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Fairhall Downs is a family owned and operated Marlborough company, proudly specialising in premium, single vineyard wines
Ken and Jill Small abandoned the long, cold winters of a Southland sheep farm to pursue a vision of making good wine in sunny Marlborough. They realized their dream at a property along Wrekin Road close to the head of Marlborough's Brancott Valley near Blenheim. Ken and Jill started growing grapes under contract, planting vines on their first eight hectares of Fairhall River Valley land in 1982. In 1994, they formed a partnership with daughter Julie and her husband Stuart Smith who, like Ken, came from an agricultural background, farming with sheep and deer in Canterbury. Together, Ken and Stuart worked side by side at Fairhall Downs. Vineyard tips and techniques were passed on, hopes and ambitions shared and soon a winemaker was being hired. The first bottle of Fairhall Downs Sauvignon Blanc was produced in 1996.
The site of Fairhall Downs was never left to chance. Marlborough's southern valleys are recognised for their unique wines and enjoy international recognition. Located at the upper end of the Brancott Valley, which has its highest points to the south and faces the main Wairau Valley in the north, Fairhall Downs vineyard basks in all day sun. Wither silt loam soil over clay gravels allow for free-draining. The soils combined with the area's low annual rainfal create optimum growing conditions for grapes. When harvested, those grapes produce some of New Zealand's finest wines.
The premium varietal wines produced by Fairhall Downs Estate have earned national and international acclaim since its inception. Fairhall Downs now prides itself on producing consecutive vintages of premium, single vineyard wines. They are enjoyed widely throughout New Zealand, while recognition overseas makes the winemaking so much more rewarding.
Vineyard practices at Fairhall Downs Estate are meticulous, earning a library of gold medals and trophies. Accolades have gone to Fairhall Downs Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, a quintessentially Marlborough wine with fresh, intense fruit flavours.
The restricted cropping and sustainable viticultural practices ensure successive vintages of the highest quality, Marlborough wines are produced. Fairhall Downs Chardonnay, a well-balanced wine famous for its pure, incisive fruit flavours, has earned national awards, while Fairhall Downs Pinot Gris looks close to rival that varietal most famously produced in Alsace.
Meticulous attention is paid to the cultivation of the grape varieties at Fairhall Downs elevated 32 hectare property. Knowing that sustainable viticulture and skilled winemaking methods are paramount for the best Marlborough wines, the team sets itself strict procedures. These include restricted cropping practices and careful pruning, trimming and leaf plucking methods, ensuring premium vintages of its sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot gris varietals are consistently produced. From the sun filled cellar door tasting room, the picturesque countryside scenes can take on a personal piquancy for enthusiasts sampling Fairhall Down's vintage wines. Vistas include the rolling Wrekin Hills and the rugged, purple tinged Brancott mountain range beyond.
A market leader epitomising the small is beautiful philosophy, Fairhall Downs warmly invites enthusiasts to its range of superbly crafted wines and to savour the quality which speaks for itself. Sample Marlborough's unique flavours and find out for yourself why these award winning are making the Brancott Valley region so famous. Enjoy a bottle of Fairhall Downs Sauvignon Blanc, close your eyes and imagine yourself amidst the majestic landscape surrounds of Marlborough's scenic vineyards.
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