Hunter's Wines | Marlborough

Hunter's Wines Entrance Sign Marlborough, New Zealand

"If there is one company that started the whole international story called Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc it is Hunter's - they got the magic started”

Bob Campbell MW

Irishman Ernie Hunter arrived in New Zealand's Marlborough district in 1979, at a time when there were virtually no vines growing in the region. He purchased some farming land and, with great foresight, planted vines, making his first vintage in 1982 and the wines produced won six medals at the National Wine Show that year.

He met and married Jane, who came from a family of South Australian grape growers and was a viticulturist herself. Today, Jane runs the winery and is a proud spokeswoman for Marlborough wine and with three decades at the helm, her years of service to the industry have been acknowledged with both an OBE and a CNZM. Jane’s nephew, James MacDonald, is now the chief winemaker, assuring family succession.

There are over 100 hectares of vineyards in the Wairau Valley, planted to five white varietals and Pinot Noir, all carrying sustainable certification. In an age of corporate takeovers, Hunter’s is now the only Marlborough estate founded in the 1970s remaining in the original family ownership.

The late Dr. Tony Jordan acted as a consultant oenologist here, so it is no surprise that Hunter’s produce not only sparkling wine, but great sparkling wine which is more than a match for the best of the New World. Tony’s previous achievements include creating Domaine Chandon in Australia and running Cloudy Bay.