Ground-breaking Cloudy Bay wine leads the way

Ground-breaking Cloudy Bay wine leads the way
Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc burst onto the international stage in the mid 1980s - garnering rave reviews.

When Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc burst onto the international stage in the mid 1980s it delivered a striking and revelationary wine experience—creating a cult like demand for a wine produced from a place no one ever imagined a premium wine could come from. New Zealand had not previously been seriously considered in the world of wine.
“It was such a perfect storm,” says Jim White, technical director at Cloudy Bay. “David Hohnen, Cloudy Bay’s founder, had already established an international reputation before coming to New Zealand and had the ability to get Cloudy Bay in front of important people in the wine trade globally.
It was a beautiful label and a beautiful name and the wine he took to the world was unlike anything anyone had ever tasted before.” The French use the term Terroir—that mix of place, climate, soil and the people involved in wine making that make the wine truly unique—and that was the magic delivered to the world stage.
With that unique combination of climate and soil Marlborough sits perfectly to craft unique sauvignon blanc with an amazing aromatic and flavor profile that is unable to be reproduced anywhere else in the world.
“In the minds of the world’s wine consumers, New Zealand sauvignon blanc is a ‘thing’—no different to Champagne or Bordeaux wines—it’s a category and a place in the world of wine that simply didn’t exist 35 years ago.
“There really isn’t a new place, a new variety that has had such an impact on the world’s wine drinking public than Marlborough sauvignon blanc.”
Cloudy Bay’s winery is located in Marlborough’s Wairau Valley, supplied from 650 hectares of vine-yards, of which 360 hectares are owned by Cloudy Bay with the balance grower owned.
Overall Cloudy Bay manages around 480 hectares of vineyards.While 99% of the grapes are grown in the Wairau Valley, pinotnoir is grown in Central Otago, hand harvested and transported to Marlborough for production.
We grow only three varieties of grape – sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir with sauvignon blanc accounting for around 80% of our total production.“We have two sauvignon blanc styles—the ‘classic’ which accounts for the vast majority and a high end barrel fermented sauvignon called Te Koko.”
Currently 92% of Cloudy Bay’s production is exported with a quarter of production split between Australia and New Zealand, just over quarter to the United States, a quarter to the Asian region and a quarter to Europe, UK and travel retail.Cellar Doors in both Marlborough and Central Otago provide the perfect opportunity to tell the Cloudy Bay story to an adoring public.
“I would say Cloudy Bay is one of the few wineries in New Zealand where we get a lot of consumers making a pilgrimage to what in the minds of many is the ‘Holy Grail’ of New Zealand wine. We get around 35,000 visitors to the Marlborough cellar door, with lower numbers in Central Otago which has only been open for 18 months.”
Looking to the future, Jim says the international trend is a move to quality rather than quantity and a greater push towards sustainability. “Sustainability is a key focus for us—we’ve been and early adopter of sustainable wine growing and continue to push sustainability in everything we do.”
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…

Related Posts