The New Zealand winery in the Wairau Valley in the Marlborough
region (South Island) was founded in 1985 by Australian entrepreneur David Hohnen, the former owner of Cape Mentelle
in Western Australia. It was later sold to the champagne house Veuve Clicquot-Ponsardin
, which in turn belongs to the LVMH
group. The 140 hectares of vineyards are mainly planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as smaller portions of Riesling, Sémillon and Gewürztraminer. Grapes of other varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are purchased from five grape-growing operations with long-term contracts. The great success of Sauvignon Blanc (with a small proportion of Sémillon), first created by cellarmaster Kevin Judd in 1987, contributed to the recognition of New Zealand as a wine nation. This wine is regularly sold out in a very short time. It is fermented in steel tanks and aged on the yeast for about two months before bottling. Other top wines are Te Koko (Sauvignon Blanc), Chardonnay, Cabernet-Merlot, Pinot Noir and Late Harvest Riesling. The sparkling wine Pelorus, first produced in 1987, is made according to the champagne method. The wines are exported to 20 countries.