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"The ‘Pioneer Block' range arguably takes Saint Clair to greater detail and depth than any other producer with wines that express terroir."
Raymond Chan Raymond Chan Wine Reviews, 18 July 2011

Our Wines

Other Vintages: 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Pioneer Block 1 Foundation Sauvignon Blanc 2009

WINEMAKER: Matt Thomson



Previously part of Wairau Flood Plain (which built up the deep free-draining soils).This is the vineyard where Saint Clair discovered the fruit to make the now world famous Wairau Reserve.


Soils: Deep fertile, free-draining soils.

Topography: Flat

Climate: Slightly cooler than most of the Marlborough Valley with a slower longer ripening period.

Vine Age: Older vines – 11 years.

Regional Characteristics & contribution to Uniqueness of Flavours:

The free-draining alluvial soils of this vineyard have been built up over time by flooding. The vineyard is now protected by a stopbank. These free-draining fertile soils produce the intensity of flavour in the wine. The unique flavours are the combination of powerful passionfruit and honeysuckle.


The fruit was sourced from a single vineyard owned by the Sowman family on the fertile, free-draining soils of the lower Wairau Valley. The fruit was carefully monitored during ripening and harvested in the cool of the evening at maximum flavour maturity and physiological ripeness.


The juice was pressed off immediately to minimise skin contact and juice deterioration following harvesting. After settling, the juice was fermented using a variety of selected yeast in 100 per cent stainless steel at cool temperatures to retain fruit flavour and freshness. This batch was selected as a Pioneer Block wine due to its power and intensity of flavour.


Pale straw


Powerful and intense aromas of passionfruit, blackcurrant, hints of grapefruit and an underlying mineral note.


This is an intense Sauvignon Blanc with a powerful passionfruit and blackcurrant spectrum and an underlying mineral tone. The palate is intensely concentrated and full with a long, lingering finish.


This wine is drinking beautifully now and may also be enjoyed over the next one to two years.


Alcohol: 13% v/v, Titratable Acidity: 7.9g/litre, Residual Sugar: 4.5g/litre, pH: 3.4.

Food Match:

An ideal match with fresh Marlborough salmon or scallops with summer salad.



  • Trophy, New Zealand International Wine Show 2009
  • Gold, NZ International Wine Show 2009
  • 4 ½ Stars, Winestate Magazine Special Edition 2009
  • 90 points, Wine Spectator 2010