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Saint Clair Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Saint Clair Family EstateSummary: Saint Clair Family Estate is located near Blenheim, New Zealand in the Marlborough region. The winery and vineyards are large. They produce 400,000 cases of wine. Vineyards consist of 662 acres. Saint Clair wines are shipped internationally.

The Saint Clair Family Estate Cellar Door (tasting room) offers a warm ambiance with its pale yellow walls and light wood ceiling. Vineyard photos add to the atmosphere. Be sure to look for the two barrels halves, cut vertically, displayed on a shelf above the tasting counter. Wrought iron chandeliers add even more charm.

Saint Clair Family Estate winery is located in Marlborough near Blenheim, New Zealand. The owners, Neal and Judy Ibbotson began vineyards in 1978, only 4 years after the first grapes were planted in Marlborough, selling their fruit to Montana in those days. The Ibbotsons decided to establish their own Wine Brand in 1994. The name Saint Clair refers to James Sinclair who was a pioneer in the Blenheim area and settled on to the property that eventually became the Ibbotson residence and Saint Clairs first vineyard site..

Saint Clair Family EstateVineyards

The Saint Clair vineyards have plantings of Gruener Veltliner, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The vineyards consist of 269 hectares (662 acres). Since there is normally a wind in the Marlborough region they have found that fewer vineyard sprays are necessary to combat disease and insects. Just as important is that it only takes about 15 minutes to get the fruit from the vineyards to the winery.

 

Winery

The winery is a 400,000 wine production facility. Saint Clair has 268 fermenters and 200 still wine tanks. Stainless steel tanks are outdoors and the hills provide a photogenic backdrop. A basketball hoop is close to the eight presses. Barrels aging wines are in a temperature/humidity controlled room. Although some barrels are stacked four high, many are not stacked and stretch throughout the room.

Saint Clair Family Estate     Saint Clair Family Estate     Saint Clair Family Estate

Saint Clair Family EstateWhite Wines

Vicar’s Choice Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a light straw color. The aroma and taste offered nuances of lemon grass. The taste was smooth. The wine had lemon on the aftertaste. Pioneer Block Sauvignon Blanc 2010 was a pale straw color with tropical aromas and taste. The mouth feel was smooth. The finish was crisp with citrus nuances. Sauvignon Blanc Wairau Reserve 2010 was a pale straw color. The aroma and taste offered tropical fruit notes. The taste was smooth. The crisp finish began with tropical notes yielding to citrus. Riesling 2010 was a pale straw color. There were floral and yellow stone fruit nuances on the aroma and taste. The mouth feel was very smooth. The crisp finish had notes of stone fruit that yielded to citrus. Pioneer Block Gewürztraminer 2009 was a straw color. The wine had a floral aroma. The taste offered notes of rose petals and yellow stone fruit. The finish was smooth.

Red Wines

The Pioneer Block Pinot Noir 2009 was a light ruby color with an aroma and taste of red cherries. The mouth feel was smooth. The finish had soft silky tannins with cherry notes. Strip Block Pinot Noir 2009 was also light ruby with an aroma and taste of red cherry. The finish had soft tannins and cherry nuances.

When visiting and tasting wines at Saint Clair Family Estate be sure to take a camera for photos. Enjoy spending time outside of the cellar door viewing the large stainless steel tanks and vineyards.

Saint Clair Cellar Door
13 Selmes Road, RD3
Rapaura, Blenheim 7273
Marlborough, New Zealand


 

 

                                      

 


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