Bryan and Jan Johnson established the first of their 380 acres of estate vineyards in 1993. Pioneering what was then a Marlborough sub-region, the Johnsons? Lower Waihopai development continued, with the fruit being grown and sold to other wine companies. In 2000, they began producing and selling wine under the Spy Valley label, its name derived from a nearby satellite communications monitoring station (or spy base). There are three ranges of wines within Spy Valley: Satellite, Spy Valley, and Envoy. Spy Valley?s vineyards are located on mostly young alluvial river terraces with veins of stone and shingle overlaid with a thin veneer of topsoil. Older terraces have a higher clay content and deeper top-soils overlaying free draining river gravel and stone. Lesser area of steep hillside slopes containing a thick layer of wind blown clay soil. Both the winery and vineyards are certified sustainable by the NZ Winegrowers Sustainable Winegrowing program.Spy Valley won New Zealand Producer of the Year at the IWSC Awards in 2008.