The 1990s were a time of discovery and courage in Marlborough. Deep in the Waihopai Valley, Bryan and Jan Johnson had the audacity to establish 180 hectares of estate vineyards on land considered too hard, too dry and too unfertile for wine.
It was a venture that started with a passion for the land. This pioneering spirit established one of New Zealand’s most successful family-run wineries, now growing 7 varietals and exporting to 35 countries.
Today, Spy Valley’s commitment remains to the land and to the people who tend it – we are simply farmers at heart, nurturing soil and vine to cultivate the complexities in our wine. And we’re mindful that it’s our focus on sustainability which will ensure our guardianship of this land for generations to come.
We’re considered a little clandestine around here, deep in our bewitching valley. Perhaps it comes with being named for our proximity to the spy base down the road, but we like a bit of mystery.
Perhaps it’s because we are always searching for the best of the best to produce exceptional wine. Perhaps it’s because managing six varieties of grapes takes a great deal of knowing the land, the environment and climate, and in the past we’ve classified these traditions.
These are secrets, however, that we’ve decided it’s time to share.
We welcome you to come and share Marlborough’s secrets with us.
Grab a glass and visit us virtually while enjoying a taste of our striking landscape in every glass of Spy Valley wine.
At Spy Valley Wines, we believe it’s the flavour of the place.
In the middle of Aotearoa (New Zealand), at the tip of the South Island, is a place of remarkable natural beauty. The spectacular, diverse landscape of Marlborough assails the senses with its vivid seasonal colours, kissed by the sun year-round.
Imagine a land so outrageously beautiful, a land flanked by the soaring Southern Alps and the stunning Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands nestled in the shimmering ocean.
Follow your nose along the Wairau basin’s long green valley, dry hills and alluvial plains, and you have arrived at the heart of the Marlborough wine region.
To this, add hot sunny days and cool nights, a climate which caused Maori to call the area ‘the place with the hole in the cloud’. The result of this unique climate and topography? Vines ripening in the sun like nowhere else on earth. A synergy so good you can almost taste it; the flavours of Marlborough spilling over into our wine.
Marlborough - the heart of New Zealand's wine industry
This is our home.
One of Aotearoa’s sunniest regions. Maximum sunshine, minimum rainfall, free draining soil and freedom from seasonal frosts (for the most part). Māori refer to the region as “Kei puta te Wairau’ / The place with the hole in the cloud”.
Protective mountains provide relief from extreme rain and wind. The sunshine, moderate temperatures and strong diurnal variation are the keys to Marlborough’s piercing fruit intensity, strong varietal expression, and acid retention over long ripening periods.