From humble beginnings in 1934, we sold our first wines in 1944 and have since grown to become one of our country’s leading range of wines – in no small part due to the success of our, now world famous, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.
Montana Wines (as we were then known) founder, Frank Yukich uttered the seemingly prophetic words “wines from here will become world famous”, at the planting of the first commercial grapes in Marlborough six years earlier – today these are firmly embedded in our country’s wine industry folklore.
"In the early 1970's the conventional wisdom in the New Zealand wine industry was that wine grapes would not ripen in the South Island. Montana Wines disregarded that ‘wisdom’ and planted vines in Marlborough on a grand scale. Included in the first plantings was the, at the time, little-known variety of Sauvignon Blanc." - Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
In 1975, when we took the brave steps of planting the first Sauvignon Blanc vines at our Brancott Vineyard in Marlborough, little did we know the company would grow to become New Zealand's largest producer and exporter of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine. According to Philip Gregan, this decision proved to be one of the most "momentous ever taken" in the New Zealand wine industry.
The release of the first vintage of our Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 1979 was the beginning of a phenomenon which, has not only placed New Zealand firmly on the international map, but has also since become the basis for the New Zealand wine industry’s world-wide reputation.
Within 10 years of its first vintage, our Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc had won the prestigious ‘Marquis de Goulaine trophy for best Sauvignon Blanc’ at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London.
On March 6 2009 we raised a toast to the 30th vintage of our internationally-acclaimed Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. At the celebrations held at our iconic Brancott Vineyard, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key joined Frank Yukich to unveil a special monument that immortalises our company founder and the pioneering steps we took in the 1970s.
Our remarkable history is a constant source of inspiration for all of us behind Brancott Estate wines.