Every wine company in Ireland wants to have a good Marlborough winery in its portfolio. We couldn’t be happier with this estate, the oldest and smallest one in Marlborough. We really worked hard on identifying this one and really believe it is amongst the very best in New Zealand. The international press share a very similar view to us on this estate.
When Graeme and Linda Cowley first bought the Auntsfield property, there were no grapes anywhere around them. It wasn’t until they began researching the history of the land, that they realised they had just purchased Marlborough’s very first vineyard. Auntsfield is a family business in every sense of the word. And, at the very heart of this, are Graeme and Linda’s sons – Ben and Luc Cowley.
Ben, as viticulturist at Auntsfield, knows the seasons and the land better than any, this is his soil, these are his vines, his grapes. He lives on the vineyard and is totally and utterly in touch with the land and the weather. As winemaker, Luc takes the exceptional grapes his brother produces and crafts them into wines that honour the heritage of Auntsfield. The relationship of Ben with the land and Luc with the wine. It’s as authentic as wine gets.
Surrounded by mountains, Marlborough is one of the driest and sunniest areas in New Zealand. It is wine country like no other. The cool climate conditions provide a long, slow ripening period; intensifying flavors that form the signature, bold and fragrant wines of the region. The Southern Valleys is a sub region within Marlborough where the climate is cooler and drier. With its mix of high mineral Greywacke rock and old low fertility Loess clay soils, the Southern Valleys is regarded for its riper styles of wine with more structure, texture and minerality. The Auntsfield vineyard covers 65 hectares and is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. Unlike many Marlborough vineyards, Pinot Noir is Auntsfield’s most planted variety, and is particularly suited to the old clay hillsides of Auntsfield. The wines of this unique estate are amongst the most highly awarded in Marlborough.