Back in 1969, New Zealander Ross Spence completed his studies in viticulture and oenology in California USA. He returned home to join forces with his viticulturist brother Bill and start a brand new winery. Both had become fascinated with Sauvignon Blanc and so planted the variety in their first vineyard. Having rented an old shed and converted it into a winery in 1973, the brothers released New Zealand’s first Sauvignon Blanc in 1974, all 300 litres (about 400 bottles) of it.
Within a year or so the brother’s wines were being recognized for their quality and their Sauvignon Blanc was being favourably looked upon by other winemakers and grape growers eager to follow suit. In 1976 the brothers joined forces with the Margan family to form the Matua Valley wine company, Matua being a Maori word meaning ‘Head of the Family’; the partnership enabled the wine company to expand their vineyard holdings eventually leading to further expansion in Marlborough, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay.
At the beginning of the new Millennium the Matua winery was sold to Treasury Wine Estates and the very talented Nikolai St. George took over as senior winemaker, this sparked a new run of outstanding successes for Matua culminating in the winery being named New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year in 2012 at the London International Wine and Spirit Competition and St. George himself being named Winemaker of the Year at the 2013 New Zealand Royal Easter Wine Show.
Their 2012 Sauvignon Blanc is an absolute cracker of a wine and has already collected a slew of medals both at home and abroad, including Best Sauvignon Blanc at the San Francisco Wine Challenge in the USA and the Trophy for Best Sauvignon Blanc at the 5 Nations Wine Challenge held in Australia.
The wine exhibits superb, freshness with a fine balance between citrus / tropical fruit notes, herbaceousness and crisp, zippy acidity. Drink it well chilled with seafood and salads.