In 1989, Christine and Dave Macdonald left their city lives behind to realise their dream of establishing a vineyard and winery. With caravan in tow the family embarked on a national tour to find the ideal winegrowing region and vineyard location.
Settling in Marlborough, they planted their vineyard by hand, initially growing grapes for local wineries before creating their own wines under the Bladen name. Chris and Dave quickly developed a reputation for making exceptional cool climate wines.
The Bladen name refers to Chris and Daves children Blair and Deni who were toddlers when the vineyard was developed.
Awarded the Trophy for Marlborough's 'Cellar door of the year' in 2008, Gold Medals in 2009 and 2010. Bladen’s cellar door is also probably the smallest and most welcoming in the region.
Stable doors open from the small tasting room to a trellised courtyard area with Cape Cod chairs in the shade of an Almond tree.
Chris or Dave provide a friendly welcome to visitors and are happy to present their outstanding range of wines. Chris's brother John also helps out - keeping it all in the family.
Bladen Wines 8 hectare vineyard is located on Conders Bend Road, Renwick in Marlborough's Wairau Valley. Established in 1989 it is planted in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris (the OLDEST in Marlborough), Riesling, and a few rows of Merlot and Malbec. These grape varieties are ideally suited to the stony free draining old riverbed soils of the Wairau valley and to the unique Marlborough climate.
Paynters Road Vineyard - owned by Keven and Kerry Tilly, supply Bladen with Gewurztraminer from a tiny 1.5 acre block on their main vineyard. Situated in a unique microclimate between two hillsides, the fruit is lovingly tendered to full ripeness and flavour.
Alma Street Vineyard - owned by Nick and Laren Hunter have 3 acres of Sauvignon Blanc planted on their house block. Work is completed by Nick and Lauren who have many years’ experience in grape growing in Marlborough. Alma Street has a similar soil structure to Bladen but offers a different dimension to our blending options for the Bladen Sauvignon Blanc.
A strong environmental focus is encouraged within all of our vineyards and sustainable viticulture practice is followed and all vineyards are SWINZ accredited. Minimal sprays are applied.
The grapevines are trained on a vertical shoot positioning trellis system, most favoured in Marlborough, to increase fruit intensity and consistency. Intense pruning and shoot thinning ensures low yields and careful canopy management including leaf plucking maximizes sunlight and air movement through the vines ensuring fruit is clean and ripening is even.
- Bladen Marlborough Pinot Gris 2004 (Champion Pinot Gris) (Royal Easter Wine Show 2005, Gold Medal and Champion Wines)
- Bladen Marlborough Gewurztraminer 2010 (Royal Easter Wine Show 2011, Gold Medal and Trophy Wines)
- BLADEN SAUVIGNON BLANC 2009 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2010, Award Winning Wines)
- BLADEN - MARLBOROUGH SAUVIGNON BLANC 2012 (Sydney International Wine Competition 2013, Award Winning Wines)
- Bladen Riesling 2009 (Air New Zealand Wine Awards 2009, Gold Medal and Trophy Winners)