Saint Clair Family Estate is owned by Neal and Judy Ibbotson, viticulture pioneers in Marlborough since 1978. Grapes were originally supplied to local wine companies; however a desire to extend the quality achieved in the vineyard through to the finished wine led to the establishment of Saint Clair Family Estate in 1994.
The Saint Clair name originates from the vineyard property, first settled by the Sinclair family. Pioneer James Sinclair built one of the first homes in Blenheim and was closely associated with the early development of the town. Over time the name of the property reverted to the original Saint Clair.
The company’s mission is to create world-class wines that exceed their customers’ every expectation. Neal Ibbotson combines his extensive viticultural expertise plus Marlboroughs mix of climate and soils with the talent of one of New Zealands leading winemaking teams, led by Matt Thomson and Hamish Clark.
From 1994 when wines from the first vintage all won medals including gold, the name Saint Clair has been synonymous with quality and its award-winning record continues today. Top International accolades include the trophy to Matt Thomson of Saint Clair for White Winemaker of the Year at the London International Wine Challenge, September 2008 and the coveted trophy for Best New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2005. Saint Clair Family Estate also has the distinction of being the first New Zealand wine company to win major international trophies for Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir in the same year.