Vavasour Pinot Noir 2007
The rooster on the label is from the Vavasour family crest. The Vavasours arrived in New Zealand and established themselves in Marlborough's Awatere Valley in 1890. Nearly a century later in the early 1980's Peter Vavasour took a keen interest in the viticultural developments of the Wairau Valley to the North in Marlborough.
Vavasour is the founding winery of Marlborough’s Awatere Valley, with 196 acres of estate vineyards that produce acclaimed Sauvignon Blancs with distinctive oyster-shell minerality. Considered too extreme for winegrowing when Peter Vavasour boldly planted the region’s first vineyards in 1986, the Awatere Valley is a stunning land of rolling river benches, natural habitats and Tapuae-O-Uenuku, the 10,000 foot peak that frames and protects the region. Vavasour’s pioneering vineyards in the Awatere Valley ensured that today’s wines come from the valley’s oldest vines and best parcels and are informed by our hard-won knowledge of our terroir.
With a climate that is drier, cooler and windier weather than the neighboring Wairau Valley, Awatere vines are challenged by lower fertility soils, and produce small, concentrated berries. Low yields and artisan winemaking deliver a true expression of the valley’s climate and ancient soils: perfumed, textural, palate-led Sauvignon Blancs with creamy, rounded acidity and minerality.
A spirit of daring, veracity, and custodianship is as integral to our wines as the rooster crest featured on our label. Both are reflections of the Vavasour family’s storied past in Anglo-Norman England, where an early Vavasour forebear is believed to have been a taster for William the Conqueror. Today, led by winemaker Stu Marfell, born and raised in the Awatere Valley and recently named Winemaker of the Show at the 2018 New Zealand International Wine Awards, we continue to capture the extremes and nuances of the Awatere Valley in our wines. History, passion and a good amount of curiosity combine to make our winemaking a constant evolution, and our wines unmistakably Awatere.
An icon and leading region of New Zealand's distinctive style of Sauvignon blanc, Marlborough has a unique terroir, making it ideal for high quality grape production (of many varieties). Despite some common generalizations, which could be fairly justified given that Marlborough is responsible for 90% of New Zealand's Sauvignon blanc production, the wines from this region are actually anything but homogenous. At the northern tip of New Zealand’s South Island, the vineyards of Marlborough benefit from well-draining, stony soils, a dry, sunny climate and wide temperature fluctuations between day and night, a phenomenon that supports a perfect balance between berry ripeness and acidity.
The region’s king variety, Sauvignon blanc, is beloved for its pungent, aromatic character with notes of exotic tropical fruit, freshly cut grass and green bell pepper along with a refreshing streak of stony minerality. These wines are made in a wide range of styles, and winemakers take advantage of various clones, vineyard sites, fermentation styles, lees-stirring and aging regimens to differentiate their bottlings, one from one another.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”