In August 1973, Frank Yukich of Montana Wines (as Brancott was then known), proclaimed, ‘Wines from here will become world famous’. Two years later, the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted by Montana Wines at their Brancott Vineyard, in what is now known as the Marlborough region.
The release of the first Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vintage in 1979 was the beginning of a phenomenon which not only placed New Zealand firmly on the international wine map, but has since become a shining example of the quality of wine that can be produced, from a region that was initially thought of as too cold for growing grapes.
Patrick Materman is the Chief Winemaker at Brancott. At age six, Patrick decided he would study horticulture and grow flowers, ‘a Dutch father’s influence’ he explains. Floriculture turned into winemaking and he now considers spending time in vineyards as one of the most important aspects of his job.
Alongside achieving the International Environmental Standard ISO 14001 in 2002 with innovative systems to manage energy usage, such as employing the latent heat from compressors to heat water for use in the winery Brancott are also committed to improving the local environment: they have planted over 40,000 native plants in their vineyards since 2000 and they plan to plant 5,000 more trees every year.