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Framingham

An entrepreneur from Wellington called Rex Brooke-Taylor planted Riesling vines in the Wairau Valley in 1981, taking the name Framingham from his ancestral home near Norwich in England. He initially sold his grapes under contract, but in 1994 launched his first wine under the Framingham label. This was just one Riesling and Framingham have been doing things differently, their own way, by their own rules ever since. They are located just outside of Renwick, in the Marlborough region of New Zealand's South Island and have since expanded to grow Pinot Noir, Montepulciano, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Viognier and Riesling. Those Riesling vines planted back in 1981 are some of the oldest in the country. Their 19.5 hectare vineyard is accredited environmentally sustainable and has been certified organic since 2014. The soils are alluvial, formed by the sedimentation of the Wairau River. Framingham also work with 12 contract growers, so plenty of blending choices are available. They combine small batches of fruit from different vineyard areas to craft wines with depth and complexity in flavours and textures. They have built a reputation on their aromatic wines and they are Riesling specialists. Framingham like to take risks, advocating experimental techniques and blending options; fermenting some white wines on their skins, and lees and oak ageing in acacia wood barrels are just a few of there innovative methods. As a consequence their wines taste very different from the styles normally produced and associated with Marlborough. Framingham was bought by Pernod Ricard in 2004, and then by the Portuguese company Sogrape in 2007. In 2020, after 18 years at the helm, their winemaker Dr Andrew Hedley resigned and Andrew Brown, who formally worked at Framingham for seven years as assistant winemaker to Hedley, has returned. Hedley brought international acclaim to Framingham for their Rieslings, and Brown is as obsessed with Riesling as Hedley, and will continue the legacy. Framingham are renowned for making exceptional handcrafted award-wining wines. These wines have real personalities and are made in limited quantities. They are exciting wines, rich and expressive with layers of intriguing flavours.