Shaped by glaciers over ten thousand years, uncovered by a true pioneer of wine making in New Zealand and preserved by the Cowley family, Auntsfield Estate is the beginning of the vinous history of Marlborough. The original vineyard was established in 1873 and made highly regarded wine for over 50 years. The dramatic hillside vineyard with its unique variety of soils is again producing premium wines under the guidance of the Cowley family. The proud heritage of the land is the inspiration to produce exciting, handcrafted wines of balance and individuality that display the special terroir of this historic Marlborough vineyard.
The Cowley’s planted blocks of the property with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, taking real care to select the best plots for each. They now have around 100 acres planted on north-facing slopes on Greywacke rock overlaid with fine clay soil which is wind-blown over many thousands of years from the valley floor. This fantastic terroir gives the wine a fine minerality with wonderful texture and definition. In the early 2000s both sons became interested in the project. Ben gave up his career as a film camera man, retraining in viticulture and moving his young family from Auckland to the property and then Luc completed his training in oenology. The family decided to release some wine under the original label, Auntsfield Estate. In addition, the Cowley’s sell fruit to a handful of high quality producers such as Pyramid Valley.
Today the Cowley’s farm everything organically (certified) and utilize native yeast fermentation for most of their ferments. The wines are regarded in the highest echelon of Marlborough producers and continue to grow from strength to strength.