Fairbourne Estate chosen for The Specialist Wine Growers of New Zealand
The search by The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand (TSWNZ) for a specialist producer of premium Sauvignon Blanc has concluded with the announcement that Russell Hooper and Sarah Inkersell’s Fairbourne Estate from Marlborough has been chosen to represent New Zealand’s iconic grape variety in this select marketing group.
Nick Nobilo of Vinoptima, one of the founding members of TSWNZ, describes this selection as one of the most difficult that the group has had to make.
“We are true specialists,” he explains, ”each intent on making the very best wine from our chosen variety. Sauvignon Blanc dominates New Zealand wine production and we determined that we could only include it in our portfolio if the quality and style were absolutely outstanding.
In Fairbourne Estate we identified the candidate we wanted.”
For Fairbourne Estate the invitation to join the select marketing group justifies the decision to specialise at the top end.
“The opportunity to market alongside fellow winemakers who share a dedication that borders on the obsessive is extremely exciting,” according to Russell Hooper. “We are all selling to similar segments of the market, yet we are not in any way competitive. The combined portfolio represents the best of New Zealand’s artisan producers and we are proud to now be included.”
Russell and Sarah have been prominent in the development of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc since the early 1990s and have been individually identified with a number of top brands. Under the Fairbourne and Two Tails labels they are now producing their own highly distinctive wines that have intense flavours which are site specific.
Winemaker Sarah Inkersell aims to achieve purity and individuality in her wines and says that an intimate knowledge of each site and each parcel of fruit that it produces is essential to their aim of producing world class wines. “We are wholly committed to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc,” she insists, “and we believe the best is still to come.”
With Syrah (The Hay Paddock), Pinot Noir (Wooing Tree), Cabernet Blends (Destiny Bay), Gewurztraminer (Vinoptima), Methode Traditionelle (No1 Family Estate) and now Sauvignon Blanc (Fairbourne Estate) in its portfolio, The Specialist Winegrowers of New Zealand is arousing considerable interest in fine wine export markets and is continuing to identify producers of additional varieties that can meet its criteria for specialisation and quality.