Owned and operated by the Johnson Family , Spy Valley Wines is one of Marlborough’s few remaining 100% Kiwi family owned wine companies.
The name derives from its location, up the road from a US government listening post: the Spy base.
The Johnson Family established the first of their 380 acres of estate vineyards in 1993. Pioneering what was then a Marlborough sub-region, the Johnsons’ Lower Waihopai development continued, with the fruit being grown and sold to other wine companies. In 2000, the first vintage under the Spy Valley label was released.
With a modern, fully integrated winemaking facility and a passion for excellence, Spy Valley produces consistent wines, often acclaimed and awarded on the international scene.
Like most Marlborough wineries, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc are Spy Valley specialties but chief winemaker and aromatic fanatic Paul Bourgeois and his team, have set a benchmark for New Zealand aromatic whites.
Region: Marlborough, New Zealand
Year Founded: Vineyard: planted in 1993, first vintage released 2000
Proprietors: Bryan and Jan Johnson
Winemaker: Paul Bourgeois
Size of property: 162+ hectares (400+ acres)
Terroir: Spy Valley’s vineyards are located on mostly young alluvial river terraces with veins of stone and shingle overlaid with a thin veneer of topsoil. Older terraces have a higher clay content and deeper top-soils overlaying free draining river gravel and stone. Lesser area of steep hillside slopes containing a thick layer of wind blown clay soil. The valley sees less than 1,100 mm (43 inches) of rain annually, and 200 mm (8 inches) of rain through the October-May growing season. Spring carries the risk of frost, and summers are hot with peaks in January and February of more than 30°C (86°F).
Annual Production: 150,000 cases
Organic/Sustainable/Other Certifications: Both the winery and vineyards are certified sustainable by the NZ Winegrowers Sustainable Winegrowing program. Audited annually; Certified to the International Environmental Standard ISO 14001.
Cellar Door: Winter (May – October) Monday – Friday 10:30am – 4:30pm Summer (Oct – May) Open 7 Days //Monday – Sunday 10:30am – 4:30pm
Social Vignerons reviews and perspectives on Spy Valley wines:
Watch the Spy Valley 2015 Harvest Intro video below:
This producer profile was written in collaboration with Nicola Clark of Spy Valley, exclusively for Social Vignerons.
Learn more about Spy Valley wines on their website Spyvalleywine.co.nz