Winemaking in Isabel Estate

Winemaking in Isabel Estate

Discover Isabel Estate and experience wines of individual excellence created from a pristine pocket of land chosen from the sky.

Located in the Wairau Valley in New Zealand's Marlborough is Isabel Estate. Here the art of winemaking is expressed with an infinite passion and a powerful sense of place. The poetry of nature that brings together vine and terroir, combined with a new-age proficiency and traditional craftsmanship deliver wines of unique character and distinction. On a pristine pocket of land chosen from the sky, they nurture their grapes and carefully craft their wine. They maintain Isabel Estate's commitment to quality through every step of the production process.

With a bird's eye view, Mike Tiller discovers a precious pocket of land; a very special piece of earth with fertile soil and a unique aspect. Not once did it attract his attention but every time he passed overhead on his flight path to nearby Blenheim Airport.

Mike's airborne vision was the beginning of Isabel Estate, one of the pioneering Marlborough wineries that unlocked the viticultural potential of the iconic wine region. It remains one of the oldest in the area.

Mike and his wife Robyn built a winery on the site and named it in honour of his mother, Isabel. Their ambition was to produce ultra-premium classic grape varieties that were a true expression of Marlborough. Throughout the 1980s the couple planted key noble varieties Chardonnay followed by Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The chosen parcel of land delivered fruit of exceptional quality, and it wasn't long before it was in high demand from premium and internationally renowned New Zealand wine producers. In the natural order of things Isabel Estate released its single-vineyard wine in 1994, the Isabel Estate Pinot Noir.

In 2001 Mike's mother, Isabel, coerced him into abandoning his flying career to focus 100 per cent on Isabel Estate including overseeing the development of a new state-of-the-art winery.

Mike may have discontinued his flying career, but his eponymous wine label continues to soar to new heights as Isabel Estate is globally recognised for its high-quality single-vineyard expressions of the Marlborough.

In 2005 Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the most celebrated New Zealanders in history, opened the Isabel Estate Cellar Door. Just as Sir Edmund represents excellence in his endeavour to be first to reach the summit of the highest mountain in the world, Isabel Estate represents excellence through its wines of supreme quality and brilliance.

Chief Winemaker. Award-winning winemaker, Jeremy McKenzie is a seasoned Marlborough expert who focuses on crafting wine that reflects the true terroir at Isabel Estate. Growing up on a farm in Hawarden in the Canterbury region, Jeremy is a real Kiwi hunter-gatherer, action man and winemaker. After completing his studies, a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and a Post Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology, Jeremy's knowledge and passion took him to industry roles in France, Australia, Canada and the USA where he gained extensive winemaking experience at some of the leading wineries in the world. Jeremy has brought his passion to craft exceptional quality wines along with his wealth of international knowledge, home to Marlborough to continue his endless pursuit of winemaking perfection at Isabel Estate.