Located up the road from a US government listing post (hence the name), Spy Valley has earned the reputation as one of Marlborough’s most acclaimed wineries.
It’s no secret that Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc is one of the world’s favourite wines, and this family-run winery is known for its textbook, terroir-driven Sauvignon Blanc. But they don’t stop there, and chief winemaker Paul Bourgeois and his team are also experts in producing brilliant aromatic whites, including Riesling and Pinot Gris.
First established in the 1990s, deep in the Waihopai Valley, Bryan and Jan Johnson took the huge risk of creating 180ha of estate vineyards on land that was considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine. The risk more than paid off though, with the winery currently exporting eight wine varieties to 35 countries around the world.
Sustainability is at the core of Spy Valley’s practices, as they recognise that a healthy environment is vital to their growth and continued success. To promote biodiversity in its farms, the winery has planted around 700 native trees in the lower Wairau Valley alone. Spy Valley is also conscious of reducing its energy consumption, with over 20% of its power provided by over 200 solar panels. The winery also generates its own nitrogen. The health and quality of the grapes is very important to Spy Valley, and this is ensured using low-toxic, environmentally friendly products in the winery and vineyard. Sustainability is also encouraged through the packaging of their products, and all bottles are made from 96% recycled glass.