Ballochdale Vineyard Estate
Awatere Valley Marlborough

Hand Picking Pinot Noir at Ballochdale


It is now coming up 12 years since our first plantings and the vines are now well settled down, the roots reaching into the deeper changing soil profile which in turn adds more complexity to the wines. The vines are so much easier to manage as they settle into their natural balance and well positioned shoots. A substantial proportion of the Pinot Noir vines are spur pruned with the remainder all cane pruned.

Pinot Noir label

This is the Ballochdale Estate 2010 Pinot Noir. .

Ballochdale Estate has produced its inaugural own account Single Vineyard Pinot Noir wine. The grapes were not selected from any particular part of the vineyard but rather a random sample of mixed clones to show what the vineyard produces.

Available at

Franks Wine and Spirits, Fendalton, Christchurch, NZ. Tel: 03 351 9285

Winos Blenheim, NZ. Tel: 03 578419

This wine has received a:

Top100 award in the Sydney International Wine Competition 2013.

Blue/Gold award in the Sydney International Wine Competition 2013.

Silver London International Wine Challenge 2013

Bronze Decanter Awards 2013

These shows are the only shows in which Ballochdale has entered the wine.

Read the Mathew Jukes’ 2010 Pinot Noir review here (pdf 249kb)

Mathew is one of the most influential UK wine critics with 9 million readers weekly.

Ballochdale Estate has supplied many parcels of grapes, selling by the row, to several different wineries over the years and has now settled down with supplying premium and ultra premium quality grapes to compatible companies with a view to the quality end of the market.
The relationship with the people and the wineries is very important to us as we aspire  to achieve the highest standard in the game.
All companies get a mix of different clones. Most of the Pinot Noir is hand picked and sometimes a small amount of Sauvignon Blanc. Ballochdale currently supplies premium and ultra premium Pinot Noir grapes to the following Wineries and also Sauvignon Blanc to Villa Maria and Claymore Vintners.

Jules Taylor Wines
The grapes from Ballochdale go into Jules’ Marlborough Pinot Noir. She has in the past made a single vineyard wine (Jules Taylor Ballochdale Pinot Noir 2009) from the Estate. Her Jules Taylor (JT) Barrel Fermented Sauvignon Marlborough 2011 (100% Ballochdale fruit) received a 5 Star rating from Cameron Douglas MS (dated  12th May 2013)

There is an extensive list of accolades that JT has earned in NZ and the USA with her Marlborough Pinot Noir.

See Jules' comment on Facebook here

Constellation NZ
Supplying the top end grapes for this large Winery their Icon label Pinot Noir 2008 and 2009 are examples of wine made from the vineyard .These are blends of wines but predominately made from fruit from Ballochdale and has done well on the international market. The wine was recommended on Good Morning America for Mothers Day.

Astrolabe Wines
Ballochdale has been a supplier to Astrolabe Wines and contributed grapes to their wine rated in by Spectator Magazine in 2013 in the Top 100. It just so happened that there were only two wines from New Zealand that made the top 100 this year, both Pinot Noirs, both  from Marlborough and one with grapes in it from Ballochdale.

Villa Maria
Our Pinot Noir goes into their Reserve (trophy Decanter 2013) and Cellar Selection range.
Esk Valley Wines and Vidal also use a significant percentage our fruit in their Marlborough Pinot Noir. The Sauvignon Blanc goes into their Private Bin wine, having just won a Gold at the International Wine Challenge in London. When a Villa Maria Single Vineyard Ballochdale 2006 wine was produced it won a Gold medal in the London International Wine Challenge. 91 pts Gourmet.

Esk Valley
The Esk Valley Pinot Noir Marlborough 2010 and 2011 are made from Ballochdale fruit receiving a 94/100 and 95/100 respectively rating by Jamie Goode MW in his review of New Zealand top Pinot Noirs. Wine Maker Gordon Russell is always keen to highlight a sense of place relating to the source of the grapes. These wines also did very well in the Air NZ wine awards.

Matua Wines
Ballochdale recently signed with Matua Wines to supply a significant parcel of Pinot Noir grapes targeting their premium market
Ballochdale Fruit has gone into the Constellation Icon Pinot Noir and the Astrolabe Discovery range over the years, wines which have received considerable accolades.

Air NZ Wine awards:. Ballochdale contributed grapes to 4  gold medals wines  won simultaneously at the Air NZ wine awards in  2012.

Marlborough Pinot Noir Safari 2013

It was an absolute honour to have had an entourage of global experts, Masters of Wine and Master Sommeliers visit Ballochdale and other premium Pinot Noir sites within in the province on the Back Country Safari. There is now a critical mass of serious Pinot Noir producers which is becoming to be appreciated in Marlborough. It is the shift away from the alluvial plains to the sloping, more even soils and in the main clay soils where Pinot Noir in Marlborough has excelled.

After tasting a range of Ballochdale single vineyard wines made by different wine makers from different vintages it was Tim Atkins MW who said to Garry that the vineyard should be producing all single vineyard wine due to the very distinctive flavours that carried through all the different wines.

Where to from here

It is an exciting phase for Pinot Noir. The fickle but holy grail of grapes, Pinot Noir is a grape that is grown It is an exciting phase for Pinot Noir in Marlborough. Pinot Noir is a grape that is grown successfully in very few other parts of the world. It is a very site sensitive grape and Ballochdale wines definitely reflect its own special terrior.

The growth in demand, the limited supply sees a very positive outlook for this variety from New Zealand. Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, with a well established profile is still experiencing growth in demand and all in all the future is looking very promising indeed for the industry here.