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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 4 Sawcut Pinot Noir 2007


  • Bronze: International Wine Challenge 2009 - UK
  • Bronze: Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2009 - NZ
  • 4 Stars: Winestate Magazine, July/August 2008
  • 91 points: "Year's Best" Wine & Spirits 02/09 USA


"From the Ure Valley, well south of the Awatere Valley, this deeply coloured red is very fresh and vibrant, with strong cherry, plum and herb flavours, lively and supple. Elegant, with a distinctly cool-climate feel, it's the best red yet under this label."
Michael Cooper's Best of 2008 Releases, Winestate Annual Edition, 2009

"Halfway between Kaikaura and Blenheim lies the limestone-rich Ure Valley from which Saint Clair have been sourcing pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc from one of the Marlborough sub-region's two vineyards. This silky, tangy specimen is its most expressive pinot to date, with cherry fruit and delicate notes of potpourri-like rose petal and spice over a minerally core."
The New Zealand Herald, 8 April 2009