Not only is Stoneleigh recognised in New Zealand for its consistent production of premium quality wines but now the rest of the world is catching on. Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc keeps reinforcing its presence in key overseas markets. The wine has recently been listed at the world-renowned Ritz Hotel in London. Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc is being poured over the very chic art deco Rivoli Bar, and has been included on the hotel's wine list. In addition, Stoneleigh has recently become the top selling NZ Sauvignon Blanc across the Tasman; Australian's just cannot get enough of this superior Sauvignon Blanc.
Stoneleigh offers a range of premium quality wines with distinctly Marlborough flavours - refreshing and pure. Stoneleigh winemaker, Jamie Marfell says "Stoneleigh's unique infertile and free draining stony soils have combined with Marlborough's high annual sunshine hours and crisp coastal climate, to create a world-renowned terroir and microclimate." Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris vines can all be found on the Stoneleigh vineyard and the site is home to some of the oldest grafted Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc blocks in Marlborough. Some blocks of these varieties are now over 20 years old. The Stoneleigh vineyards support environmentally sustainable practices and are part of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand.
On the site of a former riverbed at the northern side of Marlborough’s Wairau Valley in New Zealand, the Stoneleigh range takes it name from the abundance of stones that cover the area. The exceptional quality of the wines owes much to these stones. These stones reflect heat up onto the vines enhancing the ripening process and within the soil create the ideal growing environment. Located in the heart of Rapaura area and the locally known Golden Mile of vineyards the Stoneleigh Vineyard,178 ha, is on the northern side of the Wairau Valley, within 2 km of the Wairau River and the Richmond Ranges. The vineyard has a range of soil types but includes more of the typically stony and recent riverbed soils.
Stoneleigh's award winning history came into being after only a decade of winemaking at the Marlborough estate. Stoneleigh Marlborough Chardonnay 1996 was named White Wine of the Year at the 1998 International Wine Challenge in London. This highly prestigious accolade was followed by two successive vintages of Stoneleigh Sauvignon Blanc collecting Best Buy recommendations from Wine Spectator USA. the run of shw successes continued when Stoneleigh Marlborough Riesling 1999 collected Gold at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, and sibling Stoneleigh Marlborough Pinot Noir 1999 claimed Silver, at the same event.
Stoneleigh Rapaura Series Marlborough Chardonnay 1999 won a highly prestigious Blue-Gold Medal at the Sydney International Wine Challenge and Gold Merdal at Intervin. Stoneleigh Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2000, followed up with a stunning Gold Medal win, Champion Sauvignon Blanc Trophy and Champion Commercial White Wine Trophy at the Air New Zealand Awards. The same wine also claimed Gold at New Zealand’s Liquorland Top 100 competition. The lineage of highly acclaimed releases have continued, the Rapaura Series Marlborough Pinot Gris claimed another Blue-Gold and Top 100 Award for Stoneleigh at the Sydney International Wine Competition.
The Stoneleigh winemaking style is a direct reflection of the unique characteristics of the terroir. Winemaker Jamie Marfell, aims to maximise these unique flavours inherent in the fruit and deliver a wine of exquisite quality and style. The unique stony free draining alluvial soils, together with the slightly warmer climatic conditions of the Rapaura area, produces fruit that ripens earlier than other regions of Marlborough. These grapes have a ripe fruit spectrum which is distinctive in style and quality compared with grapes from other parts of Marlborough and New Zealand.
A minimalist winemaking approach is carried through all stages of winemaking and only subtle intervention is employed to add complexity and enhance the fruit’s unique characteristics. By only using premium juice, the wine has concentrated flavour, finesse and bright fruit expression. The yeast selected for fermentation is chosen to complement and lift the expression of terrior. Finally, the wines are very lightly fined before bottling to give clarity of flavour and style. And the result - aromatic, elegant Marlborough wines that are a true expression of their terroir.