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Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Pioneer Block 4 Sawcut Chardonnay 2007

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson


The Sawcut vineyard is named after the Sawcut Gorge, about 8km up the Ure Valley.


The Ure Valley is about 40 km south of Blenheim. This area has a unique microclimate with a narrow valley floor protected by hills on three sides with very close proximity to the coast.


Soils: Free draining river valley alluvial soils, this valley is noted for its very high limestone content.

Topography: Flat, on a plateau within the narrow valley.

Climate: A warm site despite being significantly south. It has a similar number of growing degree days to Blenheim.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The high pH soil and limestone soil impacts significantly on the flavour of this wine and ensures it has good palate weight and fruit intensity.


The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard on the free draining river valley soils of the Ure Valley. The grapes are 100 per cent Clone 95 Chardonnay, a clone that originates in Burgundy.


The fruit was handpicked when it had reached full physiological ripeness and maximum flavour maturity. The fruit was whole bunch pressed at the winery to ensure the best fruit flavours were preserved. After settling the juice was inoculated with selected yeast strains. The wine was 100 per cent barrel fermented in 40 per cent new and 60 per cent seasoned French Oak. The wine then went through malolactic fermentation, followed by 10 months ageing on yeast lees with regular stirring. It was then carefully blended, stabilised with no finings and prepared for bottling.


Pale gold


Lifted aromas of nectarine and white peach.


Flavours of nectarine and white peach complemented by spicy oak, the palate also has a subtle hint of the limestone soils in its chalky,
mineral character.


Drink and enjoy within five years of the vintage date.


Alcohol: 14% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 5.7g/litre, pH: 3.43.

Food Match:

This elegant Pioneer Block Chardonnay makes a perfect match with lightly spiced Asian dishes or seafood served with cream-based sauces.



  • Gold, NZ International Wine Show 2009