“Following a five-day cold skin soaking process, we initiate fermentation to extract both color and flavor from the grapes. Our commitment to enhancing concentration remains unwavering throughout the fermentation period. The “cap” composed of floating skins is diligently re-immersed eight times a day. After fermentation, a portion of our wine matures for several months in oak barrels previously used for aging.
Hailing from numerous vineyards in the Southern Valley, a prominent wine region in New Zealand, Saint Clair takes its name from James Sinclair, a pivotal figure responsible for the early settlements in Blenheim, New Zealand, where our winery is situated on the South Island. Established in 1978, our family-run enterprise has been a pioneer in the art of winemaking in Marlborough. This connection to the pioneer James Sinclair is deeply ingrained in our history. With ownership of over 270 hectares of vineyards in Marlborough on the South Island and in Hawke’s Bay on the North Island, we manage a total of 14 vineyards across diverse locations, allowing us to capture the unique microclimatic conditions in our wines.
Our winery is active in sub-regions including Rapaura, Awatere, Omaka, and Hawke’s Bay. Led by winemaker Hamish Clark, our team works with a diverse range of grape varieties.
Saint Clair’s founders, Neil and Judy Ibbotson, continue to play a central role in our business. We’ve received widespread acclaim from wine critics for our “Pioneer Block” terroir wine series, each identified by a specific vineyard number, placing New Zealand’s terroir firmly on the global wine map.
Due to our international popularity, Saint Clair places its primary focus on crafting exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir wines. Our mission is to express the true character of these grape varieties using the distinct terroirs at our disposal. To achieve this, we employ a modern winemaking approach that prioritizes fruit quality at every stage. Key elements include strict cellar hygiene, temperature-controlled harvesting, and advanced measurement devices for vineyard and vinification monitoring.
At the heart of Saint Clair’s mission lies our commitment to crafting world-class wines that consistently meet consumer expectations. We utilize 250 small stainless steel tanks, enabling us to closely monitor the development of each individual parcel and make precise decisions about our wine blends. This meticulous process distinguishes us from the ordinary.
In addition to our modern winemaking practices, New Zealand is celebrated as the world’s most sustainable wine-producing country, with 94% of all wineries adhering to sustainable practices. Saint Clair is equally dedicated to sustainable viticulture in all aspects, holding the “sustainable winegrower” accreditation in New Zealand. This certification involves annual recycling of over 40% of all glass waste and 60% of all packaging waste. Furthermore, we continually work to reduce water waste, and all our contracted bottlers are required to maintain sustainable certifications.”
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