gold: Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2007
  • Silver: International Wine Challenge, London 2008
  • Silver: Royal Easter Wine show Awards 2008
  • Silver: International Aromatic Wine Competition 2007
  • Silver: Bragato Wine Awards 2007
  • Silver: Liquorland Top 100 2007
  • Bronze: The New Zealand International Wine Show 2007
  • 4 ½ Stars: Michael Cooper, Winestate Magazine, Australia 2008
  • 91 points: Wine Enthusiast 05/08 USA
  • 91 points: Top Wine - Wine Spectator 04/08 USA
  • 90+ Points: Steven Tanzer's International Wine Celar 04/08 USA
  • 88 points: Robert Parker Wine Advocate USA, 2008


"...sensational richness of passionfruit flavours on a poised, refreshingly zesty palate. Perfect lunchtime sipping, with salads and aromatic dishes."
Raymond Chan, Regional Wines Grapevine, February 2008

"A soft, fleshy wine, the fruit richness covers the acidity and underlying spiced apple emerges to linger. I imagine this would be excellent with salt and pepper squid, and with that apple nuance it would also be an excellent accompaniment to a roast pork crackling snack."
Kingsley and Sam, First Glass Wines and Spirits, 10 August 2007