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Isabel Estate

Mike Tiller was an airline pilot, and he often used to fly over the area that would become the Isabel estate on his way to Blenheim Airport. Time after time a particular pocket of land caught his eye, and so in 1980 he purchased this special site and with his wife Robyn built a winery, naming it Isabel in honour of his mother. It is situated in Marlborough's Wairau Valley at the top of New Zealand's South Island, and is one of Marlborough's oldest wine estates with some of the oldest vines in the region. The Tiller's aim was to produce premium wines from classic grape varieties. Through the 1980's they planted the noble grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The fertile soils and unique aspect of the estate delivered exceptional grapes which were in high demand and initially sold to prestigious New Zealand wine producers like Cloudy Bay. In 1994 they produced their own single vineyard wine under their own label, a Pinot Noir, which promptly won a gold medal and they have never looked back. In 2001 Mike retired from his flying career to concentrate full time on taking his wines to new heights. A new state-of-the-art winery was built, opened by Sir Edmund Hillary in 2005. In 2014 the Australian drinks company Pinnacle took over the estate. At Isabel only estate grown fruit is used, and 45 hectares are under vine farmed sustainably with organic principles on free-draining gravels with a thin layer of clay in the subsoil. Isabel achieve incredible concentration in their grapes by planting densely, double the usual number found in the region. They focus on small batch winemaking, fermenting blocks and clones in the vineyard separately. Isabel are part of the rich tapestry of the history of the Marlborough region, their wines have a unique character and distinction exuding elegance and finesse.