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VIP Producer - Winegrowers of Ara

Published:  29 July, 2010

Ara is a large, single estate in Marlborough at the confluence of Marlborough's Wairau and Waihopai rivers. It lies on a 1,600ha terrace laid down by the river systems that existed 20,000 years ago. To the Maori people of New Zealand, Ara means "pathway".


General manager of viticulture and winemaking Damien Martin says its point of difference is to take a pathway that's different to everyone else. "We like to concentrate on a traditional approach and wines that are a bit more European in style - a lot of extract and a bit more on the mid and back palate."


Vineyards and viticulture
One of the vineyard's special features is the vine density - 4,000-5,000 vines per hectare - which is more than double that of conventional Marlborough plantings. The high density and low yields are comparable to Old World viticultural techniques.


The Wines
There are three tiers - Pathway, Composite and Resolute. Pathway Sauvignon Blanc (rrp £7.99) and Pinot Noir (rrp £9.99) are both available at Morrisons. Composite Sauvignon Blanc (rrp £9.99) and Pinot Noir (rrp £12.99) comprise the best grapes from 190 parcels of vines blended together. Resolute Sauvignon Blanc (rrp £15.99) and Pinot Noir (rrp £19.99) are from a single-parcel handpicked collection "formed of love".


Top people
Commercial director Sue Henderson and chief executive Christine Pears.