Our winemaking story started in the Awatere. We were fascinated by this geographically distinct subregion, lying south of the Wairau Valley and stretching inland from the sea (the valley climbs towards the inland Kaikoura Ranges and Mt Tapuae-o-uenuku). The vineyards are noticeably cooler, drier, windier and often have a degree of elevation distinct from the Wairau. The resulting, lower yielding vines, produce bright, aromatic Pinot Noir and dramatic, distinctive Sauvignons. Tasting fruit from the vine, the thicker skinned grapes have a pungent, textural characteristic that is totally unique.
On the northern bank of the Awatere River, the Dashwood vineyard sits on alluvium soils. Being closer to the sea, certainly than many of our Wairau sites, the vineyard suffers less diurnal temperature changes, bringing real ripeness to the grapes. We have long enjoyed the distinctive notes of white currant and passionfruit we taste in the Sauvignon Blanc that carries straight through into the wine.
One of our most important vineyard sites, owned by friends (and Ben’s accountant), Geoff van Asch, sits in the heart of the Dashwood region. Geoff planted the site back in 2005, and it now consists of 44 hectares planted – 34 ha of Sauvignon Blanc, 7 ha of Pinot Gris, some Chardonnay and a bit of Pinot Noir. The site is gently undulating, with well drained sand and silt loam soils, from stony greywacke alluvium of the intermediate stream terraces. The vineyard offers classic ‘Dashwood’ notes, with an abundance of white currant and passion fruit notes.
Image: Geoff in the Little Oasis Vineyard
With Ben Glover
Watch Marlborough Wine Maker Ben Glover as he tastes Awatere Valley in the Vineyard.
White peach, gooseberry, citrus, mineral & sherbet.
A superb example of Awatere Sauvignon. The Awatere Valley is a bit cooler than the rest of Marlborough so displays less overt tropical fruit and instead a more European note, which is tight, elegant and fresh.