Our host David Strada directed us to Sue White representing Whitehaven wines. Founded in 1994, the Whitehaven is one of the pioneers of the New Zealand wine industry.
Since their first vintage in 1995 Whitehaven has grown to annual production of 500,000 cases per year. Their sauvignon blanc is available everywhere. Sadly, their pinot noir is not distributed in the U.S. Someone out there do us a favor and pick this up. Otherwise we won’t get to drink this lovely wine again. Until we visit New Zealand, that is. From the company website:
Sue and her late husband Greg came to Marlborough over 20 years ago at a time when the earliest wineries were forging Marlborough’s reputation. Cashing up their home and other assets, they leased a small winery facility on the outskirts of Blenheim and WHITEHAVEN was born.
Living in a small cottage with a young daughter, Sue and Greg worked hard to get the brand established, an exercise in optimism, energy and resilience.
The company’s early successes enabled them to establish a new purpose-built winery and vineyard just outside Renwick, the company’s base today.
After the death of her husband in 2007, Sue stepped up to lead the family business. Her determination to continue the WHITEHAVEN brand meant taking on responsibility for the entire familiy business including regular visits to key partners in various global export markets.
We were greeted by Sue White. She was accompanied by Simon Toneycliffe who was very helpful to us in preparing this article. Sue told us the story of Whitehaven.
Their 2014 Marlborough pinot noir opens with aromas of black cherries and ripe plums, with toasty notes from the oak. On the palate, bright flavors of bing cherries and red raspberries. Smooth tannins give the wine a silky, plush texture and a long finish. The grapes were from five vineyards located in the Awatere, Wairau and Southern Valley sub-regions of Marlborough.
Whitehaven is a real find. Now if someone would just import their pinot noir, we’d be happy.