The title of this blog post – ‘wines from here will be come world famous’ – were the prophetic words uttered by Montana’s Frank Yukich as he put the first vines of the modern era into the ground in Marlborough.
There’s a monument to his achievement at the Brancott Estate. Yukich had purchased substantial land holdings in Marlborough without board approval back in 1973. He took a risk. The first Sauvignon Blanc vines in Marlborough went into the ground at Brancott Estate in 1975. Look what happened since! It’s a remarkable story.
I spent my last day in New Zealand with Pernod Ricard’s Andy Frost, talking wine science, and specifically the science of Sauvignon Blanc. I also met with Andrew Naylor and Patrick Materman of Pernod Ricard, and Mike Trought of the Marlborough Wine Research Centre. It was also nice to have a brief chat with Wendy Parr, who was passing.
I’ve really enjoyed this trip. Yes, there’s been some fun – last weekend in Auckland was a blast. But I’ve also learned a great deal more about Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and the fabulous Marlborough region, which is a special place to grow wine grapes.