Marlborough - Home of Silver Fern Wines
We love New Zealand, and many particular things about our country. When it comes to growing wine, though, we have to admit that we love Marlborough most of all. It’s just the greatest place on earth to grow the kind of wines we like.
Marlborough is internationally famous for its Sauvignon Blanc and, increasingly, its Pinot Noir, with other aromatic white wines not far behind. We grow all our Silver Fern wine here.
The fruit of hot days & cool nights
Marlborough lies at the north-eastern corner of the South Island, downwind from high mountains that block most of the rain clouds. This makes Marlborough one of the sunniest areas of New Zealand. (We think it’s the sunniest of all, but our neighbours complain sometimes, so…)
The difference between our hot days over the growing season and the really crisp, chilly nights we get works wonders with grapes. The fruit gets enough sun and heat to ripen fully, but those cool evenings slow things down. With slower ripening come more intense fruit flavours and naturally higher acidity that you just don’t get in warmer parts where the sugar levels rise too quickly. In white wines, the large day/night difference promotes herbaceous characters, while in Pinot Noir it helps with colour and tannin development in the skins.
The other major influence on Marlborough wine is the typically low-fertility soils. Being geologically young, the soils are often stony, especially in sub-soils, making them free-draining. The soils reduce vine vigour, helping with the development of lush aromatic wine.
Bright fruit flavour is a hallmark of all Marlborough wine. It’s a delight in Pinot Noir, bolsters the taste of Riesling and Pinot Gris, while in Sauvignon Blanc the result is generally accepted as the world’s best.
A special pocket, deep in the valley
Our Silver Fern wines are mostly grown in Marlborough’s “second” valley, the more recently developed Awatere. This valley lies south of the main Wairau Valley, separated by the Wither Hills. The Awatere Valley is even cooler, with a considerable maritime wind influence.
Wines from here are distinguished by their lifted fruit flavours, even by Marlborough’s exalted standards.