- COMMENDED (2013) Sommelier Wine Awards 2017
The Vavasour family can trace their ancestry back to the Norman invasion of England and it is reputed that one of William the Conqueror’s food tasters was a Vavasour.
They were also a pioneering family of the Awatere Valley, now a sub-region of Marlborough, settling in the region in 1890. Peter Vavasour was the first family member to plant a vineyard here in 1985 under the watchful gaze of the near 3000 metre Mount Tapuae-O-Uenuku, the first mountain climbed by Sir Edmund Hilary who referred to it affectionately as ‘Tappy’.
The award-winning wines of Vavasour take their flavour profile from the ancient Greywacke soils, their proximity to the ocean and the protection given from the bracing north-westerly winds by the mountains. All of the wines have a crisp natural acidity, a purity and intensity of fruit and great aromatic expression.
The wines are made by Stuart Marfell, an Awatere Valley-born Winemaker with an intrinsic knowledge of the region and vineyards. Stuart has already had notable success with his Vavasour wines: the 2010 Sauvignon Blanc won the award for the Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World trophy at the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2011; more recently his 2012 Pinot Noir won Gold at the 2015 International Wine Challenge. In July 2015, the winemaking team was significantly strengthened when Alastair Maling MW, who was the sixth New Zealander to pass the prestigious Master of Wine exam, joined the team to oversee the winemaking and viticulture.
Vavasour is a member of the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme. One activity carried out is planting Pohutukawa trees: these were devastated by early settlers as the wood was perfect for shipbuilding; the tree is now more famed for producing one of the world’s most fragrant honeys.