Nestled in Marlborough's stunning Waihopai Valley is a wine estate unlike any other. We discover what makes Ara Single Estate Wines so special
When it comes to winemaking, no one seems too keen to put all their grapes in one basket (or location).
Winemakers will often dot vineyards across various sunny nooks of the nation. Yet as Ara have discovered, sometimes it's best to stay put.
All Ara wines are made with grapes from one place – a single, sustainably managed vineyard in Marlborough.
Bordered by rivers and the rugged foothills of the Southern Alps, the vineyard is a truly exceptional grape-growing environment, producing fruit that reflects the climate, soil and altitude.
From the get-go, Ara was built around a group of passionate wine people with a respect for nature and an eagerness to create something special from it. Ara means ‘pathway’ or ‘stepping stone’ in Maori and Latin for ‘altar’ – definitions that have shaped their winemaking philosophy.
Internationally renowned winemaker, Jeff Clarke, was appointed Chief Winemaker in 2011 and brought out the best out of Ara’s unique location. He was one of the pioneers in the development of the famous Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and dubbed as one of the world’s best winemakers.
The Ara team recognise that if you want the land to look after you, you need to look after the land. Their roads, waterways, buildings and man-made lake (Lake Pinot) were all designed to fit in with the surroundings and maintain the natural landforms.
Luckily for Ara, the land has looked after them rather spectacularly.
Their Single Estate Sauvignon Blanc is lively and crisp, their Pinot Noir soft and savoury and their Pinot Gris is a delicate mishmash of flora and citrus.
Ara Single Estate Wines have picked up numerous gold medals at both local and international wine competitions – pick them up below.