Mount Brown Estates

Lying in the foothills of Mount Brown in Waipara Valley this abandoned wine estate was rediscovered in 2003 and it is something of a success story. Waipara has a greater variation in temperature between night and day than more northerly Marlborough, yields are much lower, and this valley is fast establishing a reputation for quality. Aromatics such as Pinot Gris, and also Pinot Noir, are perfectly suited to Mount Brown’s small sheltered stony site and wine making here is of a very high order. Read more...

The People

Mount Brown Estates was established in 2003 by Tony and his daughter Catherine (centre of the picture). As a third generation come on board, their responsibility for the land is passed on with an ever-growing understanding of the relationship between the land, the region, and the fruit.

The family is helped by vine grower Andrew Florance (far left) and winemaker Frank Manifold (top right). Together they produce excellent value wines which have deservedly won many awards over the last decade.

Click below to hear more about Mount Brown, direct from wine-maker Frank Manifold:

The Vineyards

Benefitting from greater variation in temperature between night and day than more northerly Marlborough, keeping yields lower, Waipara has become a source of high-quality wine. There are two main hazards in the region. Frost must be fought to protect the tender shoots that are emerging in Spring using helicopters, wind machines and frost pots. The other takes place during the Veraison when grapes change colour in late January. Nets must be put on the red grapes to protect them from the birds.

The estates is composed of three vineyards surrounding the winery located in Lime loader.
Mount Brown Rd – the original vineyard, a small site of just 8 hectares in the foothills of Mount Brown, planted with Pinot Noir using mainly Dijon and Davis clones. This is a warm site with stony and free draining soil.
Lime Loader – the largest vineyard (25 hectares) planted with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris alongside small amounts of Tempranillo. The soil is composed of well-drained sandy gravels.
Weka Gravels – a 12-hectare site with vines grown on Weka Creek riverbed. The banks of the river provide shelter making it the hottest site in the Waipara Valley with very infertile and stony soils.  This vineyard contains old vines of Merlot, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir.

The Wines

Outside their benchmark, they also produce Catherine’s Block, their premium range, using the best fruits which are barrel fermented with indigenous yeasts to add depth and complexity to the wine.

Wild River Sauvignon Blanc
Mount Brown Sauvignon Blanc
Mount Brown Pinot Gris
Catherine’s Block Sauvignon Blanc
Mount Brown Pinot Noir
Catherine’s Block Pinot Noir