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Spy Valley

Spy Valley was established when Bryan and Jan Johnson planted 180 hectares of vines in the Waihopai Valley in 1993 on land that was considered too hard, too dry and too infertile for the cultivation of vines. But their audacity and pioneering spirit founded one of New Zealand's most successful and acclaimed family-run wineries. The Waihopai Valley is part of the Southern Valleys subregion of Marlborough and Spy Valley is situated on the southern side of Marlborough along the terraces of the Omaka River in a rather isolated location. It is across the road from an international satellite communication station (or spy base) - hence the name Spy Valley! Initially the Johnsons sold their grapes to other wineries but in 2000 the first wine under the Spy Valley label was released, and they haven't looked back since. This is one of the world's purest wine regions, and one of New Zealand's sunniest, leading the Maoris to call the area “the place with the hole in the cloud”. It is protected from extreme rain and wind by the Southern Alps and the hot days, cool nights and strong diurnal variation create a unique microclimate with a long ripening season, producing wines with piercing fruit intensity, marked varietal expression and good acidity. Spy Valley farm sustainably and both the vineyard and winery are certified under the Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand program. 20% of Spy Valley's power is provided by solar panels. The winery generates its own nitrogen and their bottles are made from up to 80% recycled glass. The vineyards are planted mostly on alluvial river terraces. The younger terraces have veins of stone and shingle overlaid with a thin veneer of topsoil, whilst the older terraces have a higher clay content and deeper topsoils, overlaying free draining river gravel and stones. The steep hillside slopes contain a thick layer of windblown brown clay soil. On these diverse soils Spy Valley focus on the cultivation of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir and Syrah to produce three ranges of wines. Spy Valley are their flagship wines, perfectly combining distinctive vibrant fruit aromas and flavours with balanced acidity. The Satellite wines are fruit-driven, expressing varietal typicity. The Envoy range is for the connoisseur - textural and complex wines made with fruit from exceptional micro-sites from their oldest vines. There is no espionage here; Spy Valley share their secrets with you in their superb portfolio of award-winning wines!